Essays on Margaret Atwood

The Handmaids Tale: A Feminist Dystopia
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As a reader, it's our job to know the author's purpose, Margaret Atwood’s book “The Handmaid's Tale” may be a dystopian novel that was published in 1985; during the backlash against the progress of second-wave feminism. To people that don’t know what the second- wave feminism period was, it had been the women's movement of the 1960s and 70s during which women started breaking the ideals of where a lady stands. Margaret Atwood used this point to make a dystopian…...
DystopiaDystopian SocietyFeminismMargaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s TaleV For Vendetta
Different states of paralysis in The Handmaid’s Tale
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In The Handmaid's Tale, a state of paralysis results from the fear that consumes both the individual and society. How does Atwood explore this paralysis in her dystopia? Different states of paralysis are explored within Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale. Through the paralysis of emotions, time, knowledge and women's identity the reader gains a broader understanding of dystopic fiction and the techniques employed to create the totalitarian society portrayed in Atwood's eloquently written novel. The empathy and connection with…...
Margaret AtwoodStateThe Handmaid’s Tale
Symbol Uniting All The Australian Struggle English Literature Essay
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In the essay Survival, Margaret Atwood says that `` every state or civilization has a individual unifying and informing symbol at its nucleus. '' ( Atwood, pg 31 ) Atwood goes farther and says that `` the symbol - be it word, phrase, thought, image, or all of these - maps like a system of beliefs which holds the state together. '' ( Atwood, pg 31 ) Now, this informing symbol is largely depicted through the plants of literature of…...
AustraliaEnglishLiteratureMargaret Atwood
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Themes in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
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Resistance narrative is a story about an individual who is resisting showing that they do not agree with a social or political view. In this novels case we have Offred who is trying to resist the tyrannical society she is in. This is a recurring theme in "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood as we see Offred battle to survive and cope in an oppressive society where she is the victim. Resistance is used by many different people and for…...
Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale
Job at the library
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In many novels, certain characters are useful for illustrating numerous themes and motifs, conveying the message that the author wishes to communicate. In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaids Tale, the characters are what permit the reader to understand the idea or theme of individuality versus society. Specifically, Moira, a rebellious woman, is the most essential character in the novel because she clearly represents the theme of individuality. She is a symbol of hope to her long time friend Offred, because she…...
JobLibraryMargaret Atwood
How far do you agree that Atwood has created not a real person but a mouthpiece for her ideas in the characterization of Offred?
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'The Handmaid's Tale' clearly demonstrates elements of Atwood's ideas such as gender politics and concerns with the environment. How far Atwood manipulates the characters in order to express her ideas will be explored and whether this makes Offred an implausible character. The narrative style used in the novel, a discontinuous and short-scened structure with time shifts, echoes the concept of a memory. The narration often delves into the past as Offred remembers her life before the oppressive theocracy was set…...
CharacterFeminismMargaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
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As a fictive autobiography, Atwood looks at the life of a woman in a dystopian setting, living amongst a male dominated environment, that of Gilead. The main protagonist is presented as first person narrator and offers a subjective yet often subversive view of her surroundings and life. Atwood has evidently chosen this narrative strategy to build a personal relationship between Offred and the reader. As Offred unfolds her descriptions, with perpetual attention to clarity and detail, the reader is willing…...
Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale
‘Don’t ever ask for the true story’ – an examination of the narrative methods used in Alias Grace and Affinity
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Both Alias Grace, a fictionalised account of a true story and Affinity, a modern novel, display contrasting and comparable features within the narrative structure. They are also both similarly set within the depths of a woman's prison providing an insight into a particular female prisoner. Margaret Atwood has been thorough in her research for Alias Grace and has brought to life a fascinating story. The narrative methods and structure play a vital role in how we perceive each character and…...
ExaminationHarrison BergeronMargaret Atwood
“It is Dangerous To Read Newspapers” by Margaret Atwood
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Duality is a key concept in many of Margaret Atwood’s works. “It Is Dangerous To Read Newspapers” comes with no surprise when the juxtaposition of time eras are presented. The poem addresses the atrocities of the Vietnam War that occurred from 1959-1975. The work is focused on the adult perception of the war by the speaker. The 9 stanzas that structure the poem are a continuous construction of the horror elements creating an overall image of the war and the…...
