Elaine's Risley Character And Personality

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In order to comprehend the progression and development of Elaine’s Risley character and personality, it is very essential to consider her family background. Owing to her father works as a researcher and an entomologist and her mother as a house-wife, the family had a typical nomadic upbringing. Indeed, Elaine’s parents are simple middle-class people who travel all around Canada camping, driving long distance in car, staying in tents and motels. At that time, she has led a happy life in the company of her brother, Stephen, who teaches her to skip stones, see in the dark and to play war. She states that, “Until we moved to Toronto I was happy” (CE 22). Under those circumstances, Elaine has not attended school full time as well as she cannot associate to others due to her family travelling.…show more content…
Actually, photography, painting and playing marbles with her brother are her preferred hobbies. Using her camera, Elaine takes snapshots of women and pastes them into her photo album (Mehta 179). Once her family moves to Toronto after the war to settle down, she was approximately eight years old. At that time, circumstances changes for Elaine who feels unhappy, helpless and yearns for female friends as she has no female friends yet (Mehta 179). As Pavla Chudějová (34) has suggested in “Exploring the women’s experience”, Elaine become conscious of the society’s gender restrictions for the first time when she starts going to school. At school, Elaine follows the rules where she has to wear skirts to school and “the girls hold hands; the boys don’t” (CE 50-51), as well as to enter the building through the “grandiose entranceways with carvings around them and ornate insets above the doors, inscribed in curvy, solemn lettering: GIRLS and BOYS.” (CE 51) which confuses her and leaves her wondering, “[h]ow is going in through a door different if you’re a boy?” (CE 46). Laura Gronewold in “Margaret Atwood’s evil women”
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