Penelopiad-Blog Post 1

Even though I really did enjoy reading Homer’s telling of The Odyssey, I was extremely excited to read Margaret Atwood’s version of events, through Odysseus’ wife, Penelope. Penelope struck me as a complex character, who is not given enough attention in the Odyssey. She is clever and resourceful, yet is still expected to listen to “the men of the house” and she spends her time weeping over her missing husband. When I started reading this novel, I was expecting it to be typically Atwood; that is, feminist. While there are aspects to the novel that can be considered feminist, Penelope herself is not intrinsically feminist. Penelope is a subjective narrator, who fails to see the double standards between her criticism of Helen, and her own actions. For example, Penelope blames Helen for the death of soldiers in Troy, and she feels that Helen has had a negative effect on her life. However, Penelope can be blamed for the death of the maids, whose help she elicited in spying on the suitors. I do believe that Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad accomplishes what it sets out to do, to give a voice to a character who was considered secondary to the great hero Odysseus.

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