ChildhoodMargaret AtwoodNewspaperPoetry
Margaret Atwood – A prolific Controversial and Innovative Writer
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Margaret Atwood A prolific, controversial, and innovative writer, Margaret Atwood has emerged as one of the most eminent contemporary figures in Canadian literature. Weaving stories from her own life in bush and cities of Canada, she questions the stereotypes of nationality and gender. Atwood has been variously assessed as a feminist writer, for her incisive commentaries on sex roles, a religious writer, for her visions of spiritual ecstasy, a gothic writer, for her images of grotesque misfits and surreal disorientations…...
Margaret AtwoodWriter
Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace
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Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace is a novel based on Grace Marks; a servant convicted yet pardoned of murdering her employer. Atwood critiques the society that produces patriarchy, captivating the social issue of women being subordinate to men. Consequently, Atwood blames the oppressive Victorian Era that contains women within stagnant social positions. Within the novel, the upper class maintain the hierarchy of gender and class, preserving these Victorian traditions. Throughout the novel, Atwood represents the prominent theme of gender disparity, that…...
GenderMargaret AtwoodSocial IssuesVictorian Era
Happy Ending by Margaret Atwood
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In this essay, I take a look at the brief story, "Pleased Endings," by Margaret Atwood and how the Canadian author dealt with the topic of love and the various methods it is represented in relationships and marriage, as well as analyzed composing styles as utilized in the story. For my conclusion, I will elaborate on the importance of love and romance in making marriages last in addition to stress on the cruciality of coming up with an original and…...
Margaret AtwoodMarriage
Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood Analysis
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Margaret Atwood’s ‘‘Happy Endings’’ first appeared in the 1983 Canadian collection, Murder in the Dark, and it was published in 1994 for American audiences in Good Bones and Simple Murders. Subtitled ‘‘Short Fiction and Prose Poems,’’ Murder in the Dark featured four types of works: autobiographical sketches, travel notes, experimental pieces addressing the nature of writing, and short pieces dealing with typical Atwood themes, notably the relationship between the sexes. ‘‘Happy Endings,’’ which is essentially a self-referential story framework, falls…...
LiteratureMargaret Atwood
Woman, Land and Nation
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The word "ecocriticism" was probably first used in William Rueckert's essay "Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism" (1978) and was subsequently accepted in critical vocabulary when Cheryll Glotfelty, at that time a graduate student at Cornell, revived the term in the meeting of the Western Literature Association in Coeur d'Alene in 1989, and recommended the use of the term to refer to the scattered critical field that had been known as "the study of nature writing." Glotfelty defines ecocriticism…...
Margaret AtwoodNationReincarnation
Isolation in the Painted Door by Ross Sinclair
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The feelings of isolation and alienation can be frustrating, dangerous and eventually they can even drive a person mad. People have always dealt with such issues differently. Some managed to abandon those feelings and continued with their lives while others succumbed to them as they were unable to overcome and/or control them. Those souls who “surrendered” often faced destruction or even death as they were unable to cope with changes and the pressures of living a life below their expectations…...
FeminismHuman NatureLonelinessMargaret AtwoodPsychologyThe Painted Door
“Reading Blind” by Margaret Atwood
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1. In her commentary “Reading Blind,” Margaret Atwood gives her opinions on factors that make a short story good. She writes that a good story has to have a voice that moves not only across pages but also through time. Most people are first introduced to stories at a young age by the “scandalous gossips” and “family secrets” that children overhear their mothers discussing in the kitchen, or the oral tales with “talking donkeys” and “definite endings” that their grandmother…...
LoveMargaret AtwoodRaymond CarverReadingShort StoryWriter
Happy Endings by Margaret Atwoods
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Every literature tries to make a specific point. A good writer always associates her opinion, ideas and thoughts in her or his masterpiece. Some produce literature are purely for entertainment stressing that life is funny and humorous, some include many ironies highlighting that life is complicated and hard to understand, some literature especially those classics are for the purpose of political movement portraying the kind of values and morality the society has, some are for the purpose of religion and…...
FictionLiteratureMargaret AtwoodWriter
How to Write a Eulogy?
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It is a quiet room filled with people. Most of them have smiles on their faces. Some of them are even about to have a laughter or two. Is it easy to find such a room in a university? Yes. But is it easy to find such a room where people are holding a funeral in? Absolutely no. The masterpiece-eulogy by Margaret Atwood made it possible. That is right, I am talking about “The Great Communicator”(1999), the eulogy to Northrop…...
CommunicationCommunication SkillsEffective CommunicationImportance Of CommunicationImproving Writing SkillsLaughter
Death by Landscape – Analysis
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Death by Landscape is a short story, written by Margaret Atwood in 1990. The Author is a Canadian novelist, poet and essayist as well as an environmental activist and feminist with many national and international awards for her writings and activities. She was born in Ottawa, Canada and started to write when she was six years old. At the age of 16 she already knew that she wants to become a professional writer. She grew up in the outback of…...
