In Margaret Attwood's Cat's Eye, how do Elaine's paintings reflect her childhood trauma? What do they symbolize? 

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The retrospective of Elaine's works in the art gallery is organized chronologically. Her last five paintings are larger than the earlier ones, reflecting the most important and influential events of her life. They are of her parents, her brother, the three people who showed her kindness during her childhood, a self-portrait of her as an adult and a child, and her near-death experience as a child. The titles of her paintings are also the titles of some of the chapters, establishing the connection between her art and her life. Elaine doesn't consciously remember the near-death experience she had in the ravine, but her last painting reflects it. The retrospective of her art is partly Elaine's attempt to achieve a sense of self and to let go of her past.

I have found several websites that will help you analyze Elaine's paintings. The analysis of her paintings begins on page 41 of the "wac." website.

Let me know if you have further questions. Good luck!