Question #2 Week Five: Sections X – XII: Pages 489 – 576
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Atwood has said that the form of The Blind Assassin was influenced by early twentieth-century collages, in which newspaper excerpts were glued onto canvas and then painted around and over--thus framing two ways of representing reality, each of which contradicted the other but also complemented it. How many "kinds" of writing are in The Blind Assassin, washroom graffiti included? What purpose does each form of writing serve?
There are news reports to give the info that the public sees. There are letters and telegrams to send important info which Iris never sees. There is the Bible which is cut out to fit Laura's view of God. There are the photos which are doctored by Laura to show how she perceives things. There is the story to show how the lovers react to each other and how they feel towards each other. The graffiti is for Iris to see the world and Laura. There is the book which is published by Iris to help her recall the past. There are the notebooks which Alex Cross wrote in while he was in the attic that give a window into his creativity. There are neon signs to show the kinds of places that the woman and lover meet in. There are the notes written by Laura as if by Iris to excuse her from school which show that she cannot adapt to her new life.
I thought the "story within the story" was just as telling about the "main" character as the actual story. It became clear to me about halfway through that the woman narrating the sci-fi story was either Laura or Iris. I went back and forth for a while until I was pretty sure. In the end, that writing was just as autobiographical than Iris' writings at the end of her life.
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