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ENG215H1 (117)
Sarah Caskey (114)


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University of Toronto St. George
Sarah Caskey

6.4.12 Meta-fictional and Self-reflexive  OS and DBL ask us to piece together what happened like it asks of the story's characters. DBL  Atwood places emphasis on controlling a narrative, especially if it's about a mystery - and DBL is - the disappearance.  Trying to control the wilderness, but it extends to trying to control the narrative.  Lois receives nature as an inconvenience. It's intrusive. "the muscular little suckers getting into the condominium." o Her choice of housing is how she tries to control it. o Lois tries to confront nature in a very mediated way - her group of seven artist's collection artwork (269).  She seeks it out in these paintings - contrast to the European standard.  For the artists, the Canadian landscape is unspoiled. "rough bush, interlaced branches"  269 - her emotional wanting for something in the paintings.  Her need/lack of ability to try and control the narrative and Lucy's disappearance.  She can't understand what took place on the camping trip.  When Lois and Lucy go on a canoe trip, Lucy disappears into the wilderness (279).  280-top: "it made her feel cold, there was nothing"  281: the insistence and lack of … on Lucy's disappearance.  Expression of Lois' disposition of Lucy's disappearance.  Shows ingredients of how Lois can understand and retell Lucy's disappearance.  Atwood's clues to Lucy's disappearance: o Troubled home life? o …? o 80-top: Lois hears a raven croaking - gothic sign about something in nature (animal or otherwise) attacked Lucy or at least caused her disappearance? o Lois is involved?  Lois sitting in Cathy's office: o Putting together a coherent rational explanation is Lois and Cathy's problem - to tell the story to recover, but they're challenged in that seeking out of resolution. o Ideas and theories are based on really just judgements of characters, and not on any evidence. o Cathy needs a rational explanation signified by all these losses that Cathy experiences. o 282: Lois later understood the meaning of Cathy's interview - to find a real story  Atwood leaves us with that "senseless vacancy" - refuses to give us the answers o The consequences for Lois, not being able to understand what happened.  Cathy takes advantage of Lois and her age, her youthfulness, her innocence in trying to piece the story together.  Cathy constructs a narrative around Lois' culpability to try and satisfy her need.  Lois feels loss and a sort of guilt.  This is how the art answers the feeling of loss and disposition, gives Lois the ability to refrain the experience of losing Lucy.  Lois Lucy Canadian American Lois Lane I Love Lucy Stable, middle class home Wealthy but dysfunctional household Her dad has both eyes - she sees her life Her dad lost an eye because of as boring shrapnel  Conclusion: o Lois could not control the narrative, but the art offers her a chance of reflecting on that loss. o The paintings capture what is the threat of the wilderness.  Atwood takes a mystery and does not restore the order of the universe - like these stories typically do. o Not the tidy, curving type of narrative, but a maze that you can be t
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