DeathMargaret Atwood
Speech Analysis: Margaret Atwood
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Atwood uses a personal anecdote of herself as a child, and then her daughter, which becomes an intriguing motif throughout her speech Atwood frequently adopts an ironic tone in order to appeal to both Logos and Pathos. She uses logic (Logos) to undermine logic (appealing to Pathos) and this can be shown in the paradoxical line ‘We con-artists do tell the truth’. Overall this paradoxical voice and polyvocal shift between the complexities of an academic argument to simple description of…...
AppealCommunicationLogicMargaret AtwoodRhetoric
The Little Red Hen Tells All
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The Little Red Hen Tells All by Margaret Atwood is a different take on the well-known children’s story The Little Red Hen. In Atwood’s version, the hen reveals her thoughts and feelings towards her work, her peers, and the roles expected from her by the society as she made th bread from a grain of wheat. The story uses metaphors of the how women are treated in a patriarchal society, specifically in the workplace. The first paragraph of the story…...
Margaret AtwoodSociologyWheat
Analysis of the Poem “Variations on the Word Love”
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The writer of the poem Margaret Atwood was born in November 18, 1939 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She is not only a poet, but also a novelist, a literary critic, an essayist and an environmental activist. And she is an excellent writer, a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias award for Literature. Her genres of writing include historical fiction, speculative fiction, science fiction, and dystopian fiction. The theme of the poem "Variations on the Word Love" by…...
Margaret AtwoodPoemsPoetry
Life and Margaret Atwood
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This quotation was taken from Margaret Atwood's story, "Homelanding." This story recounts many aspects of human existence from an outside view, as if it was being told to an alien race. This story tells about human appearance, sex (both difference and the act of), sunbathing, sleeping, death, and many other human functions in a scientific way. This story takes a step away from the normal way of describing these objects. For example, Margaret Atwood talks about eating and describes it…...
AlienLifeMargaret Atwood
Explication of a Poem Siren Song by Margaret Atwood
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Margaret Atwood's "Siren Song" is a lyric that consists of nine three-lined stanzas that neither possess any recognizable rhyme scheme nor rhythm. The speaker of this poem is a mythical creature, a Siren, who addresses us, the audience, when she speaks of the victims whom she lured through the enticing song she sings. The overall tone of this poem is sarcastic and quite sinister. The title itself immediately depicts the theme and speaker of the poem. The whole poem is…...
Margaret AtwoodPoemsSong
“Variations on the Word Sleep” By Margaret Atwood
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In Variations on the Word Sleep the narrator of the poem immediately addresses his/her conscience need to connect with the other person, and they also recognize the hopelessness of this goal: "I would like to watch you sleeping, which may not happen"(1-2). The opening to the poem, as we see here, could be considered typical of Atwood's writing in the sense that one person longs to bond with another, and recognizes the difficulty. It is this type of vulnerability that…...
ConsciousnessLoveMargaret AtwoodPoetrySleep
“Tricks With Mirrors” by Margaret Atwood
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In Part I of Tricks With Mirrors, Atwood uses a seemingly vague introduction to the subject matter, but gets straight to the point. Within five lines, she distinctly identifies her role as a mirror as she says, "I enter with you and become a mirror," (4-5). She gives the impression that she is merely an object in this relationship. She is a mirror through which her self-absorbed lover may view himself. "Mirrors are the perfect lovers," she states (6-7). They…...
Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood’s poem “The Interior Decorator”
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Use of extended metaphors, and symbols to represent internal feelings and states of being are techniques Margaret Atwood utilizes in her poem "The Interior Decorator." The poet attempts to describe an intrinsic struggle to hide and veil painful emotions through the art of interior decoration. It describes aspects of personality used to cover these feelings and the overall failure of it do so. When one examines the title "The Interior Decorator" one may think of a career which involves garnishing…...
InteriorInterior designLemonMargaret AtwoodPoems
“Basic Victim Positions” in The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy
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A victim could be described as a person cheated, injured, or even fooled by circumstances. Yet it seems that the idea of victimization has become a symbol of Canada for Canadian authors. Margaret Atwood explains in, "The Victim Theory," that in most instances of literature, the central theme is "bare survival in the face of 'hostile' elements"(Atwood, "The Victim Theory" 77) Hence, for the French Canadians after the English took over, "it became cultural survival, hanging on as people, retaining…...
