“Homelanding” by Margaret Atwood is a science fiction story. The elements of science fiction are revealed when we read the story and find that someone is narrating a life experience on earth to someone from another planet, probably to an alien. Since there is no life that has been discovered on another planet, and then the story is a science in fiction. It is an introduction to a science hypothesis and not fantasy. Atwood dissected daily human life, describing the physical structure and appearance of human beings. He says, “On the top of my head, but not on the front, there is an odd growth, like a species of seaweed.” The author was making a comparison of humans on earth to other organisms, the seaweed. Atwood went on to describe the distinction between men (prong) and women (cavern). This was followed by the description of the earth’s seasons, winter, summer, fall and spring, and all the physical changes that are occurring on earth as the seasons change. The author went on to describe dead and the celebrations that accompany it. She ends her story by saying that if taken to another planet, alien planet, she would not wish to meet their leaders but to attend to their daily life experience.
Structure of the story
Setting- The setting of this story is on earth. However, the author referred it as a country. All the occurrences in the story are wholly related to the earth. The experience of human beings and the climate changes are well described in the story. We see human beings, male and females interacting and the seasons changing from winter to summer. The revelation of the setting of this story helps us in knowing the earth better.
Characters- The characters in this story are the aliens and the persona. The persona is giving the earth’s experience to the aliens. However, the aliens never talk in this story. They do not give their story as to how life is on their planet; the persona only wishes to visit the aliens in their planet just to experience life there and not to see the leaders of that planet.
Power and control-The theme of power and control are evident when the author says that she would like to visit the alien’s planets not to see their leaders but to experience life there. With that, the author recognizes the existence of power in both earth and alien planet.
Beauty and nature-The theme of beauty and nature are evident in the story when the author describes the beauty of the sunset. Natural occurrences in the text include death where the writer says that none will escape it.
Gender -The theme of gender comes out clearly when the narrator gives a physical description of what differentiates men and women. The author says that men consider themselves more superior than women. The author also explains how men and women relate.
Importance of this structure
The author used the above structure so as to achieve her intended purpose of giving a full description of life experience on earth. This is to say the story was writing to depict the above setting, themes, and characters so as to ensure that the life experience on earth is well articulated in just a short piece of work.
Styles of writing
The first person experience-The author of the Homelanding short story uses the first person experience to narrate the story. Right from the beginning all through to the end, she uses the style of narration where all the episodes in the story depict her experience as an inhabitant of the earth. While making her narration, it is not until she talks about death when the reality of where the story is experienced comes out clearly. Moreover, all through the story, we are made to believe that the writer is narrating what she experienced since she used the first person pronoun. However, she placed herself in the shoe of the persona, who interacted with the aliens.
Fiction-The story was presented in a manner to suggest that the narrator was addressing aliens. In reality, the existence of planets supporting life is just but speculations and a dream of scientists. As a style of writing, the author used fiction to pass real life experiences. The story talks about things that are minor and things that are seen in everyday life to make the aliens understand much about the planet earth. The story was written in the early 90s and science had not developed yet. Thus the fiction in the story was science fiction which was meant to supplement real science that looks unreal at that time.
Assumptions -Assumptions as a stylistic device were made in several instances in this story. The narrator explained the life experience to the alien using a language which the aliens could not understand. The use of the word country, seaweed, communities, arms, and feathers among others was a big assumption in the sense that the aliens were new on earth and they had never known this before.
Vivid description-Vivid descriptions were used by the narrator in several instances. She says, there is an odd growth like a species of seaweed.”
Why the story was written this way
Authors use varying stylistic devices to develop their stories and make them as interesting as possible. There is no stylistic device used by a writer without reason. The use of the first person experience was to make the story look real. Here, the use of fiction was actualized. A story looks much real when a first person experience is used since the whole experience would be reported just as they happened. This would help capture the attention of the readers, and they would not get bored reading it. The story would look like a real narration.
Moreover, a lot of fiction combined with assumptions has been used in this narration. Fiction used in this narration includes the interaction with aliens. The story dates back to early 1990s and talking about aliens from another planet was a total. Thus, the story is a science fiction which was meant to show appreciation to the efforts of science to discoveries beyond the planet earth. Also, the use of vivid description has been employed by the author to make the story interesting and memorable.
In conclusion, Margaret Atwood did a commendable work in writing the story of Homalanding. It is worth noting that her story was meant to remind us of the little elements that make life full of surprises and meanings. Her work provided a way of looking at the normal life routines and customs in another perspective. By reading this story, the readers can have a better view and reflection of their lives. Thus she did a commendable job.