Stone Mattress: Nine Tales Themes & Motifs

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Horror

Horror is an important theme in the short story collection “Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales” by Margaret Atwood. Horror – that which is disturbing, frightening, unnerving, eerie, or cruel – is central to many of the stories in the collection. Horror makes overt and graphic appearances in particular stories, while it makes subtle appearances in others.

In the story “Alphinland”, horror is of a very subtle nature, merely in the darkened confusion between reality and fantasy in Constance’s life. The darkness of her life – as a prospect of aging and a consequence of death – is in and of itself something of a common, daily horror that all people face. Meanwhile, the horror that Gavin faces in “Revenant” – though similar to Constance’s – occurs in the fact that he has become relatively powerless with age. He is unable to defend himself against Naveena’s prying into his private...

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This section contains 2,415 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stone Mattress: Nine Tales Study Guide
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