The Robber Bride Social Sensitivity

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In speaking of The Robber Bride, Atwood has cast it as a test of whether the Women's Movement has indeed liberated females sufficiently to permit them equal access to all corners of life — including literary villainy. In a lecture entitled "Spotty-handed Villainesses, or Bad Behavior in Women" (the spottiness an allusion to that grand dame of evil, Lady Macbeth), she warns against demanding that novels function as tracts for what competing sides in the contemporary culture wars construe to be exemplary behavior; nor should they serve narrow propagandistic goals, subordinating the ideals of art to politics and producing bad literature in the process. Because good fiction illuminates the knotty moral complexity of human nature, Atwood asserts, successful characters must be allowed to choose evil as well as good behavior. Fictive plottings of women's lives need to spin out freely, unimpeded by what she termed the...

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This section contains 545 words
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