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Lady Oracle Study Guide & Plot Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 88 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Lady Oracle.
This section contains 434 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Lady Oracle Study Guide

Lady Oracle Summary & Study Guide Description

Lady Oracle Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Related Titles and a Free Quiz on Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood.

Plot Summary

Lady Oracle is a thought-provoking, in-depth look at the life of one woman and her refusal to accept her own past. As an overweight child, Joan Foster is tormented by her mother and peers, and spends much of the rest of her life attempting to justify her actions and avoid consequences. Along her journey, Joan consistently deals with issues of sexual repression, the consequences of actions, and a constant sense of duality as she attempts to live a double life. In the end, Joan learns that to live a life of happiness, one must accept all aspects of his or her life. Lady Oracle is a true look at the effects of obesity and duality on the lives of individuals, and the remarkable story of one woman's journey to find herself.

Joan Foster is plagued by a past she does not wish to recognize. As a very overweight child, she is tormented by both her peers and her overbearing mother. As she ages, Joan begins to lie about her past in an effort to live a new life. She begins writing costume gothic novels under the pseudonym of Louise Delacourt, the name of her deceased aunt. However, when she meets Arthur and falls in love, she knows she cannot admit this fact to him, or her past life as an overweight individual. As a result, Joan weaves a web of deceit concerning all aspects of her former life.

When Chuck Brewer, aka the Royal Porcupine, enters her life as a lover, Joan believes she has the best of both worlds. However, as Chuck becomes more demanding, Joan realizes he is dangerous, and breaks off the relationship. Soon after, Joan's life begins to fall apart as her past catches up to her present life. She begins to see people she knew in her childhood, be plagued by a blackmailer who knows her secret identity, and begins to receive death threats. Convinced she can never escape the life she has created, Joan fakes her death and moves to Italy.

To her unpleasant surprise, however, this move does not ensure her safety. Plagued by thoughts of her former life, and with guilt for her treatment of those she loved, Joan finds it impossible to begin life anew. When her friends are arrested for her murder, Joan realizes she must finally face her past in order to save what future she may have. Her journey leads her to a sense of enlightenment about herself, and the new identity she has sought for so long. It is only through her ordeal that Joan truly learns to accept her past, and love herself.

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This section contains 434 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Lady Oracle Study Guide
Lady Oracle from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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