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For the rhetorical analysis, you will organize an essay that explores at least three (but
certainly more if you’d like) rhetorical devices that Margaret Atwood uses in The Handmaid’s
Tale.
Your goal is to discuss, with text evidence, whether or not Atwood successfully handles
such devices. For instance, you might write something like:
One rhetorical device Atwood uses throughout the novel is tone. The narrator, Offred, often
sounds detached and removed from her current experience. For example, in chapter 31, she says, “Every
night when I go to bed I think, In the morning I will wake up in my own house and things will be back the
way they were. It hasn’t happened this morning either.” While this tone might initially seem as though
Offred is not terribly fazed by her fate, this is not the case at all. We know by her actions and small
rebellions that she is ruled by the idea of survival. Her passive tone is something Atwood uses to show the
reader that, while Offred may seem docile, she has an iron will and is committed to survival.
You may also use outside texts/scholarly articles, but remember to cite your sources and
include a Works Cited page if you go that route. If you use other sources, feel free to agree with
or disprove the authors of those articles. You are also permitted to write solely from your own
point of view. Full rubric follows.
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