Atwood chose not to follow a strictly chronological pattern in the telling of Offred's story. Why do you think she did so? What does it add and what are its disadvantages?
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Chronological order can add a way of building suspense to the climax of a story. However, by not going in chronological order the character has the opportunity to think in retrospect and have more intelligent reflections about what has happened in the past. Retrospect can offer insight. Also, by changing the order, one can often build up to mini climaxes and then move the readers' emotions to a higher level in an up and down order.