The Handmaid 's Tale : The Power Of Narrative Essay

893 Words Nov 14th, 2014 4 Pages
The Power of Narrative Narrative is the central element in storytelling. As existence is constructed through the narrating of stories, the ambiguous nature of narrative is a position of real power to interpret history. In Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, the author demonstrates the power of narrative through Offred’s resistance in a totalitarian regime that seeks to erase her individuality and, the loss of context when her tale is reconstructed by humanity. The author’s use and restriction of narrative in the Republic of Gilead demonstrates the attempt to establish existence through the documentation of stories in a society that limits individuality. In Gilead, it is evident that handmaids’ discourses are silenced by the limitations of language:
“Blessed be the fruit”…
“May the Lord open”…
“Praise be”…
“We’ve been sent good weather”…
“Which I receive with joy”… (Atwood 24)
The handmaids are only admitted to speak in the phrases appointed by the law. The restriction of language dehumanizes them of the ability to express and convey their thoughts to others. The limitation to speak, write and express inner thoughts strips them of their individuality. The purpose behind Gilead’s restriction is to create and condition an ideal society by gradually taking control over their body, mind and, soul. As a result, Offred recognizes the importance of defining her existence within the society through the telling, retelling and recreation of experiences: “‘I compose…

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