Genom våra ögon : En komparativ litteraturanalys av Margaret Atwoods The Handmaid’s Tale och Octavia E. Butlers Kindred, utifrån forskningsfältet kulturella minnesstudier

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Södertörns högskola/Litteraturvetenskap

Sammanfattning: This essay’s primarily focus is on the common discourse about the persisting effects of the past in the present in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale(1985)and Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred (1979).These novels are the testimonies of the protagonists Offred and Dana who shares their experience of traumatic violence and oppression. Dana, with her ability to time travel, will see her present time in clearer light as she experiences the life of a slave on an antebellum plantation. Offred, the Handmaiden owned by the totalitarian regime Gilead, portrays her contemporary life in parallel to remembering her former and thus describing Gilead’s increasing authority. Based on different theorists and concepts in the field of cultural memory studies, this essay examines the tension between memory and history, the distantness towards the past and the problematics with representations of traumatic events. As I argue that the voices of Dana and Offred calls attention to the importance of perspective and of sharing stories, they are also an act of hope, therapy and resistance; an act that also make possible a critique of the processes of the production of historical knowledge.

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