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Territories, boundaries, identities: 'The Handmaid's Tale'

Bignell, J. (1998) Territories, boundaries, identities: 'The Handmaid's Tale'. In: Howells, C. A. and Vevaina, C. (eds.) Margaret Atwood The Shape Shifter. Creative New Literatures. Indian Association for Canadian Studies, and Creative Books, New Delhi, pp. 9-25. ISBN 9788186318515

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Abstract/Summary

This chapter is a detailed analysis of Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid’s Tale, arguing that it problematizes identities by representing them in spatial terms. National identity, gender identity, and the identity of a particular temporal moment, are each represented by discourses about space and territory, insides, outsides, and the borders which mark off one identity from another. But in The Handmaid’s Tale the border between one identity and its other becomes a site of contamination, confusion and instability. The effect of these border disputes is to deconstruct the wholeness and self-sufficiency of identities.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:No
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:71207
Uncontrolled Keywords:Attwood, Margaret Atwood, Handmaid's Tale, Dystopia, Canadian Literature, Feminism
Additional Information:This chapter was originally published as Bignell, J., Territories, boundaries, identities, in C. Howells and C. Vevaina (eds), Margaret Atwood The Shape-Shifter (Creative New Literatures series) (New Delhi: Indian Association for Canadian Studies & Creative Books, 1998), pp. 9-25. That book is now out of print so rights have reverted to me as author of the work.
Publisher:Indian Association for Canadian Studies, and Creative Books

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