Margaret Atwood Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

Margaret Atwood Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

For Margaret Atwood, an unabashed Canadian, literature became a means to cultural and personal self-awareness. “To know ourselves,” she writes in Survival, “we must know our own literature; to know ourselves accurately, we need to know it as part of literature as a whole.” Thus, when she defines Canadian literary concerns she relates her own as well, for Atwood’s fiction grows out of this tradition. In her opinion, Canada’s central reality is the act of survival: Canadian life and culture are decisively shaped by the demands of a harsh environment. Closely related to this defining act of survival, in Atwood’s view, is the Canadian search for territorial identity—or, as literary theorist Northrop Frye put...

(The entire section is 5430 words.)