Depending on how you look at Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride, Timson calls it an “upmarket melodrama” whereas Martin refers to it as a novel “confronting politically correct feminism”. The truth is it isn’t either of these. While some of the situations are greatly exaggerated, this book comments on the way that women interact with each other on a day-to-day basis. Atwood tells the story of three women, and how they are drawn together because they have all been double-crossed by a mutual female friend, Zenia. These characters seem so real that in some cases they are reminiscent of actual acquaintances. The male characters in The Robber Bride, however, are dull and lifeless. We never get to know any of them in great detail. On the other hand, Atwood does a wonderful job of describing the setting, which really allows the reader become more involved in the story.
The main message in this novel is that women have drastically different relationships with each other than they do with men. Not being a woman myself makes it difficult for me to determine if this message is true, but nonetheless, Atwood does have a lot to say about the way females deal with each other. The character Roz constantly runs into problems in the business world. “It’s complicated, being a woman boss. Women don’t look at you and think Boss. They look at you and think Woman, as in Just another one, like me, and where does she get off?” The female characters do not “come across as more emblematic than real.” as Timson suggests. Charis decides how her day is going to be by swinging a crystal above her head. This behavior reminds me of an acquaintance who once tried to lecture me on the power of ‘crystal vibrations’. This may be because Atwood’s characters are stereotypes and everyone is bound to know someone like them. However, this realism provides common ground...
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