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margaret (eleanor) atwood
(1939-)


Margaret Atwood has authored many works over the last thirty years, both poetry and prose. She was born in Ontario in 1939. She earned her master's degree at Harvard in the U.S., and is an avid supporter of Canadian Nationalism. She is well known for her feminist views and writings. Atwood has also been instrumental in helping Canadian Literature gain recognition.

Atwood began her impressive career wirting poetry. Her first book of poetry "Double Persephone" was published in 1969 while she was 19 years old. She is probably best known for for her 1985 novel "A Handmaid's Tale". Her poetry and books leave the reader no doubt where she stands on the rights of women. She often writes about the different ways that women are oppressed and how they react to their circumstances. Atwood's literature is insightful for anyone interested in feminism. She is an amazing writer, bringing to life the many trials of being a woman in a man's world.

You Fit Into Me
"You fit into me
like a hook into an eye
A fishhook
An open eye

Margaret Atwood

This is my personal favorite of all the Atwood poetry I have read. It can be interpreted in many ways. Some people find the poem to have sexual meaning. I think it is meant as a personal experience, perhaps love, that starts our beautiful and turns into something cruel or violent. Knowing Atwood's stance on feminism I see the poem having meaning about the abuse of women, not necessarily physical. The poem is based on a metaphor. A hook and eye usually refer to a piece of hardware used to latch a door shut. In this poem they reference a perfect fit. The hook is quickly turned into a weapon and the open eye a victim. The powerful imagery of a hook into an open eye causes the reader to think of pain. Atwood's tone may at first appear to be light and funny, but in the end it is sarcastic.

Atwood is a great read for both newcomers and veterans of feminism. I stumbled across Atwood in a Women's Studies class. Anyone who would like to delve further into the minds and places of women today could benefit from her writings.

Some works by Magaret Atwood include:
The Circle Game (1996,) Dancing Girls (1977), Bluebeard's Egg (1983), Murder In the Dark(1983), Wilderness Tips (1991), Good Bones (1992), A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (1972), The Handmaid's Tale (1985), Cat's Eye (1988), The Robber Bride (1993), The Blind Assassin (2000), Oryx and Crake (2003), Survival (1972), Eating Fire: Selected Poems 1965-1995 (1998)
For more on Margaret Atwood and her writings visit one of these links:
  • Margaret Atwood Society, interesting site about Atwood maintained by scholars to promote her work
  • Margaret Atwood Reference Site (Official Home Page, get updates and more on Atwood)