Constructing a text world for The Handmaid’s Tale

Louise Nuttall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contributionpeer-review


This chapter explores the benefits of Cognitive Grammar (Langacker 1987, 1991, 2008) for analysis of the dynamic process of world-building during literary reading. Building on the account of this process offered by Text World Theory (Gavins 2007) concepts from Cognitive Grammar are applied to account for the readerly experience of Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale (1985). Through this analysis, the chapter offers an account of the disrupted conceptualisation of its dystopian world and the distinctive 'mind style' of its narrator in psychologically realistic terms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLinguistic Approaches to Literature
EditorsChloe Harrison, Louise Nuttall, Peter Stockwell, Wenjuan Yuan
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789027270566
ISBN (Print)9789027234049
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCognitive Grammar in Literature
ISSN (Print)1569-3112


Dive into the research topics of 'Constructing a text world for The Handmaid’s Tale'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this