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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 206

To what extent is Elaine Risley a feminist? How is she also critical of feminism? Do some research on the topic of feminism to support your conclusions.

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Problems in adult life are often explained by reference to a difficult family environment or social conditions such as poverty. Atwood suggests that the cruelties small children inflict on each other may be an equal cause of adult dysfunction. Find cases that support each theory and report on how prevalent each is.

When Risley is asked to draw what she does after school, her drawing reveals her troubled state of mind. (It shows her lying in bed and is almost entirely colored black). If you were given a similar assignment, what would the drawing look like and how might it reflect your own mental condition or mood?

How are boys' relationships with each other described in the novel, and how do they differ from the relationships between girls? Are boys less cruel to each other than girls are, or are they cruel in different ways? Use examples from the novel to support your claims.

How does Risley's upbringing and family background differ from those of her friends Grace and Cordelia? How do the roles played by their parents differ?

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