Style of writing
The short story “Time capsule found on the dead planet” by Margaret Atwood takes the form of a parable, which is a tale that contains a moral lesson or a warning. Generally, parables are associated with the Bible, where Jesus uses them to teach his disciples lessons about God, spirituality, and morality. The short story maintains this connection with religion as it ends with a request for future civilizations to pray for humanity’s mistakes.
The enumerations used in the story help organize the text, while also allowing readers to focus on the planet’s development throughout the ages. In some cases, enumerations give the story a sense of doom, as it presents the destruction of the natural world: “It ate whole forests, croplands and the lives of children. It ate armies, ships and cities. No one could stop it.”
Repetition, on the one hand, helps readers look at the evolution of the planet historically and chronologically: “In the first age (…) In the second age (…) In the third age (…) In the fourth age…” On the other hand, repetition helps create analogies between different ages. For example, wood is a sacred element in the first age but is completely gone by the thir...