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…show more content…
Throughout the final story of the collection, Atwood examines the physical process of "giving birth", the spiritual implications of creating a new life and the significance of the term itself. "But who gives it," the story begins, "and to whom is it given? Certainly it doesn't feel like giving…Thus language, muttering in its archaic tongues of something, yet one more thing, that needs to be re-named."
In this story Atwood creates an extraordinary interplay between fiction and reality to allow the narrator to recapture her experience of birth that is rapidly escaping into the irrecoverable past. As the narrator speaks of her own commonplace existence and the solid reality of her child - "now she's having her nap and I am writing this story", it becomes increasingly evident that the story's protagonist, a pregnant woman called Jeannie, is the narrator as she was before giving birth. The story itself is the narrator's attempt to remember, "what it was like". "You may be thinking" she says, "that I've invented Jeannie to distance myself from these experiences. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am, in fact, trying to bring myself closer to something that time has already made distant. As for Jeannie, my intention is simple: I am