Margaret Eleanor Atwood was born into a family that encouraged inquiry and discovery. An important stimulus to her intellectual curiosity was certainly the family’s yearly sojourns in the remote bush of northern Ontario and Quebec, where Atwood’s father, an entomologist, carried out much of his study and research. It is likely that this environment shaped Atwood’s ironic vision and her imagery. Atwood’s writing, especially her poetry and her second novel, Surfacing, are permeated with her intimate knowledge of natural history and with her perception of the casual brutality with which the weak are sacrificed for the survival of the strong.
Studying between 1957 and 1961 for her undergraduate degree in...
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