Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 3 March 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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M. S. Thirumalai


Association of Self Fashioning and Circumstances in Margaret Atwood's
The Blind Assassin

S. Joy Isabella, M.A., M.Phil.
J. Sundar Singh, Ph.D.


In this paper, the association between style of dressing and the natural circumstances in The Blind Assassin is described. Many novelists consider clothes as constructive performance to narrate a particular incidence or circumstance. In Atwood's The Blind Assassin, one can see the association between the variety of clothes and the circumstances of the character.

This novel is a type of Novella. It can be treated as Science Fiction. The technique is post-modern and the theme is search for self assertiveness. The association of different types of attribute with that of self fashion is clearly established in this article.

Major Characters:
Laura Chase, Iris Chase, Richard Griffen, Alex Thomas, Reenie.


Iris the narrator's grandparents Benjamin Chase and Adelia had three sons. They are Norval, Eddie and Perci. Eddie and Perci went on expedition to South America in search of gold. Norval Chase helped his father in running the button factory, at Port Ticonderoga.

The marital relationship between Benjamin and Adelia is so beautifully described by Atwood. Adelia married money and she was expected to refine the money like oil. They lived in Avilion which was christened by Adelia. She died in 1913 due to cancer. After the demise of Benjamin Chase, Norval Chase reestablished the button factory.

The major characters of the novel is sketched and shown in figure 1 by the authors. Norval Chase and his wife Liliana have two daughters namely Iris and Laura. Liliana loved Laura more than Iris. The death of Liliana when Iris was 9 years old made her to take up the responsibilities which include taking care of Laura.

Begins with a Tragic Incident: Interpreting the Context

The novel is introduced with the tragic incident, the death of Laura Chase. She killed herself when she drives a car over an embankment. However the car belongs to her sister Iris. It catches fire and she is killed immediately. People suspect the death of Laura as suicidal. Laura was wearing white gloves on her hands. It symbolically tells that she is very much careful while driving and her forthcoming death.

Since she is wearing the gloves, it could be predicted that she likes warmth during her travel. She had a pinned chignon, a shirtwaist with tide collar and the dress is neat with sober colour during the crash. She is always serious and likely to attract the attention of others. The entire story centers on Laura, her relationships and her eccentricities. According to Iris, the white gloves denote the gesture. "The white gloves: a Pontius Pilate gesture". She was washing her hands of me and all of us.

White gloves are being associated with death and departure.

Hat and Veil

At this instance, Iris would need gloves and a hat with a veil to cover her eyes because to avoid the press reporters interview. The circumstances reveal that a hat with a veil protects a person from embarrassing situation. Then she enters into her dressing room to wear black dress and a hand-kerchief. This shows that there is traditional attire during mourning. The Button factory was flourishing and the Button factory picnic introduces a new character, Alex Thomas, who is an orphan. His parents died in the war, he was brought up by Presbyterians. He has no family ties. The incident clearly pictures that when a man died because of war, he is not being taken care by the Government Agencies. Alex Thomas was sent to an Orphanage in those days.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

The Linguistics of Newspaper Advertising in Nigeria | Women in Advertisements | Case-Assignment Under Government in Modern Literary Arabic | Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Very Young Learners: A Case from Turkey | Association of Self Fashioning and Circumstances in Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin | A Moral Lesson, Amoral Lesion - Sharon Pollock's The Komagata Maru Incident | Pariksha: Test by Prem Chand | Treatment of City in Nayantara Sahgal's Storm in Chandigarh | Phrasal Stress in Telugu | Stress Among ELT Teachers: A Study of Performance Evaluation from a Private Secondary School in Haryana | Willa Cather’s Portrayal of the Pioneer Virtues in Alexandra Bergson with Reference to O Pioneers! | Man-Woman Relationship in Nayantara Sahgal's Mistaken Identity | Classroom Management and Quality Control - An Action Research | Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha - A Dualist Spiritual Journey | Impact of Dramatics on Composition Skills of Secondary School English Language Learners in Pakistan | Narrative Technique, Language and Style in R. K. Narayan's Works | Diasporic Crisis of Dual Identity in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake | To Teach or Not to Teach Grammar isn't the Question Any Longer - A Case for Consciousness-Raising Tasks | Cognitive Flexibility in Children with Learning Disability | Coda Deletion in Yemeni Tihami Dialect (YTD)- Autosegmental Analysis | The Enigmatic Maya in Anita Desai's
Cry, The Peacock
| Developing an English Curriculum for a Premedical Program | The Ties of Kinship in Rohinton Mistry's Novels | Indian English: A Linguistic Reality | The Unpredictability of the Sonority of English Words | Women's Representation in Polity: A Need to Enhance Their Participation | Nandhini Oza's Concern for the Tribal Welfare in "The Dam Shall Not Be Built" | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF MARCH 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of March 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

S. Joy Isabella, M.A., M.Phil.
Department of English
C.S.I. Bishop Appasamy College of Arts and Science
Tamilnadu, India

J. Sundar Singh, Ph.D.
Department of English
Karunya University
Tamilnadu, India

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