In "The Handsmaids Tale" explore how Atwood creates a sense of isolation and threat in the opening chapters

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‘Close reference to the text; explore how Atwood creates a sense of isolation and threat in the opening chapters’

The anti-utopian fable, about the future is one woman’s story of her life as a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. A tale written by Margaret Atwood, she has created isolation and threat at any given opportunity. Written in narrative, we follow the daily life of the Handmaid, Offred. Atwood has written the fable in the form of fictive auto biography, also she has used ecriture feminine. Atwood has created such a diverse way of life to which today’s society is in, in some cases it is apparent that Atwood has managed to foresee certain aspects that have taken the world for example, you could link to Syrian civil War to parts of this narrative novel because they are both in dictatorships.  

One of our first experiences with isolation and threat comes from the first characters that we are introduced to, they are the Aunts; Sara and Elizabeth, it is ironic that they are called the ‘Aunts’ because they are two women gaolers, they guard the red centre with their ‘cattle prodders’, which is an unnecessary use or force that they have, which for those that are under their supervision (the Handmaids) it would create an atmosphere of suspense and uncertainty for the Handmaids because the Aunts have the ‘cattle prodders’ they could use them against the Handmaids to create fear within them, which for the Aunts would create a group of impressionable woman to feel threatened. I feel that there must have been some previous events that have occurred in the Red Centre for the Aunts to feel the need for ‘cattle prodders’, they would use the equipment to enforce the strict discipline that surrounds Gilead. It shows that Gilead feels that to have a country that respects those that are above them they need to use force, which shows there is opposition towards those that run the country and to why they are in a civil war.

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Our first solely experience of isolation is through Olfactory, our first experience of this is in the descriptive narrative of chapter two, ‘I thought I could smell...’, this is also our first endeavour of rebellion because it is something that the Aunts cannot stop, they have managed so far to stop communication and the language that they may use; everything is scripted mainly because of the time period which is set within the times of uncertainty because the communities where infiltrated with spies and informants. With the Handmaids having no possibility of being punished for their sense of ...

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