In her paper "His/tory and Its Vicissitudes in Álvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies and Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale" Luz Angélica Kirschner argues that in Julia Álvarez's In the Time of the Bautterflies and in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, although with certain limitations and differences in their approaches, in a complementary way, their texts exemplify, as Joan Wallace Scott suggested, the need to consider gender "a useful category of historical analysis" to overturn the monological and well-organized version of official history that, in the process of history writing, has tended to obliterate "insignificant" narratives and voices. At the same time, Kirschner shows that these authors problematize existing historical paradigms, practices, and assumptions not in order to set another type of myth or monologue in its place, but rather, to create a space of indeterminacy that allows the negotiation of human history. Kirschner proposes that Atwood and Álvarez create in/with their texts an open space where it is not enough to recover the female subject and render her visible in history, but where it is imperative to critically analyze the specificity of women's experiences and to interpret them in more complex and multiple-layered ways.
Kirschner, Luz Angélica.
"His/tory and Its Vicissitudes in Álvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies and Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This text has been double-blind peer reviewed by 2+1 experts in the field.
The above text, published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University, has been downloaded 2493 times as of 03/02/15. Note: the download counts of the journal's material are since Issue 9.1 (March 2007), since the journal's format in pdf (instead of in html 1999-2007).
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture is published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University in open access. Please support the journal: Click here for more information and to make your donation online.