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University Degree: Margaret Atwood

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  1. Free essay

    Essay on Maragret Atwood

    This story is allusion to the humans wanting to clone the Thylacine, a tiger, in order to save it from going extinct, but end up eating the cloned Thylacine in the end. This whole situation is conveyed as ironic because the humans start off trying to save the Thylacine, which shows that they are selfless because they care about matters beyond themselves, but end up caging it to entertain them and then eating it. "They got some DNA out of a bone and they emptied the nucleus out of the egg of a Tasmanian devil and the put the Thylacine bone DNA into the egg, and it grew, and they implanted it...and finally they cloned the Thylacine."

    • Word count: 1636
  2. Essay on Empiricism: with the writing style/tone of Joseph Addison

    The name had simply been hidden from me before. I knew that I could no longer trust what had surrounded me for all this time so I turned my back on Distraction and began walking farther up the path once more. By the time Distraction was far out of sight, the trail seemed to become more abundant in colour as the life around me seemed to no longer look towards only the ground, but in all directions. It was not long before I realized that I was now hearing a new sound in my ears.

    • Word count: 999
  3. To what extent is Offred a heroine? There are many unique features that make up a heroine of a story. Generally, the hero or heroine

    Later into the story, there are more signs that Offred is going to break the rules and rebel against the Aunts and Guards, and other higher members of the hierarchy. When Offred sees the message "Nolite te bastardes caborundorum" it appears to inspire her. Although Offred does not know that it means "don't let the bastards grind you down", she still feels it "pleases" her to see it. This is because she knows that another handmaid has left that message for the next handmaid to read.

    • Word count: 1054
  4. Compare the mental state of the unreliable narrators of "The Yellow Wallpaper" and "The Tell-tale Heart." Why do both narrators perceive surveillance as a constant threat?

    Most of the story seems to be written in the style of a journal which the narrator secretly writes as she lays in bed. The way the authors writing style changes as the story progresses gives the readers a clue to the protagonist's deteriorating mental condition. Throughout the story the narrator's sentences seem to get shorter and more cut. There are also paragraphs consisting of only one or two sentences " How she betrayed herself that time! But I am here, and no person touches this paper but ME-not alive!"(387)

    • Word count: 1098
  5. In Margaret Atwood's "The Blind Assassin" and in Patrick Suskind's "The Perfume", the main characters cease to agree with any of the above notions. It is in the psyche of one's mind to require some sort of motivation in order to progress

    Grenouille achieves his goals; Laura does not. Though both Jean Baptiste Grenouille and Laura Chase are passion drive individuals, their methods of achieving their goals differ to an extent that results in Grenouille's personal fulfillment, and in Laura's absolute downfall. When viewed from a rudimentary perspective, Grenouille and Laura are alike in the sense that both characters allow their passion to consume them completely. Every bit of energy within their being is directed towards a single thought, a single obsession.

    • Word count: 1519
  6. A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is a depiction of a dystopia that truly frightens many people.

    At that time Offred arrived at work and we learn the reason why this woman is missing. Women, in general, lost their privilege to a job, which included Offred. Then something unseemingly possible happened, they took control of the one thing that was thought to be uncontrollable love. What many believed was unruly was even inhibited by the state, true love was not permitted unless you were expecting punishment; however punishments for such 'crimes' were not just a jail sentence but execution. Execution was also a penalty for those who had anything to do with abortions or things of the sort; like doctors of the 'past life' that performed such unthinkable tasks were put to death.

    • Word count: 1160
  7. The Handmaid's Tale - study of the character Offred.

    Happiness does depend on ourselves, since it depends on the actions we take. By examining the situations and tribulations of Moria, Offred, and Offred's mother, one can recognize that Offred's inaction leads her directly to the path of unhappiness, while Moria takes action and fails to achieve happiness, whereas Offred's actions brought her happiness. In Atwood's novel, the character of Offred is the protagonist who's inaction leads to unhappiness. In the newly formed society of Gilead, the state has taken control of reproduction to combat low birth rates.

    • Word count: 631
  8. Comment on the way in which Atwood has constructed 'The Handmaid's Tale'.

    While the other sections provide a reflection of the mundane nature of Gileadean life, Atwood utilises the 'Night' sections in presenting Offred's reminiscences on the past time, through which the majority of character and plot development takes place. Offred uses the night to express subversive notions such as the theme of re-ownership and independence in the quotation, 'the night is mine...to do as I will', as well as the significant reclamation of her body: 'I sink into my body as into a swamp...where only I know the footing.'

    • Word count: 918
  9. Compare and contrast the ways these authors present the oppressive society of their dystopias and the effect these techniques have on the reader.

    Atwood similarly says that passivity can allow these worlds to become reality and that everything in her novel has either happened or was happening at the time that it was published in 1985. At the time the Taliban were gaining power and Afghan women were expected to stay at home and it was at this time that there was a resurgence in fundamental Christian activity. The narrative structure and voice of a novel affects the acceptance and experience of the reader.

