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AS and A Level: The Handmaid's Tale
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and a closing sestet (6 lines) with a fixed rhyme scheme. Conversely, Atwood avoids many of these tools and minimizes her use of literary techniques. She splits her stanzas into 3 lines each, creating a sense of balance. Atwood also omits similes, metaphors and intricate imagery - aspects of literature that are appreciated and used in other poems. The poet excludes figurative language as well. Typically, a reader searches for a plot, with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead, the speaker states "I will tell the secret to you" (Line 19).
- Word count: 889
One of the main themes laced throughout Attwood?s novel is a feminist vision of anti-utopia, or dystopia. Written shortly after the election of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain, The Handmaid?s Tale is temporally embedded in a period in which revival of conservative attitudes were apparent, and one increasingly influenced by an organised movement of religious conservative who criticized attitudes towards s*x in the 1960s and 1970s. Those groups deemed these general attitudes ?excessive?, and believed strongly against what they called the ?s****l revolution?.
- Word count: 450
The writer makes the reader unprepared for the description to follow, thereby creating a greater feeling of shock. Indeed, the opening of the second paragraph makes the reader feel embarrassment and shame towards the narrator."Fully clothed except for the healthy white cotton under drawers". She is lying on a bed, fully clothed except for her privates uncovered. As the description continues, the author uses the subjunctive "if I were to open my eyes" which expresses a wish, a possibility, a state of unreality. This allows the narrator to imagine the "white" carpet representing purity, which reassures the reader that is shocked by the previous sentence.
- Word count: 837
This bears a close semblance to Offred?s narrative in Chapter 23, ?I hold the glossy counters with their smooth edges, finger the letters. The feeling is voluptuous. This is freedom, an eyeblink of it?. This shows that Atwood?s choice of scrabble was not for the want of an arbitrary game, it fits into a recurring theme of the power of language in Atwood?s work. The game of scrabble, though forbidden in Gilead, is available to high-ranking officers. Language has been seized by the authoritarian government, with religious terminology used as labels in the dystopian state.
- Word count: 963