Author -Margaret Atwood.
Genre – Greek Mythology , fiction , Feminism, Classics , Contemporary , Historical fiction.
No of pages -162
As per the poem of Homer “The Odyssey” , Penelope the wife of Odysseus is usually described as the faithful wife. Odysseus went away to fight the trojan war and returned back after twenty years after fighting monsters , devils and sleeping with goddesses. Meanwhile Penelope waited for her husband patiently , she looked after the kingdom of Ithaca and her rigid son and she kept the hawk eyed suitors away gracefully. Odysseus finally returned only to kill her suitors and her twelve faithful maids mercilessly.
But In her book “The Penelopiad” Margaret Atwood tries to retell the story from the perspective of Penelope and her twelve nameless maids who died for no reason . She (Penelope ) says.
” And what did I amount to , once the official version gained around? An edifying legend. A stick used to beat other women with . Why couldn’t they be as considerate , as trustworthy , as all-suffering as I had been ? That was the line they took , the singers , the yarn spinners. Don’t follow my example , I want to scream in your ears -yes yours! But when I try to scream I sound like an owl. “
This book is about the hardships that women faced in ancient Greece. This book is about the violence and pressure that women faced and the existence of class . Through this book Atwood tries to ask questions about the inhuman death of the twelve innocent maids. She tries to question the patriarchal hegemony that still exists in our society as she says , ” cleverness is a quality a man likes to have in his wife as long as she is some distance away from him.” She tries to question the rules which asks women to fit in the box of patience and faithfulness while the men enjoys the freedom and adventure.
This beautiful book written in poetic form is innocent and an easy read. This book is an example that every story has a different version it depends on the perspective of different characters.
Thank you for reading hope you will enjoy reading this book.
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