Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ways in which Margaret Atwood's "The Penelopiad" subverts the Grand Narrative and reflects feminist thinking.

The Penelopiad Essay?We had no voice, we had no name, we had no choice, we had one face.? (p195)The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood is a contemporary twist to the ancient myth of bulls eye?s ?The Odyssey?. The novel is set in Ancient Grecian beau monde where particularly women and lower-classes were severely subjugated and silenced. Atwood critically assesss this old world through eyes of women. The timeless bilgewater of Odysseus, exuberant with phallocentric ideals and the traditional patriarchal discourse, is undercut to give voice to Odysseus? married woman Penelope and her twelve maids ? characters who rarely receive mention in Ancient Greek literature. With Penelope and her maids now playing the protagonists, home run?s story has been revised to declare those who have been lose by history. The Penelopiad has successfully empowered those who were once marginalized through the exercise of two literary agents: the subversion of the Grand Narrative and integrate Feminist Theory into literature. This essay will explore and evaluate the literary devices Atwood has used to effectively subvert Homer?s ?The Odyssey? into a modern, feminist critique of those who are suppressed in a patriarchal context.

The ?Grand Narrative? is considered to be an overarching story which pertains to the widely held perceptions of society ? it explains and justifies the beliefs of that context.

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The subversion of this Grand Narrative results in the undercutting of the greater perspective and presenting it in an unusual manner. The Penelopiad is thus a subversion of Homer?s narrative ?The Odyssey? and Atwood revamps his story in several ways.

The perspective in which the story is narrated has shifted from the phallocentric heroes of The Odyssey to the domestic person-to-person perspective of Penelope and her maids. The reader is thus exposed to an permutation perspective which is seldom heard in both society and literature. Penelope refers...

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