The Robber Bride Themes

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Themes

The Robber Bride offers a complex meditation on human history and the intellectual paradigms developed to give it coherence. Arguing that "The novel has its feet in the mud, and part of the mud is history," Atwood repeatedly draws analogies between narrative fiction and the historicizing imagination, both of which impose a reassuring if artificial order upon entropic human activity. With a postmodern wink, her academic historian Antonia Fremont concedes, "Pick up any strand and snip, and history comes unraveled."

But Tony also believes in the salutary power of identifying "definitive moments [which] . . . change the direction of time . . . [to] provide beginnings for us, and endings, too." Although she reviles a contemporary cultural amnesia so profound that phrases like "you're history" now glibly relegate people to oblivion. Tony and her friends come to understand that the enduring power of the past to shape the present also threatens to paralyze...

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This section contains 2,317 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Robber Bride Study Guide
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