In the novel Cat's Eye, by Margaret Atwood, how does Elaine struggle to free herself from the power of others and gain this control?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Elaine unconsciously uses art to help her deal with issues she faced when growing up. Her paintings have aspects of her young life. This comes out clearly in the painting of her near death experience that she was put through by her supposed friends although she is unable to vividly remember or form a clear connection. Her memories of bullying by Cordelia come back when she comes across her cat's-eye marble that she clutched whenever she was bullied.

She gets an opportunity to travel to where she grew up. She embarks on a tour and visits the ravine where she had the the worst experience of her young life. It is at that moment that she clearly understands Cordelia's weakness and inadequacies as the cause of her cruelty towards her.  This gives her closure and the ability to continue trying to improve her self-esteem and move on with her life.