Margaret AtwoodVictim
Margaret Atwood – Relationship between three of her poems
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Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet, novelist, and critic, noted for her feminism and mythological themes. She was born in 1939 in Ottawa, about the same time World War 2 started. Her life was lived in a time of male dominance, which she did not like. She expressed her views of this by writing, and her writings showed many of the feminine views that she believes in. According to a reviewer, Atwood's writings are obtained from the "traditional realist novel,"…...
Margaret AtwoodPoemsPoetryRelationship
The Narrator’s Abortion Started the Process of her Mental Transformation (Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing)
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Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing is a novel about a woman who seeks redemption because of having her baby aborted. Her name is never revealed what denotes a serious problem in her identity. She has lost all the human characteristics such as the ability to feel (Atwood 22), love (Atwood 36), dream (Atwood 37) or weep (Atwood 166). She has to go through both physical but mainly mental transformation to realize and find her real self; she has to move from denial…...
AbortionDivorceForgivenessMargaret Atwood
The Elegy for The Giant Tortises Poetry Analysis
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Symbolizing Giant Tortoises Most elegies are laments for somebody who has passed; however, Margaret Atwood creatively strays from the conventional ways of writing an elegy in, “The Elegy for The Giant Tortoises.” Atwood uses figurative language, such as, metaphors to reveal the theme: She also uses imagery. The theme of the poem is showing the reader how we honor the tortoises’ symbolic imagery, but not their physical existence. This reduces the tortoises to nothing but memories and taxidermy behind a…...
Margaret AtwoodPoetry
A Poem The Siren Song by Margaret Atwood
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The poem ‘Siren Song’ may be believed to indicate an alluring woman who has no morals. This could be alluded to, as the term ‘siren’ might be highlighting a feigning and insincere female trying to manipulate a man. On one hand, the poem could be interpreted as one, which subtly complains about women in general, as Atwood claims that the song ‘forces men to leap’. Through generalizing ‘men’, the poet naturally separates the two genders in order to convey that…...
CultureMargaret AtwoodPoemsPoetrySong
Metafiction and Happy Endings (Margaret Atwood)
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Metafiction A. Definition: The narrator of a metafictional work will call attention to the writing process itself. The reader is never to forget that what she is reading is constructed--not natural, not "real." She is never to get "lost" in the story. B. Possible Contents: intruding to comment on writing involving his or herself with fictional characters directly addressing the reader openly questioning how narrative assumptions and conventions transform and filter reality, trying to ultimately prove that no singular truths…...
Margaret Atwood
Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood
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'Happy Endings' is one of Margaret Atwood's most frequently-anthologized stories because it is so unusual. In form, it isn't so much a story as an instruction manual on how to write one. In content, it is a powerful observation on life. The story is broken up into six possible life scenarios plus some concluding remarks. In scenario A, John meets Mary and they have a perfect life, living together devotedly until they die. In scenario B, John sleeps with Mary,…...
LiteratureMargaret AtwoodWriter
Oryx & Crake Discussion Questions
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1.Oryx and Crake includes many details that seem futuristic, but are in fact already visible in our world. What parallels were you able to draw between the items in the world of the novel and those in your own? 2. Margaret Atwood coined many words and brand names while writing the novel. In what way has technology changed your vocabulary over the past five years? 3. The game "Extinctathon" emerges as a key component in the novel. Jimmy and Crake…...
GeneticsHumanInsuranceMargaret AtwoodOryx and CrakeScience
Teacher’s Guide to Oryx ; Crake
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Synopsis: 1. Oryx and Crake is a novel of human catastrophe and potential. At the center of the story is Snowman/Jimmy, who finds himself wearing nothing more than a bed sheet, sleeping in a tree, and facing starvation. The question is why? What events have caused Jimmy to become the Snowman and to find himself in such devastating circumstances? In a narrative that shifts in time, Atwood unravels Jimmy’s life before and after the moment we meet him, and in…...
Margaret AtwoodOryx and CrakeTeacher
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FAQ about Margaret Atwood

How far do you agree that Atwood has created not a real person but a mouthpiece for her ideas in the characterization of Offred?
...The past Atwood establishes for Offred and the narration Offred uses, provides her with a recognisable individuality. Although it is clear that there is a portrayal of Atwood's ideas throughout the novel, Offred's sole purpose is not for voicing thes...
How to Write a Eulogy?
...And the content was interesting enough, at the point where I just wanted to smile and yet not to laugh. Achieving this goal was quite a challenge for a eulogy. Nevertheless Atwood did it. The format of the article was not strictly according to usual ...

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