Margaret Atwood American Literature Analysis
Atwood is known as the “Octopus” and as a “Medusa” by critics for her wit and her biting sense of humor. She is concerned with the creation and function of art as well as its importance in both the political and social worlds. For Atwood, art is an issue of morality; her writing provides a way to look at the world critically, to witness the world’s shortcomings, and to offer solutions for redemption. Atwood believes that, ultimately, art must function as an agent of truth and that the artist should provide both knowledge and confrontation.
Often, Atwood teaches through negative example in her work. Many of her protagonists do not appear heroic at the start of her novels. Also, her narrators are usually not reliable, and they may even be mentally unstable. They are often fragmented and isolated from others and from their settings; they have mixed feelings about their pasts and about their connections to their homeland, Canada.
Thematically, Atwood explores the contradictions behind Canada as a nation and the identity of those who consider themselves Canadians. She has argued that Canadians have always felt victimized. This victimization is a result of the merciless nature that Canadians encountered when they first settled in the country’s vast wilderness and of the colonialist forces that overpowered their political and cultural trends. Through her work, Atwood hopes to encourage Canadian writers and readers to create a more...
(The entire section is 4476 words.)
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