The Handmaids Tale as a Novel

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The handmaids tale as a novel is fragmented and disjointed this gives an effect to show the character has been traumatised and is delirious.The handmaid’s tale is very disjointed and it is written in the present tense although it is always referring to the past.

The first chapter of the book start6s in ‘training time’ which is in the characters past, the first chapter is really intriguing and makes the reader want to read further. We don’t no the first chapter is in the narrators past until the reader comes to the second chapter, when the surroundings are totally different and the narrator is describing the place she lives in. the novel, for the first few chapter or sections has no background information of who the narrator is, what has happened in her past, or why their being treated like a prisoner.The writer uses the narrator to tell the story bit by bit not all at once.

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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.I think what the narrator says out her novel that ‘I’m sorry it’s in fragments..

.’ is quite correct to say as the narrator does flick form past to present throughout the book. The second part of the quote ‘ like a body caught in crossfire and pulled apart by force’ is also an appropriate description about the book as the narrator is quite angry and upset about how her life has turned out which explains the crossfire in the quote. The narrator has slight outburst of anger in the book ‘ slip the lever out from the sleeve and drive the sharp end into him suddenly, between his ribs’, offred planning a way to hurt the commander.

It could e said that this does not seem to be offred’s true personality but the way she has been treated and confined has resulted her to show a different side of her personality.The part of what the writer says that her body is ‘pulled apart by force’ is meaning that offred is doing things that she does not want to do by Gileads therefore because of their compulsory strict rules there is no way of her not complying with the rules and being forced to do so. Offred does not want to give birth to a child and give it away to unknown people. Offred wants her own child back but is forced apart from her ‘we came apart’, ‘holding her so tight’ offred is speaking about her daughter being ‘ forced apart from her’.

Offred is also forced to have sex with the commander an old man, ‘commander fucks with a regular two-four marching stroke, on and on like a tap dripping’ offred try’s to think about other things, she doesn’t want to think about what is happening ‘close your eyes and think of England’ offred has no freedom to choose who she sleeps with.The handmaid’s tale is fragmented for many reasons one of main reasons is that it is like her life has been tossed upside down and has come down in the wrong order not in a systemactical order therefore resulting in the fragmentation of the novel. This has happened as Offred has been slightly brainwashed from her training or what right from wrong that she doesn’t know what is right from wrong because all she has ever known has totally changed.Offred also is confined to a small room for many hours as well as not contact with friends or just people to talk to as she is limited to very small speech therefore offred makes her own stories up in her head consequently offred then doesn’t not remember or realise what is real! In the novel; she shows this as offred is remembering the night of when her and nick met at the beginning she say ‘this is a reconstruction’ she admits that she is not a reliable source and that ‘all if this is a reconstruction’ ‘in my head’ referring that all of the book is a reconstruction that she has put together in her head is it also the professor telling the story.

I therefore it could be said that what the narrator says of her tale ‘I’m sorry its in fragments like a body caught in crossfire and pulled apart by force’ is an appropriate description about the novel as it shows what offred is feeling throughout the book although she does not mention any of her feelings and emotions. The description shows that offred has been put in a box, isolated from the outside world and is very angry, being ordered around and not having any freedom what so ever and feels that she is pulled apart by being forced to do things she wishes not to do.

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The Handmaids Tale as a Novel. (2018, Jan 06). Retrieved from

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