Comparitive commentary on an extract from Oryx and Carkeby Maragaret Atwood and Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet by Margaret atwood ( from The Guardian, 26 September 2009)
Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet by Magaret Atwwod is a mini science fiction from the Gaurdian, written on 26 Septemer 2009. It talks about the general changes in Human oriented world over a period of time. Oryx and Crake is a novel, also written by Magaret Atwood in 2004.
The narrative voice describes how the story is conveyed (for example, by “viewing” a character’s thought processes, by reading a letter written for someone, by a retelling of a character’s experiences, etc.). All narratives have in common, however, that they use some form of narrator. In the short story, it is first person narrative as the narrative uses first person pronoun to tell the story and it means that the person has undergone or still undergoing the cicumstances described in the story (but as this is a science fiction, the narrative is not a charcter or part of the story). For example: The narrator always uses we, our , etc.
The narrator of the story is telling the story on behalf of all the human as the story is about changes in the world due to human being. The narrator uses personal pronoun so that the reader can easily relate to the story. And also the story mostly focuses on the destruction of natural resources by human being. The first person narrative is as a way to directly convey the deeply internal, otherwise unspoken thoughts of the author.
The narrative describes the story in past tense which tells us that everything has already been occurred. We also learn the narrator’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions to events. For eample:- It created greed and hunger…(line 22). In this example, the narrator is expressing his/her feeling about money. The narrator is using the the things of daily use ( for example mony, metal and wood etc.) to bring accross the message.
While in the extract from the Oryx and Crake, third person narrative voice is used by Magaret Atwood as the narrative is not any chararctor within the story. And also the in the story, each and every character is referred to by the narrator as “he”, “she”, “it”, or “they”, but never as “I” or “we” (first-person), or “you” (second-person). For example: when talkng about the state of Snowman’s mind the narrator has laways used ‘he’. The focal point, Snowman’s thoughts are revealed throught the narrator.
In the extratct, the naarator is not omniscient but limited, as it does not have access to the minds of all characters (for example:- the narrative does not describe how Crakers are feeling) but only to Snowman’s mind. In this the reader is limited to the thoughts of only one character. This gives us idea that Magaret Atwood might have used third person limited narrative in order to make the reader focus only on Snowman’s thoughts.
In the extract, Snowman’s, who is the protagonist, perspective is expressed as the extract talks about how he sees the situation and how he deals with the situations. For example:- “He was worried about contagion- could the Crakers get this thing, or was their material too different?” (line 19 and 20). In this example, the narrator tells what Snowman was thinking ( or his perpective) about when they saw a wounded man. While in the short story, Modern man’s perspective, who knows about the problems created by money and destruction of nature, etc; is expressed as the story is a science fiction and talks about how we as human beings have destroyed the environment. For instance:- It (money) begins to eat. (line 23). This tells that he thinks that money destroyed everything. Magaret Atwood has used this short story to bring accross a message which effects today’s man.