Margaret Atwood Quotes About She

Browse 121 famous quotes of Margaret Atwood about She.

"What I need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions. Otherwise you live with your face squashed up against a wall, everything a huge foreground, of details, close-ups, hairs, the weave of the bedsheet, the molecules of the face. Your own skin like a map, a diagram of futility, criscrossed with tiny roads that lead nowhere. Otherwise you live in the moment. Which is not where I want to be." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Perhaps her mind is slipping, perhaps she's going off the tracks, perhaps she is coming unhinged. Unhinged, like a broken door, like a rammed gate, like a rusting strongbox. When you're unhinged, things make their way out of you that should be kept inside and other things get in that ought to be shut out." ~~Margaret Atwood" ~ Margaret Atwood
"It's wrong to give so much time over to mourning, she tells herself. Mourning and brooding. There's nothing to be accomplished by it." ~ Margaret Atwood
"So she's been to college, too. I should have known. That's what we get then," he said nastily, "for educating women. They get all kinds of ridiculous ideas.""Oh, I don't know," Marian said with a touch of sharpness, "there's some men it doesn't do much good for either." ~ Margaret Atwood
"We offered her flowers and signalled to her with our penises, but she did not respond with joy.''The men with the extra skins didn't look happy. They looked angry.''We went towards them to greet them, but they ran away.'Snowman can imagine. The sight of these preternaturally calm, well-muscled men advancing en masse, singing their unusual music, green eyes glowing, blue penises waving in unison, both hands outstretched like extras in a zombie film, would have to have been alarming." ~ Margaret Atwood
"On the top of my desk there are initials, carved into the wood, and dates...This carving, done with a pencil dug many times into the warn varnish of the desk, has the pathos of all vanished civilizations. It's like a handprint on stone. Whoever made this was once alive." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Rump on a packsack, harem cushion, pink on the cheeks and black discreetly around the eyes, as red as blood as black as ebony, a seamed and folded imitation of a magazine picture that is itself an imitation of a woman who is also an imitation, the original nowhere, hairless lobed angel in the same heaven where God is a circle, captive princess in someone's head. She is locked in, she isn't allowed to eat or shit or cry or give birth, nothing goes in, nothing comes out. She takes her clothes off or puts them on, paperdoll wardrobe, she copulates under strobe lights with the man's torso while his brain watches from its glassed-in control cubicle at the other end of the room, her face twists into poses of exultation and total abandonment, that is all. She is not bored, she has no other interests." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Moira was like an elevator with open sides. She made us dizzy." ~ Margaret Atwood
"They had been pathetically eager to have the wedding in the family church. Their reaction though, as far as she could estimate the reactions of people who were now so remote from her, was less elated glee than a quiet, rather smug satisfaction, as though their fears about the effects of her university education, never stated but aways apparent, had been calmed at last. They had probably been worried she would turn into a high-school teacher or a maiden aunt or a dope addict or a female executive, or that she would undergo some shocking physical transformation, like developing muscles and a deep voice or growing moss." ~ Margaret Atwood
"When demons are required someone will always be found to supply the part, and whether you step forward or are pushed is all the same in the end." ~ Margaret Atwood
"But unshed tears can turn rancid. So can memory. So can biting your tongue. My bad nights were beginning. I couldn't sleep." ~ Margaret Atwood
"The sun was up, the room already too warm. Light filtered in through the net curtains, hanging suspended in the air, sediment in a pond. My head felt like a sack of pulp. Still in my nightgown, damp from some fright I'd pushed aside like foliage, I pulled myself up and out of my tangled bed, then forced myself through the usual dawn rituals - the ceremonies we perform to make ourselves look sane and acceptable to other people. The hair must be smoothed down after whatever apparitions have made it stand on end during the night, the expression of staring disbelief washed from the eyes. The teeth brushed, such as they are. God knows what bones I'd been gnawing in my sleep." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Maybe acting as if she believes in such a future will help to create it, which is the kind of thing the Gardeners used to say." ~ Margaret Atwood
"This has been her problem all her life: picturing other people's responses. She's too good at it. She can picture the response of anyone--other people's reactions, their emotions, their criticisms, their demands--but somehow they don't reciprocate. Maybe they can't. Maybe they lack the gift, if it is one." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Knowing this secret, being the only one chosen to know, makes me feel important in a way. But it's a negative importance, it's the importance of a blank sheet of paper. I can know because I don't count. I feel singled out, but also bereft." ~ Margaret Atwood
