Atwood’s Female Writing: A Reading of “This is a Photograph of Me”
During the twentieth century, women poets who were immensely influenced by the most revolutionary aspects of modernism, gave rise to what French feminists called ‘écriture feminine’ as a desired way of writing differently. In feminist writings emphasis seems to be more on how women are oppressed in the society as well as their anxieties about their bodies. Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) the Canadian nationalist poetess is a prominent figure concerned with the need for a new language to explore relations between subjects and society, the power relations that define one’s identity as well as the inadequacy of phallocentric discourse. What is also noteworthy in Atwood’s writings is the rewriting of images and myths born by the patriarchal society and Western civilization. This study is an attempt to shed light on the ways Atwood pursues French feminists with emphasis on female body and language to show the poetess’s exploration of female identity in her less-referred-to poem “This is a Photograph of Me.” The writers have tried to show Atwood’s tackling identity and restriction through the act of rewriting such established images as light and water.
Key words: Margaret Atwood; “This Is a Photograph of Me,” feminism; identity; écriture feminine
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