Intertwined Themes of Margaret Atwood's Dancing Girls Essay

Intertwined Themes of Margaret Atwood's Dancing Girls Essay

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The Intertwined Themes of Margaret Atwood's Dancing Girls    

Dancing Girls is a collection of Margaret Atwood's short stories. Each story captures a different aspect of society, different people of different ages, culture and status, with different attitudes, emotions and behavior; all in different locations and life circumstances. Yet there are many connections between the stories and these links are primarily found in Atwood's portrayal of women. As Atwood says:

By and large my novel's center on women...None of them are about miners in the mines, seamen on the sea, convicts in the jail, the boys in the backroom, the locker rooms at the football game…How come? Well, gee, I don't know! Maybe because I am a woman and therefore I find it easier to write as one.
Each story focuses on a different female character and explores her thoughts and her reactions to her social environment. Throughout the collection of stories there are a number of underlying themes that reveal Atwood's insight and understanding of why men and women are different. These themes include the questionable definitions of femininity proposed in society, the idea of escapism through fantasy and the conflict that exists between men and women.

One concept Atwood explores to explain the differences between men and women is simply that there are biological differences between each gender. This difference is highlighted throughout a number of the stories, significantly in "Giving Birth". Atwood comments that for women there is some salvation from a male dominated society in that, through the process of giving birth a woman is allowed some connection with her body which men simply cannot experience.

They still have some connection with their o...

... middle of paper ...

... capable of seeing connections between apparently disparate circumstances.

Ingersoll-Earl.G., Margaret Atwood: Conversations, Virago Press, London, 1992, pg. 195

Ibid., pg.17

Atwood-Margaret., Dancing Girls, Vintage, London, 1996, pg. 225

Ibid., pg. 227

Ibid., pg. 229

Ibid., pg. 229

Ibid., pg. 240

Ibid., pg. 239

Ibid., pg. 239

Ingersoll-Earl.G., op. cit., pg.141

Ibid., pg. 142

Aspin-Lois.J., Focus on Australian Society, Longman, Australia, 1996, pg. 14

Ingersoll-Earl.G., op. cit., pg. 102

Atwood-Margaret, op. cit., pg. 63

Ibid., pg. 69

Ibid., pg. 69

Ibid., pg. 69

Ibid., pg. 131

Ibid., pg. 138

Ibid., pg. 143

Ingersoll-Earl.G., op. cit., pg. 32

Ibid., pg. 31

Ibid., pg. 245

Atwood-Margaret, op. cit., pg. 98

Ibid., pg. 98

Ibid., pg. 87


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