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Art and temporality in Margaret Atwood's surfacing Cat's eye and The handmaid's tale

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dc.contributor.author Van Vuren D en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T09:55:50Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T09:55:50Z
dc.date.created 1991 en
dc.date.submitted 1992 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/66101
dc.description.abstract Examines Margaret Atwood's exploration of the influence of the past upon the present and of the role of both the present and the past in determining the future. For Atwood, time becomes the monitor of a personal as well as a historical reality. In an attempt to find a meaningful personal existence, the protagonist of "Surfacing" delves into man's collective primeval past. "Cat's Eye" deals primarily with the protagonist's personal vision of late twentieth-century time, but temporal patterns from her past become interwoven with her present. Her past and present experiences, in turn, determine her future. "The Handmaid's Tale" is essentially a dystopian futurist novel, warning against extreme trends in the present which could become exaggerated to nightmarish proportions in the future. Atwood's use of imagery, particularly that relating to artistic creation, affords her work a certain graphic or visual quality. This pictorial quality needs to be examined, for Atwood is very aware of the limitations of language and her writing strives to create patterns of imagery that transcend the limitations of verbal communication. In all three novels art is the medium by which the protagonists attempt to isolate moments of time in order to gain a clearer vision of personal and historical reality. The three novels, "Surfacing". "Cat's Eye" and "The Handmaid's Tale", which can be seen as representing the past, the present and the future respectively, can be regarded as Atwood's artistic attempt to impose order upon the fragmentary nature of existence. The original aspect of this dissertation is found in the detailed exploration of "Cat's Eye" and in the discussion of Atwood's imagery pertaining to the role of art within time in three of her novels. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject English literature en
dc.subject Prose literature and fiction en
dc.title Art and temporality in Margaret Atwood's surfacing Cat's eye and The handmaid's tale en
dc.type Masters degree en
dc.description.degree MA en


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