Last Updated 15 Feb 2021

Margret Atwood

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An honored Canadian writer who is globally recognized as a feminist and a role model for developing writers, you may ask who this person is; she is no other Margaret Eleanor Atwood herself. Margaret Eleanor Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario Canada on the day of November 18, 1939. Atwood was the middle child of her mother and father: Margaret Eleanor Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario Canada on the day of November 18, 1939.

Atwood was the middle child of her mother and father: Margaret Dorothy (a former dietitian and nutritionist) and Carl Edmund Atwood (an entomologist). When Margaret Atwood was young “she became a reader of various literatures such as Dell pocketbook mysteries, Grimm’s fairy tales, Canadian animal stories and comic books” (Cooke, N. ). “Margaret realized she wanted to write professionally at the age of 16. Margaret Atwood is known for reinventing herself over the course of her career” (Tyler, Anne).

She has written speculative fiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction and science fiction, she is also known for using science as an important theme in her books because of her father being a scientist. The three major short stories that where chosen from Margaret Atwood are “Polarities”, “Training” and “Rape Fantasies”. These short stories were chosen because of her narrative style and the fact that the entire plots appear to be balance.

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What the critics have said about these three major short stories are: “In Atwood’s story “Polarities”, to read Atwood’s description of insanity by social definition and of psychic iconoclasm in “Polarities” and surfacing in conjunction with contemporary works which analyze the social construction of reality is to realize that what Atwood calls ‘mythologizing’ is usually a conscious or unconscious enforcement of the sexual “polarities” inherent in the myths of romantic love, nuclear marriage, the machismo male, and the ‘feminine’ woman.

As an intelligent women and a poet, Atwood indicates that we must somehow escape from this alienating cultural definition of personality and human relations” (Gloria Onley, pg. 21). The critique talks about Margaret Atwood’s choice of gender roles in “Polarities” and how certain characters unlike each other communicate with each other, show love towards each other and complemented each other's differences. “In the short story “Training” does not have a unifying theme but it does have a pervasive mood- rather like watching an early Antonioni film, set in Canada.

The strong character are not as beautiful as Monica Vitti but equally neurasthenic. The men are burnt-out cases of a corrupt and obsolete patriarchal civilization. Atwood’s hallmark as a prose writer, for the style of writing itself contains few surprises; it is a self-effacing style, with deadpan delivery: what matters is the accumulation of details, line by line, until a picture of complex irony is achieved” (John Hofsess, pg. 27). John Hofsess a Canadian critic and filmmaker, comments on Atwoods narrative style in “training”.

The short story “Rape fantasies” is one of Atwood’s most consistently humorous pieces. Atwood offers moving, indeed profound, insights into human nature and the problems of human relationships, without over-burdening the story form. The most significant aspect of the story is the gradual revelation of the personality of first person speaker as though and sardonic, yet lonely and vulnerable. The story is set in a cocktail lounge where the narrator is discussing her office friend’s interest in rape fantasies with a new male acquaintance.

As she talks, she slowly drops her caustic tone to relate her own rape fantasies and, through these, much of her philosophy of life. ” (Sherrill Grace, pg 154). Sherrill Grace is also a Canadian critic and educator; she talks about how “Rape fantasies” is one of Atwood’s best short stories, how the story has so much to offer any discussion surrounding power, sex and violence. In conclusion, Margaret Atwood a Canadian writer whose short stories are known around the world for the quality of work she shows in her short stories.

She has published various amount of work in different categories in writing such as poems and novels. Atwood is also known for drawing attention to other Canadian writers from around the world and was one of the most influenced writers from her time of Canadian writers. Atwood is also known for accepting the fact that she is a Canadian author who embraces the importance of being Canadian and being one of forefront’s as a Canadian writer.

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