Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis examines Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale with the purpose of showing that her combination of carnivalesque and postmodern writing enhances the reader's understanding of the social bonds between people of unequal power (authority). The use of the narrator/icon that relates to an oral culture and the juxtaposition of various scenarios in which women participate highlight the sources of power that particularly affect women.
The introduction establishes the tale as a fantasy whose grotesque realism is rooted in medieval carnival. Chapter I describes the literary devices of carnival as they apply to The Handmaid's Tale. Chapter II focuses on the polyphonic narrator/icon and the chanson de geste form of the tale. Chapter II part (b) discusses the postmodern technique which allows inclusion of the historical material that relates past and present.
Paget, Elsie Merle, "The Handmaid's Tale: Margaret Atwood's Use of Carnival and the Postmodern" (1990). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6041.
McMaster University Library