Deconstructing Gender and Myth in Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad

Shaista Irshad, Niroj Banerji


Margaret Atwood’s novella The Penelopiad presents a revisionary account of Homer’s Odyssey from the contemporary position. In this paper, it is shown that how Atwood not only deconstructs gender but also the mythical version of the male narrative of Homer’s Odyssey by giving voice to the female characters that otherwise remain imprisoned in the traditional gender stereotypes. The mythical patterns and beliefs turn out to be instrumental in encapsulating and shielding the reality of gender. The truth behind Penelope’s celebrated chastity and Odysseus’s courage is deftly investigated to prove the hollowness and instability of gendered identities.

Keywords: Gender, myth, construction, deconstruction, performative.

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