International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064


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Review Papers | Literature | India | Volume 12 Issue 10, October 2023 | Rating: 5.3 / 10


Feminist Discourses on Madness and Identity in the Novels of Margaret Atwood

Arunakumari S [4]


Abstract: This scholarly inquiry delves into the literary realm of Margaret Atwood, a prominent figure, renowned for her exploration of themes intrinsic to feminist discourse, particularly madness and identity. An intricate motif permeates Atwood's novels, representing comprehensive examination. Employing an interdisciplinary framework, this study navigates the narrative landscape, shedding light on the gendered dimensions of madness and their profound implications for construction of identity. Exploration unfolds within robust context of feminist literary critique, emphasizing, relevance of Atwood's narratives in advancing discussions concerning gender and agency. Selected works, including "The Handmaid's Tale, " "Alias Grace, " and "Cat's Eye, " stand as focal points for textual analysis through Atwood's skillful manipulation of literary techniques, vivid imagery, and nuanced symbolism in the portrayal of madness. Within this exploration, emerges the intricate interplay of gendered contours, intricately shaping the experiences of female characters. Their encounters with madness emerge as potent instruments for resistance and self - assertion. Critique assumes a central role in this study, anchoring prominent feminist theories to the narratives woven by Atwood. This critical perspective unveils nuanced depictions that either reinforce or challenge prevailing feminist ideologies. The insights of distinguished feminist scholars, including Susan Sontag, Simone de Beauvoir, and Betty Friedan, find thoughtful integration. Gendered facets of madness are illuminated, unraveling profound implications for agency. Narratives of recovery and resilience are not only celebrated but also subjected to critical scrutiny. Through Atwood's masterful storytelling, evolving landscape of feminist discourse is traversed, resilient profound insights into the multifaceted nature of identity and the persistent pursuit of gender equality.


Keywords: Portrayal of Madness in Atwood's Novels, Gendered Dimensions of Madness, Narratives of Recovery and Resilience, Feminist Critique of Madness, Agency and Madness


Edition: Volume 12 Issue 10, October 2023,


Pages: 1656 - 1659


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