• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Katie ?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 ...read more.


I feel that because Offred is acting rebellious at such an early stage this could be foreshadowing that there is some form of rebellion is to take place later on in the book. Atwood may have done this to show that even early on in the book that the fear is never ending, something of which Atwood has decided to show fear in a multitude of way. We are introduced to the formidable ?Angels? in the first Chapter, not all of the Angles are Guards; they have been specifically picked out. We are informed that the Angles never venture ?inside to the building? (which was Harvard University in a previous life) which creates a sense of threat, because this suggests the idea to the fact why are the Handmaids under constant surveillance, which conveys the concept that for whatever they a participating in unknowingly they are vital for whatever is going on there. For the Handmaids they are in a position of uncertainty because they are in an environment that is surrounded by distrust throughout society. ...read more.


Though a ?wreath? is also used at Christmas and is placed on doors, which gives the term that it is partially an oxymoron. In the context that it is used in this book I would personally think that the ?wreath? refers to an event that had happened with the previous Handmaid. This does create a sense of threat because why would Atwood feel the need to describe something that has such bad connotations associated with it. There is isolation with the Handmaid due to the fact she cannot ask questions to people as they may wonder why she has such an interest into the subject. It seems that this book is very ambiguous for interpretation, already. I feel this because it already has such a large amount of threat and isolation already playing quite a large role. I think Atwood is making this narrative novel show what can happen when threat and isolation plays such a key in society, and how it must not happen. Overall, you can tell that the ending is unlikely to be one where everything is resolved without death or betrayal. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Handmaid's Tale section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Handmaid's Tale essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare how a sense of claustrophobia is built up in the Handmaids Tale and ...

    4 star(s)

    Newspapers were censored... roadblocks began to appear, and identipasses..." by stripping women of their political and social rights the Gileadean regime came to power. Offred uses listing to highlight the continuous changes in society, specifically directed at women, showing her own shock and resentment towards her gradual confinement.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    How Does Atwood present women in the Handmaid's Tale?

    4 star(s)

    Atwood demonstrates with Serena how the dystopian society cannot make even the richest and highest ranked woman happy. It demonstrates how Serena Joy has to internalise her unhappiness, therefore intensifying it, and taking out her frustration of Offred. Serena cruelly manipulates Offred with the fact that she knows where her child is, showing no compassion or understanding for her situation.

  1. Presentation and significance of settings in 'The Handmaid's Tale'

    In Chapter eleven Offred mentions the Colonies. She talks about the doctor and says "He could ... have me shipped off to the Colonies, with the Unwomen. The Unwomen are the women that rebel against the regime in Gilead. In the Colonies you die of radiation sickness.

  2. Examine how Atwood presents Offred's sense of self in "The Handmaid's Tale"

    Atwood also uses the character of Nick as a literary tool to develop Offred's sense of self, through the development of her s****l identity. Nick becomes a recurring theme, representing masculinity; he is described as having forearms which are,

  1. Explain how control and rebellion are presented in 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood

    The handmaids sleep in "...army cots that had been set up in rows, with spaces between so we could not talk". The description creates imagery of a regimented, military style existence. Gilead upholds thought control by disallowing communication. Predictably, people rebel against this as human life would not exist in the absence of contact.

  2. Feminism in 'The Handmaid's Tale'

    The Handmaids, on the other hand, represent the younger women who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s. In this group of women positions on feminism are varied. Janine for example, accepts the role of a female victim however radicals such as the lesbian feminist Moira highlight the paradoxes and dilemmas within contemporary feminism.

  1. How Far is The Handmaids Tale a Dystopian Text, Specifically at the Regime of ...

    can live without fear of certain things. Although they live in fear of being killed for disagreeing with the Gileadean regime, they are mostly safe in the knowledge that they have 'freedom from' murder, violence and r**e (however, the very point of being a handmaid is to agree to being raped forcibly, so this is an oxymoron).

  2. By close examination of the themes and narrative technique, show how Margaret Atwood conveys ...

    This alienation originates from Offred feeling like she doesn?t belong, which is furthered by the language used to subjugate women. Gilead?s men are defined by military rank and profession, in comparison to the women who are defined only be their gender role and ability to bear children.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work