    • Word count: 4194
  10. The narrator says of her tale 'I'm sorry its in fragments like a body caught in crossfire and pulled apart by force' how appropriate description of the structure of the novel do you consider this to be?

    The writer uses the narrator to tell the story bit by bit not all at once. Throughout the novel she refers back to the past to give the reader information on what has happened in her world, to e like this its not until chapter 28 that offred the narrator reveals what actually happened to Gileads, the place she lives ad lived and how it all happened. The are no speech marks when the narrator refers to the past ' I remember that yearning ' the quote in the book does not have speech marks which show that she is not speaking about her memory but mealy thinking it in her head.

    • Word count: 926
  11. Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

    The regime reduces some women, the so-called Handmaids, to a purely pro-creational function. The protagonist of the novel, Offred, holds such a role. Handmaids are assigned to Commanders, who undergo a regular pro-creational ceremony with the Handmaids. During these cold, formal rituals the wife is not only present, but lying on the bed with the Handmaid. This helps to maintain the appearance of the sanctity of marriage, one of the many Judeo-Christian dogmas that the Gilead regime fiercely upholds. This formalization and institutionalization of the act of sex represses the sexual freedom of the handmaids, and can be viewed as the enslavement of fertile women.

    • Word count: 1449
  12. How effective are the narrative strategies in The Handmaid's Tale?

    Atwood uses defamiliarisation when Offred presents three accounts of her time with Nick, 'It didn't happen that way. Here is what happened', 'It didn't happen that way either' and 'This is the story, then', which all draw attention to changes, offer different viewpoints and bring the reader back to fictionality. Offred cannot find the language to describe her love affair under Gilead's repression. Atwood is determined that the reader hears Offred's story, 'Because I'm telling you this story I will your existence. I tell, therefore you are.' As with postmodernist structures, The Handmaid's Tale has no closure, no definite ending.

    • Word count: 2294
  13. How does sexuality a woman's way to be free in the Handmaid's tale? Humans are sexual beings. When we are born, we are affected by a sexual life.

    Because as the most important thing in the regime is to procreate, women are the ones who give birth, so I believe that it is through their body, how they control the society. And it is their sexuality their way to feel free, as they own their thoughts, and their feelings. Existentialists, state that human beings are able to define and determine their own life. You do this through your thoughts, and therefore through your actions. For example, by writing "faith" in the coushins, or witing "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum". People are accustumed to face problems. Sometimes these problems increment.

    • Word count: 2214
  14. Offred describes her narrative as "A limping and mutilated story". How does this image relate to either the structure or content of "The Handmaids Tale"?

    It is believed the dislocated opening emphasises the fear and confusion to come. It is believed Offred's description of her narrative can be associated with her relationship with the commander's wife (Serena Joy). There is strong contrast between the two characters, one young and dressed in red and the other elderly and dressed in pale blue. Serena Joy is a more powerful character and opposes Offred because of her position in the Gilead society. Offred's job is to produce Offspring (because Serena Joy is infertile)

    • Word count: 1013
  15. The Handmaids Tale

    Although there are many characters in the novel only the real personalities of a selected few are revealed. Offerd is the main protagonist and the narrator of the novel, she is a younger woman who has lived through a great deal of change and chaos. Offred survives to make several tapes of her life's journey that serve as the story line for the novel. Offred does not seem to a particularly strong character, however she does endure a lot. She takes what she is given and for the most part does not rebel until later in her life, it seems at first as though she is submissive.

    • Word count: 1189
  16. How does Atwood present Offred's situation and character to us in 'The Handmaid's Tale'?

    At this stage the reader does not know why she is sleeping in an old gymnasium and there are no longer any basketball games or dances. The reader will be intrigued to why she is there. In the first chapter there are only very subtle clues to why she is there and I think this is because Atwood wants the reader to be intrigued and ask questions. These flashbacks also show the travel of Offred's mind, with the use of asides and digressions.

    • Word count: 1288
  17. 'Despite Atwood's portrayal of Gilead as soulless and destructive she has nevertheless succeeded in giving the reader a sense of optimism.' How far foes this accord with your reading of the novel?

    Ironically the regime is developed for sex yet any attributes you would normally apply to a sexual relationship have been removed. There is no conversation, no intimacy, no pleasure or appreciation of yourself or your partner; in fact there is no relationship with your partner or anyone else. Physical contact must be kept to what is necessary and the act of sex itself is simply necessary for reproduction. For the regime to work there can be no feelings. To prevent feelings developing within people towards others Gilead works to remove anything that makes the person unique, this is why the regime has been described as "soulless" as by taking away peoples' personalities you are practically taking away their soul.

