Margaret Atwood’s Illustration of Elaine Risley’s Divine Experience as Depicted in Her Book, Cat's Eye: [Essay Example], 870 words GradesFixer
close
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Margaret Atwood’s Illustration of Elaine Risley’s Divine Experience as Depicted in Her Book, Cat's Eye

downloadDownload printPrint

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay.

We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

blank-ico
Download PDF

Cat’s Eye, by Margaret Atwood is a novel which depicts the journey of its protagonist Elaine Risley. Her physical and spiritual journey are reflected in a Cat’s Eye marble which eventually enables her to see and understand her journey, as we as readers already have. It is only when Elaine completes her journey does she “see [her] life entire”.

Pssst... we can write an original essay just for you

Any subject. Any type of essay.

We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

121 writers online

In Chapter 1 of Cat’s Eye, it was stated that “[Elaine] began then to think of time as having a shape… You don’t look back along time but down through it, like water. Sometimes this comes to the surface, sometimes that, sometimes nothing”. The reader is introduced to the way in which Atwood depicts Elaine’s journey, and the way in which she (Elaine) views her own life. We see Elaine set off on a physical journey to her childhood town, Toronto. It is this physical journey that mirrors Elaine’s spiritual journey to self-realization and enlightenment. As Elaine reaches new destinations, she has retrospectives or flashbacks to a significant incident in her life which has ‘helped’ form her current spiritual state.

We first meet Elaine and Cordelia (the ‘best friend’ and tormentor) in the first section of the novel, ‘Iron Lung’. They are traveling in a street car in Toronto. The idea of a journey/traveling is set up immediately for the reader. “Stephen says time is not a line” are the first words written in the novel. This sums up the structure of Cats Eye and Elaine’s life. This section of the novel is written in the present tense, like we the readers are actually with the 13 year old Elaine. However, it quickly jumps to Elaine at age 43 and we learn that she is having a retrospective back to her childhood. It is then revealed that she is [physically at Toronto now, walking through the streets, reflecting on childhood events (“I’ve reached the place where we used to get off the streetcar”). Simply being at Toronto brings back her repressed feelings and emotions from her childhood “[she] can feel [her] throat tightening, a pain along the jaw line. [She has] started to chew [her] fingers again. There’s blood, a taste [she] remembers…” Events such as these occur throughout the novel to show Elaine’s journey. This particular event sets off Elaine’s spiritual journey back to her childhood, and the torment that she suffered at the hands of Cordelia.

Another way in which the novel depicts Elaine’s journey is through her art. Elaine Risley is a painter and has developed enough of a reputation to be included in the “retrospective” art exhibition. Eventually, these paintings help her to see “[her] life entire”, however for a long period of time she doesn’t actually understand what the paintings mean and the reasons why she created them. Her memory repression is revealed when her paintings are described by Charna and Elaine realizes that she doesn’t actually know what they are about. The paintings document Elaine’s journey, highlighting important events in the journey. They are an expression of her memories through her sub-conscious. In Elaine’s “Empire Bloomers” series, two images of authority, Mrs. Smeath and Miss Lumley’s bloomers converge, showing Elaine’s hatred of two characters that terrorized her as a child. This reveals her sub-conscious hatred towards them however she is unable to understand that this is the reason for the painting. Another predominant painting that created a ‘visual’ aid to her journey was the “Three Muses”. Elaine (until she completes her journey) fails to recognize that the three people in the painting (Mrs. Feinstein, Miss Steward and Mr. Banerji) are displaced people, such as herself. She sub-consciously relates to these people, but again, only when her journey is complete does she recognize this.

Need help with writing?

You can order professional work according to specific instructions and 100% plagiarism free.

In Leprosy, Elaine realizes that at some point (she is unsure when), the power between Cordelia and herself is reversed, making her the stronger of the pair. She describes the only painting that she ever completed of Cordelia, however the description is indirect and she states “[she] had trouble with this picture”. She couldn’t fix Cordelia at “one time, at one age”, or at a singular point in Elaine’s journey. Cordelia has been there all along. This is another point of the journey in which Elaine begins to understand their strange relationship. “I’m not afraid of seeing Cordelia. I’m afraid of being Cordelia, because in someway we changed places, and I’ve forgotten when”. In this power change, Elaine develops her “mean mouth”. Cordelia was her “target practice” and the other girls at her school thought “Elaine [was] a riot”. This is a major point in her journey as it is such a contrast to the younger Elaine and Cordelia and how they behaved.

The ‘Listener’ said “Not since… has a novelist captured so forcefully the relationship between school bully and victim” about Atwood and Cat’s Eye. In my opinion, never has a novelist depicted the journey of a single character in such an intriguing and captivating manner. Elaine’s many physical journeys led to spiritual enlightenment and finally, the understanding and acceptance of her childhood trauma. It was only when this occurred that Elaine could continue her journey, without Cordelia, once “her best friend and tormentor” haunting her.

infoRemember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

100% plagiarism-free

Sources and citations are provided

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Margaret Atwood’s Illustration of Elaine Risley’s Divine Experience as Depicted in Her Book, Cat’s Eye. (2019, February 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/margaret-atwoods-illustration-of-elaine-risleys-divine-experience-as-depicted-in-her-book-cats-eye/
“Margaret Atwood’s Illustration of Elaine Risley’s Divine Experience as Depicted in Her Book, Cat’s Eye.” GradesFixer, 12 Feb. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/margaret-atwoods-illustration-of-elaine-risleys-divine-experience-as-depicted-in-her-book-cats-eye/
Margaret Atwood’s Illustration of Elaine Risley’s Divine Experience as Depicted in Her Book, Cat’s Eye. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/margaret-atwoods-illustration-of-elaine-risleys-divine-experience-as-depicted-in-her-book-cats-eye/> [Accessed 16 Apr. 2021].
Margaret Atwood’s Illustration of Elaine Risley’s Divine Experience as Depicted in Her Book, Cat’s Eye [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Feb 12 [cited 2021 Apr 16]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/margaret-atwoods-illustration-of-elaine-risleys-divine-experience-as-depicted-in-her-book-cats-eye/
copy to clipboard
close

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

    close

    Attention! this essay is not unique. You can get 100% plagiarism FREE essay in 30sec

    Recieve 100% plagiarism-Free paper just for 4.99$ on email
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample
    close

    Sorry, we cannot unicalize this essay. You can order Unique paper and our professionals Rewrite it for you

    close

    Thanks!

    Your essay sample has been sent.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now
    boy

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer

    GradesFixer.com uses cookies. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.

    exit-popup-close

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!

    exit-popup-print

    Professional writers and researchers

    exit-popup-quotes

    Sources and citation are provided

    exit-popup-clock

    3 hour delivery

    exit-popup-persone