Literary Precedents for The Robber Bride

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The novel's title draws immediate attention to its precursor text: the Grimm fairy tale of "The Robber Bridegroom," long a favorite with Atwood and one that has informed other pieces of her writing. Throughout her career Atwood has acknowledged the Brothers Grimm as a seminal influence upon her imagination, having read their work in a fondly remembered Pantheon edition very early in childhood and finding their tales of metamorphoses a magical complement to the biological lessons offered by her entomologist father. From both sources she discovered that the world is fluid, its forms ever shifting. She distinguishes Grimm's fairy tales from the more saccharine variants castigated for their sexism by feminists, emphasizing that the Grimm versions depict numerous active and even aggressive heroines as well as villainesses: maidens often prove just as engaged in shaping their own destinies as do witches and evil queens.

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This section contains 1,040 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Robber Bride Study Guide
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