Literary Precedents for Lady Oracle

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Lady Oracle both pays tribute to the Gothic novel, about which Atwood once planned to write a Ph.D. dissertation, and satirizes its contemporary manifestation, the cheap costume romance. Joan Foster's current project, Stalked by Love, is interwoven throughout the text of Atwood's narrative, its action paralleling Joan's own vaguely ominous adventures. The mirrored story lines give rise to a comic incongruity that precludes terror, however; Atwood sees the dilemmas of the modern protagonist through an ironic lens, even though Joan shares her literary predecessors' generic sense of personal and spiritual threat, Gothic fiction presents the self as multiple, its complexities a source of its metaphysical horror and its successful integration offering both emotional and aesthetic release. In parodying the form, Atwood exposes the layers of duplicity which produce Joan's identity confusion and trap her in ludicrous situations precluding rescue. Joan's craving for happy endings is satisfied by...

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This section contains 307 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lady Oracle Study Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Lady Oracle from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.