Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin is a meta-fiction that is deliberately deceptive. Structured like nesting Russian dolls, it is a novel-within-a novel within another novel, blending three narratives interspersed with newspaper clippings, a letter, and society announcements. It uses these narratives to weave an interchangeable story, slowly making it become clearer over time, with the use of darkness imagery, interlaces allusions to myths, fairy tales, literature, and the Bible to explore the ways we all blindly “assassinate” in personal and political wars calling for sacrifice; making the story come to a whole at the end.
"Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." Thus the novel begins, as does the first-person narrative of Iris Chase, who is writing from the perspective granted by old age. She tells her own story and that of her younger sister Laura, and how from a young age any chance of simplicity was banished from their lives. First by circumstances, including world war and economic recession, and secondly, by the intrusion of ruthless, avariciously ambitious people into their world. Margaret used this story perspective especially as a template character to the other two perspectives. This was the first strand that she used to weave her stories together. It was done this way by the sure use of subtle hints and unlikely illusions within her dark imagery.
Included in Iris' memories, interspersed with the woeful tale of the Chase sisters is another sad story, that of "The Blind Assassin." in which the second narrative beings to take effect from Iris mind. It's about a man and a woman involved in a clandestine love affair, inevitably doomed of course, but their secret and passionate meetings are highlighted by the sci-fi fable he tells his lover every time they meet. This love affair creates a persona of the time period when Canada was snuffing out all of the union workers. The lady is only known as the women, but...
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