All those narrative voices that b I look at the progression of 5-star ratings by friends - mostly women - and wonder if it is a womanly weakness to rate a book 5 stars which deconstructs the world from the female perspective? The naked women are presented in the same manner as the plates of meat and dead lobsters, with the same attention to the play of candlelight on skin, the same lusciousness, the same sensuous and richly rendered detail, the same painterly delight in tactility. Women are hard to keep track of, most of them.
This provides her with an opportunity to revisit her past and reassess her life stories. As a result, Elaine seems to be in perpetual flight, unable to find a sense of contentment or wellbeing.
Her childhood and adult memories are sometimes continuous but often disjointed; some memories are elongated, while others are buried. As a result, Elaine often sees herself as two personas who interact in complementary and contradictory ways.
A self in the making: Initially, Elaine positions herself as submissive and weak; perhaps one reason for this is her difference and the difficulties she encounters conforming to feminine stereotypes.
Her previous unconventional upbringing and nomadic lifestyle, influenced by her naturalist father, her brother, Steven, and carefree mother, who is neither fond of cooking nor housework, did nothing to prepare her for the shock of socialisation.
I feel awkward around them. I know the unspoken rules of boys, but with girls I sense that I am always on the verge of some unforeseen, calamitous blunder. She learns self effacement — that girls have to hide their achievements. They are meant to be passive and follow the norm, and agree with others.
Something is unfolding, being revealed to me. She also becomes a symbol of the devastating consequences of socialisation. Cordelia is harshly judgemental like her own father. However, she also introjects their scorn and feels worthless and inferior.
Elaine constantly fears Cordelia to the point where she wishes to become invisible. Acting like Mary Queen of Scots, the three girls bury her for an interminably long time leading to a sense of betrayal and terror. It signifies her complete impotence to the point of self-effacement.
Throughout the novel, Elaine has an ambiguous and destructive relationship with Cordelia wherein both are scarred. Cordelia is not only friend and foe, but also the super ego in the socialization process. She helps Elaine discover her dark moments and darker impulses, whilst simultaneously compounding them.
There is that glimpse, during which I can see. Cordelia appears as a self-assured and manipulative girl from a middle-class background. The father was unpredictable, often losing his temper and rarely happy with Cordelia Ironically, Cordelia eventually seeks love and comfort from the girl she alienates with her power games.
As the tide turns in this fluid search for identity, Elaine realizes she turns into the dominant partner and Cordelia is the one losing her grip on reality Soon, Cordelia fails academically unlike Elaine, who succeeds in her studies ; shoplifts and has a mental breakdown.
She is placed in a sanatorium after attempting suicide and Elaine rejects her pleas for help.
In Half a Face, the only picture that captures their close twin-like relationship, Elaine seeks to pinpoint the source of her greatest trauma — the year old girl with a defiant and belligerent stare. Fear swirls in this painting as Elaine morphs into the perpetrator. Both the hole and the bridge reflect the height of her vulnerability, her impotence and her fragility.
As Atwood suggests, the ravine overtakes the symbolism of the hole as emblematic of her deepest and darkest fears. She is warned not to go down to the ravine; they are encouraged to fear men in strange places. Later these fears could be seen to have a basis in reality as a girl was murdered in the vicinity, Ironically, it is at the height of her self-effacement, that she imagines her figurative role model: However, the appearance of her personal Virgin Mary, an alternative religious mythical figure, gives her inner strength to confront her demons.
At a critical moment, she clearly hears the voice, but later reveals that the voice was a figment of her imagination.
Three women, presumably her childhood friends Grace, Carol and Cordeliafall off the bridge and on top of the men who are lying, concealed, down below. They are the bogey men from the depths of darkness who protect and disrupt at the same time.
Not only is Elaine reevaluating the concept of falling with regards to the three friends; but the bogey men-protectors are also a source of anger and frustration as Elaine tries to navigate tumultuous relationships with partners in her adult life. The fact that these are associated in this painting with her childhood traumas and tormentors is significant.
The girls bully but they were all victims.Nov 01, · About Margaret Atwood Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye and Alias Grace have all been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and now Oryx and Crake for the Booker prize/5(K).
Download Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood ebook By the author of The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias GraceElaine Risley, a painter, returns to Toronto to find herself overwhelmed by her past.
Nov 01, · About Margaret Atwood Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye and Alias Grace have all been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and now Oryx and Crake for the Booker prize/5(K).
Dec 10, · Mirrored by this structure, Cat’s Eye charts Elaine’s movements in the present as she prepares for a retrospective show . First Edition. In this book, "Atwood moves away from overtly political territory to explore the ambiguous roots of women's relationships, both with one another and with the world, in their childhood secrecies, loyalties, cruelties, betrayals, and terrors." Ships same or next business day.
Elaine Risley, a painter, returns to Toronto to find herself overwhelmed by her past. Memories of childhood - unbearable betrayals and cruelties - surface relentlessly, forcing her to confront the spectre of Cordelia, once her best friend and tormentor, who has haunted her for forty years. Cat’s Eye Margaret Atwood By the author of The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace Elaine Risley, a painter, returns to Toronto to find herself overwhelmed by her past. Atwood captures well the small degradations and the petty cruelties that girls, in particular, seem to be able inflict on each other, seemingly invisible to parental observation.
Cat's Eye Margaret Atwood, Author Doubleday Books $ (p) ISBN More By and About This Author a childhood friend whose cruelties, dealt lavishly to Risley, helped hone.