The Re-construction of Canadian National Identity in Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments

Document Type : Original Article


China,Beijing,University of Science and Technology, Beijing.


In Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, women are still the object of the male gaze, which is similar to the plot of its prequel The Handmaid’s Tale, but different from the prequel, the new book is more revelatory and subversive. It is not just meant to help women rebel against male power, but also points out the way for Canada, which was in the same situation with women, to get rid of its “colonial mentality” and construct national identity in the context of globalization. In the novel, Atwood connects the status of the three female protagonists with Canada’s national situation. She reviews how Canada set itself free from American hegemony to establish its national consciousness by writing the course in which female characters fight against the male oppression and reconstruct their identity. Atwood further predicts that, in the 21st century where the development of win-win cooperation has become a global theme, Canada can only construct a complete national identity through the unity of its “self” with its external “other”—the United States, so as to provide endless possibilities for future development.