Rape Fantasies Essay

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Tyler is an Associate Professor of English at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. In the following essay, she warns that students must balance sympathy with judgment when interpreting the inflammatory content of Estelle's dialogue.

Margaret Atwood's "Rape Fantasies" is an unusually provocative short story. Atwood or her publisher perhaps judged the short story too provocative for American audiences, since it was omitted from the American hardback edition of the collection Dancing Girls and Other Stories. Whoever made that decision may have been right. While some students in my introductory literature classes sail through the story blithely and enjoy its offbeat humor, others are scandalized.

In the story, the first-person narrator, a woman named Estelle, recounts that she and her coworkers shared their rape fantasies over a bridge game in the women's lunch room. The other women's fantasies involve sex with a romantic stranger. In Estelle's, she asks...

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This section contains 2,377 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rape Fantasies Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Rape Fantasies from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.