The Body of Hurt in Margaret Atwood's Novel Bodily Harm

Avital Gad Cykman


This article analyses Margaret Atwood’s novel BODILY HARM (1981) in regard to its exploration of the link between corporeality and contextuality, focusing on the relation between the historical and socio-cultural context in which identity is constructed and the female character’s perception of body and self. The character’s retrospective journey serves as a ground for a deconstruction of the character’s values, behavior, relationships, and discomfort with the body in order to reveal the power relations and social causes behind her present situation. The study focuses on the literary articulation of the problems of being female, the exploration of the relation between the biological body and the cultural concept of the body, and the criticism of social representations of women.


Female body; Corporeality; Contextuality; Margaret Atwood; Gender; Fiction

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