Identify and Self-Search in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Keywords:Dystopia, Male-Domination, Self-Identity, Women's literacy
This paper attempts to capture the social status, domination of women by men faced by Offred, the protagonist of the sixth best seller novel by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood. The famous fantasy fiction The Handmaid’s Tale is written in the dystopian tradition.Through this novel, she has penned powerfully her social concern regarding the social status, domination, the mental turmoil and the identity crises of women in a male – dominated society and their consequent struggle to overcome this domination, repression and subjugation through many modes of escape strategies. This kind of struggle gives them power to speak against their situation and change their self to enable them to lead a dignified life in the same society. Six years before the publication of this novel, Margaret Atwood had commented on the writing of fiction in a way that seems to anticipate the novel. She comments “What kind of world shall you describe for your readers? The one you can see around you or the better one you can imagine? If only the latter, you’ll be unrealistic. If only the former, despairing, But It is by the better world we can imagine, that we judge the world we have”.
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Klarer, Mario “Orality and Literacy as Gender supporting structures in Margaret Atwood’s. The Handmaid’s Tale “, Mosaic (Spl. “Media Matters : Technologies of Literary Production'')28/4 (1995) p.131
Walker, Nanay A. “Feminist Alternatives: Irony and fantasy in the contemporary Novel by women” (Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1990) p.69.
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