"She knows herself to be at the mercy of events, and she knows by now that events have no mercy." ~ Margaret Atwood
"But she went to tell the bees. She felt like an idiot doing it, but she'd promised. She remembered that it wasn't enough just to think at them: you had to say the words out loud. Bees were the messengers between this world and the other worlds, Pilar had said. Between the living and the dead. They carried the Word made air." ~ Margaret Atwood
"It's okay, mummy's in there lying on the floor. She'll be alright in an hour or so." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Also she went in for culture, which gave her a certain moral authority. It wouldn't now; but people believed, then, that culture could make you better - a better person. They believed it could uplift you, or the women believed it. They hadn't yet seen Hitler at the opera house." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Here the children have a custom. After the celebration of evil they take those vacant heads that shone once with such anguish and glee and throw them over the bridge, watching the smash, orange, as they hit below, We were standing underneath when you told it. People do that with themselves when they are finished, light scooped out. He landed here, you said, marking it with your foot.You wouldn't do it that way, empty, you wouldn't wait, you would jump with the light still in you." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Her face might be kindly if she would smile. But the frown isn't personal: it's the red dress she disapproves of, and what it stands for. She thinks I may be catching, like a disease or any form of bad luck." ~ Margaret Atwood
"The moment of betrayal is the worst, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that you've been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil" ~ Margaret Atwood
"For these dances the boys send corsages, which I keep afterward and keep in my bureau drawer; squashed carnations and brown-edged rosebuds, wads of dead vegetation, like a collection of floral shrunken heads." ~ Margaret Atwood
"She'd stepped out of sex as if out of a loose dress. Now she was brisk, decisive, no nonsense." ~ Margaret Atwood
"She began to fret about God's exact location. It was the Sunday-school teacher's fault: God is everywhere, she'd said, and Laura wanted to know: was God in the sun, was God in the moon, was God in the kitchen, the bathroom, was he under the bed?...Laura didn't want God popping our at her unexpectedly...Probably God was in the boom closet. It seemed the most likely place. He was lurking in there like some eccentric and possibly dangerous uncle, but she couldn't be certain whether he was there at any given moment because she was afraid to open the door. "god is in your heart", said the Sunday-school teacher, and that was even worse. If in the broom closet, something might have been possible, such as locking the door." ~ Margaret Atwood
"What fabrications they are, mothers. Scarecrows, wax dolls for us to stick pins into, crude diagrams. We deny them an existence of their own, we make them up to suit ourselves -- our own hungers, our own wishes, our own deficiencies." ~ Margaret Atwood
"It's a good excuse, though, orphanhood. It explains everything—every mistake and wrong turn. As Sherlock Holmes declared. She had no mother to advise her. How we long for it, that lack of advice! Imprudence could have been ours. Passionate affairs. Reckless adventures. Of course we're grateful for our stable upbringings, our hordes of informative relatives, our fleece-lined advantages, our lack of dramatic plots. But there's a corner of envy in us all the same. Why doesn't anything of interest happen to us, coddled as we are? Why do the orphans get all the good lines?" ~ Margaret Atwood
"Wild geese fly south, creaking like anguished hinges; along the riverbank the candles of the sumacs burn dull red. It's the first week of October. Season of woolen garments taken out of mothballs; of nocturnal mists and dew and slippery front steps, and late-blooming slugs; of snapdragons having one last fling; of those frilly ornamental pink-and-purple cabbages that never used to exist, but are all over everywhere now." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Only a girl like thiscan know what's happened to you.If she were here she wouldreach out her arms towardsyou now, and touch youwith her absent handsand you would feel nothing, but you would betouched all the same." ~ Margaret Atwood
"The story of Zenia ought to begin when Zenia began. It must have been someplace long ago and distant in space, thinks Tony; someplace bruised, and very tangled. A European print, hand-tinted, ochre-coloured, with dusty sunlight and a lot of bushes in it- bushes with thick leaves and ancient twisted roots, behind which, out of sight in the undergrowth and hinted at only by a boot protruding, or a slack hand, something ordinary but horrifying is taking place." ~ Margaret Atwood
"She is about to add, "I have scars, inside me," but she stops herself. What is a scar, Oh Toby? That would be the next question. Then she'd have to explain what a scar is. A scar is like writing on your body. It tells about something that once happened to you, such as a cut on your skin where blood came out." ~ Margaret Atwood