    • Word count: 2725
  18. Using the extract as a starting point discuss how Atwood uses language in the novel as both a tool of oppression and a means of rebellion.

    A radical departure from the formality of their prescribed relationship. The words Offred goes on to spell with these glossy smooth edged counters shows the reader how this self conscious narrator is feeling, weighed down using the above specific words to make herself heard by the commander whilst laughing in his face, "Limp", "Gorge", more words she decides to spell. Outside normal hours, without Serena Joys knowledge or presence, "it's like sneaking into the dorm after hours" except it's an "oasis of forbidden".

    • Word count: 851
  19. Examine relationships between women in the novel "The handmaids tale".

    "I want to see as little of you as possible" Serena coldly spurts out to Offred, "I was disappointed, I wanted, then to turn her into an older sister, a motherly figure, someone who would understand and protect me". Offred clearly has been welcomed not as she was expecting, however Offred and Serena are both alike in this state, they both want a child, and the attention of the both focuses on commander of whom Serena is very possessive over "As for my husband, she said, he's just that.

    • Word count: 870
  20. Is Offred a Rebel?

    They did not confront the enemy with the sword but with words. The novel 'The Handmaids Tale' by Margaret Atwood tells the story of a near future oppressive society governed by an elite group; men. This society 'The Republic of Gilead' rules by force and oppression and severely suppresses individual freedom. As one can see from the name, this society's absolute moral backbone is formed by Christian fundamentalism. Radiation and chemicals have contaminated the physical world in which this society dwells.

    • Word count: 2699
  21. Offred may be the heroine of her own story but there are many other heroines in the narrative. Discuss three of them and their function in the novel 'The Handmaid's Tale'.

    As the narrator Offred is defying the routine and she feels it is her duty to record events and not get emotionally attached she says 'One detaches oneself. One describes.' This emotional distance enables her to accept that the responsibility of being a handmaid has been unavoidably imposed on her and that she has no other choice so the only thing she can do is record the unreasonable conditions. Offred feels like her life is a performance and I think that the fact that she can bear to live like that makes her a heroine in her own way.

    • Word count: 1167
  22. How Effective Is The Opening Of The Handmaids Tale? Concentrate Of The First Four Chapters, Incorporating Analysis Of Characterisation, Themes And Atwood's Use Of Symbolism

    Offred's descriptions of her surroundings are vivid, her description contains use of each of the senses, and she smells 'the pungent scent of sweat, shot through with the sweet taint of chewing gum and perfume', this invites the reader to empathise with Offred, and renews the idea that although Gilead as a society may be far from what we live in, we do have our links to it. Atwood creates a sense of the void within Offred's room. Offred's description of the room is comprehensive and she takes in all the small details in the room.

    • Word count: 1057
  23. Handmaids Tale - The Importance of Nick in the novel

    There is a strong forbidden attraction that has begun between Nick and Offred. Offred and Nick then meet many times, without Serena's knowledge. Offred believes she may be pregnant by Nick, and she feels relief to have for once a genuine human relationship. On the day that Serena confronts Offred with evidence of adultery and calls her a 'slut', Nick, purportedly an operative for the Eyes and double agent for Mayday, sets up a fake arrest and has her spirited away in an Eyes van, to a safer Glieadean free society.

    • Word count: 2384
  24. Presentation and importance of "The Handmaids Tale"

    There are also a lot of short, sharp sentences at the start of the extract. This creates tension and sets the mood for the rejoining of these old friends. It is obvious that the friends are very close and have been for a long time by the way they insult each other. Friends that are not to close do not call each other insults such as "whores". The smoky atmosphere could be seen as being a metaphor. It is ironic that it is smoky and the women in there cannot really see the rest of their lives clearly.

    • Word count: 1033
  25. The Handmaids Tale - At the beginning of chapter twenty-three Offred says, "This is a reconstruction. All of it is a reconstruction." What have you found interesting about the way the book is written? Explore the problems and pleasures, which you have enc

    I found this very off-putting from the point of view of a reader. I also feel it puts the readers of the book at a disadvantage. An example of this is when the story begins, as it starts in a flashback, when Offred is at the training camp. The readers have no idea what is going on and it is not until several chapters later that the readers can work out what is going on. Though some readers may see this as a good point as the book is a challenge to read, which in their opinion would make it more enjoyable.

    • Word count: 858

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • In close analysis of Nick’s character discuss whether he is Offreds saviour or her down fall.

    "In conclusion Nick saves her because he takes her away at the end. He also releases her from the pressure and tension of Gilead. He tries to make everything feel as normal as possible the way it used to be by having a relationship the sneaking around is like a stimulant but Offred should be used to it due to her affair with Luke. He also gets her pregnant which means that even if he didn't save her at the end it meant that she wouldn't have to go to the colonies. However, he does take huge risks, which would mean that he is endangering his and her life for cheap thrills such as winking and touching her foot."

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