Handmaids Tale Timeline Presentation NotesPresentation Transcript
Gilead Memorial Center Exhibition: The Handmaid’s Tale
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“ The Anne Frank of our generation”
-The Printing Review
“ A harrowing account”
-The New York Times
“ Atwood has done a tremendous job piecing together the tapes”
THE HANDMAID’S TALE Pieced together by Margaret Atwood
A Timeline Of Gilead 2200 1950 2000 2050 2100 2150 2195 Lecture 2196 Opening Of Gilead Memorial Center 1990s Gilead Regime Mid 2050s Gilead Regime Comes To An End Estimation Offred’s Location/ Gilead Times Estimation Offred’s life before Gilead Mid 1990s President’s Day Massacre
Timeline Of Offred ? 1960s/70s 2020s President’s Day Massacre Offred Loses Job Book Burning Gilead Escape Escape To Canada Life In Gilead
What Is The Narrative Structure Of The Handmaid’s Tale? (1)
The Handmaid’s tale is a first person account of life during the Gileadean Regime
These are based on tapes which have been found
We have had to go through extreme measures in order to listen to these tapes
A fellow colleague, Margaret Atwood began to question the sequencing of these tapes, and decided to put the journal into what she perceived was the correct structure.
Chapter Section Layout Of The Published Version
There is repetition within the structure
Atwood has been unavailable to contact about the significance of the names of each chapter
“ Night” is a reprised idea within the chapters
“ The night is mine, my own time to do with as I will, as long as I am quiet . As long as I don’t move”
“ As Long As I Am Quiet” could refer to the fact that she could potentially tape without getting caught.
She can record whatever she wants, and records her reflections.
Chapters without the name “Night” refer to the events that happen during the day; although there is an occasional reflection in context with the content.
What Is The Narrative Structure Of The Handmaid’s Tale? (2)
There is no punctuation within the text.
No ‘’ or “” between phrases of dialogue
Naturally runs as a sentence or passage of thought.
Streams of thought don’t require punctuation, rather then what is on the persona’s mind
Why have we ordered the tapes in this manner?
We have merely restructured the tapes to be of the most coherent order, and provide a human perspective
By attempting to restructure the ideas and flashbacks within the tapes, we were convinced that we could make these ideas clearer
However, after an extensive attempt
It was simply incoherent
What Is The Narrative Structure Of The Handmaid’s Tale? (3)
Attempts were also made to restructure the entire novel
Flashbacks and events were restructured into an almost timeline-esque structure
This proved to be innefective
The profound effect of the novel disappeared in the process
The flashbacks are powerful because of where they are placed
Contrasts are created
The darkness of the gilead regime
The bright and hopeful future which seemed to be looking in Offred and Luke’s favor
The literary devices used throughout The Handmaid’s Tale are simply inseparable from the original context
Altering the structure removes its’ resonance
Journal Analysis 1
“ We were the people who were not in the papers 1 . We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print 2 . It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories. 3 ”
1 “Not in the papers” could refer to the fact that Offred understands that her story may never be told, and will be forgotten in the course of history. The “Papers” could be denoted by newspapers, significant documents, government report, documents, essays, seminars (Oxford American Dictionary)
2 The “gaps” refer to the omission of the human aspects of the Gileadean Regime, rather than the numerical statistics.
3 The “edges of print” creates imagery as well as metaphors to literature. The “edges of print” alludes to the phrase “off the record”, as it represents an ignored point in history.
Journal Analysis 2
But even if I were to ask, even if I were to violate decorum to that extent, Rita would not allow it. She would be too afraid. The Marthas are not supposed to fraternize with us.
Fraternize 1 means to behave like a brother. Luke told me that. 2
1 fraternity |frəˈtərnətē|noun ( pl. -ties)1 [treated as sing. or pl. ] a group of people sharing a common profession or interests : members of the hunting fraternity.• a male students' society in a university or college.• a religious or masonic society or guild. 2 the state or feeling of friendship and mutual support within a group : the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
sorority |səˈrôritē; -ˈrä-|noun ( pl. -ties)a society for female students in a university or college, typically for social purposes.
2. Offred told not to show “friendship, mutual support,” or think of “liberty and equality” A sorority is a statement, while a Fraternity is a way of thinking.
2 “Luke Told Me That” is the point where the persona flashes back. These flashbacks in contrast to the intended conversations where female rights are demeanded leads to a flashback to a time when hope seemed to be looking in Offred’s favor.
Journal Analysis 3
Whether this is my end or a new beginning 1 I have no way of knowing: I have given myself over into the hands of strangers, because it can't be helped.
And so I step up, into the darkness within 2 ; or else the light.
1 Allusions to narrative structures of novels, except this time in terms of the fate of the persona. Will the story retell itself, or come to a close?
2 “Darkness Within” Biblical imagery.
Attempts to restructure the tapes failed
Flashbacks hold relevance to the particular chapter
Reordering it turns it from an account into a timeline
Lack Of Coherency
A lack of specificity of dates made rendering a timeline extremely difficult.
By tampering and experimenting with accounts, we remove the author’s intended vision
It demeans its’ intention
We can only understand documents through deciphering, not simplifying
An artistic interpretation of the Gileadean Regime.