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Atwood & Munro.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Sarah Caskey

2.14.12 Atwood & Munroe  Both stories deal with the disappearance of a young girl in a Canadian landscape.  Setting, small town values, exploration of what happened.  Disappearance, mystery, and in the context of the narrative, there is no resolution in the stories. Lucy's disappearance  Insinuation that Lois might have pushed her.  Atwood doesn't give enough evidence to conclude what happened with certainty.  It's a story about telling a story --> where it has a gap, it's ambiguous. o In this sense it relates to Munroe's Open Secrets. Heather Bell's disappearance  Might have drowned --> Mr. Citycup's actions are suspicious.  May have runaway --> her mother is painted badly.  Mary and Hubert and Theo Slater were suspicious.  Munroe reveals a ton of other "open secrets" about the community. o This becomes the real core of the story.  Both stories become stories about telling stories, marked by mystery, ambiguity and lack of resolution.  These stories can be thought of Meta-fictional or equally self-reflexive.  They call attention to the fictional status, and their compositional procedures.  They ask questions about storytelling and how it can be told.  Meta-fiction: fiction that is about fiction. Self-reflexive is kind of the same.  Make reference to themselves.  Both OS and DbL try to put together a narrative by asking us to find the disappearance of young girls. Death by Landscape -- Atwood  A "Whodunit?"  The landscape itself can be an antagonist, part of something as malevolent as death itself.  Nature is portrayed as invasive, trying to get into the human space of Lois' condominium. o Condominium brings image of anti-natural, concrete, etc. --> symbolic that Lois chooses to live somewhere like that.  Lois: isolates self from what is natural. o Natural disorderliness --> shown in the descriptions of nature.  Lois feels a "wordless unease" at them (paintings).  Why does she want this feel this unease? -- Lucy disappears (279).  Lucy has to go to the bathroom and they go into the woods.  280: Lucy
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