"She goes off to see a shrink, to see if she can improve herself, make herself over into a new woman, one who no longer gives a shit. She would like that. The shrink is a nice person; Roz likes her. Together the two of them labor over Roz's life as if it's a jigsaw puzzle, a mystery story with a solution at the end. They arrange and rearrange the pieces, trying to get them to come out better. They are hopeful: if Roz can figure out what story she's in, then they will be able to spot the erroneous turns she took, they can retrace her steps, they can change the ending. They work out a tentative plot." ~ Margaret Atwood
"We want to get there faster. Get where? Wherever we are not. But a human soul can only go as fast as a man can walk, they used to say. In that case, where are all the souls? Left behind. They wander here and there, slowly, dim lights flickering in the marshes at night, looking for us. But they're not nearly fast enough, not for us, we're way ahead of them, they'll never catch up. That's why we can go so fast: our souls don't weigh us down." ~ Margaret Atwood
"She who weeps when the sun's in sky, Will never pile the platter high." ~ Margaret Atwood
"What she read was a series of short connected lyrics, "Isis in Darkness." The Egyptian Queen of Heaven and Earth was wandering in the Underworld, gathering up pieces of the murdered and dismembered body of her lover Osiris. At the same time, it was her own body she was putting back together; and it was also the physical universe. She was creating the universe by an act of love." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Roz added sheep to Heaven. They would be outside the window, naturally." ~ Margaret Atwood
"But how can she ever get out of it, her life, except through him?" ~ Margaret Atwood
"No more photos. Surely there are enough. No more shadows of myself thrown by light onto pieces of paper, onto squares of plastic. No more of my eyes, mouths, noses, moods, bad angles. No more yawns, teeth, wrinkles. I suffer from my own multiplicity. Two or three images would have been enough, or four, or five. That would have allowed for a firm idea: This is she. As it is, I'm watery, I ripple, from moment to moment I dissolve into my other selves. Turn the page: you, looking, are newly confused. You know me too well to know me. Or not too well: too much." ~ Margaret Atwood
"But if Crake wanted her to stay longer on any given night, do it again maybe, she'd make some excuse—jet lag, a headache, something plausible. Her inventions were seamless, she was the best poker-faced liar in the world, so there would be a kiss goodbye for stupid Crake, a smile, a wave, a closed door, and the next minute there she would be, with Jimmy." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Nature is an expert in cost-benefit analysis,' she says. 'Although she does her accounting a little differently. As for debts, she always collects in the long run..." ~ Margaret Atwood
"What's with her?" says the painter. "She's mad because she's a woman," Jon says. This is something I haven't heard for years, not since high school. Once it was a shaming thing to say, and crushing to have it said about you, by a man. It implied oddness, deformity, sexual malfunction. I go to the living room doorway. "I'm not mad because I'm a woman," I say. "I'm mad because you're an asshole." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Then she let him lick her fingers for her. He ran his tongue around the small ovals of her nails. This was the closest she could get to him without becoming food: she was in him, or part of her was in part of him. Sex was the other way around: While that was going on, he was in her. I'll make you mine, lovers said in old books. They never said, I'll make you me." ~ Margaret Atwood
"... all this talking, this rather liquid confessing, was something I didn't think I could ever bring myself to do. It seemed foolhardy to me, like an uncooked egg deciding to to come out of its shell: there would be a risk of spreading out too far, turning into a formless puddle." ~ Margaret Atwood
"But we still find the world astounding, we can't get enough of it; even as it shrivels, even as its many lights flicker and are extinguished (the tigers, the leopard frogs, the plunging dolphin flukes), flicker and are extinguished, by us, by us, we gaze and gaze. Where do you draw the line, between love and greed? We never did know, we always wanted more. We want to take it all in, for one last time, we want to eat the world with our eyes." ~ Margaret Atwood
"She'd love to go over him with a fine-toothed comb. Rummage around in him. Turn him upside down. Empty him out." ~ Margaret Atwood
"She did understand, or at least she understood that she was supposed to understand. She understood, and said nothing about it, and prayed for the power to forgive, and did forgive. But he can't have found living with her forgiveness all that easy. Breakfast in a haze of forgiveness: coffee with forgiveness, porridge with forgiveness, forgiveness on the buttered toast. He would have been helpless against it, for how can you repudiate something that is never spoken? She resented, too, the nurse, or the many nurses, who had attended my father in the various hospitals. She wished him to owe his recovery to her alone—to her care, to her tireless devotion. That is the other side of selflessness: its tyranny." ~ Margaret Atwood
"Time has not stood still. It has washed over me, washed me away, as if I'm nothing more than a woman of sand, left by a careless child too near the water." ~ Margaret Atwood
"A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together." ~ Margaret Atwood
"How furious she must be, now that she's been taken at her word." ~ Margaret Atwood
"China does not exist. Nevertheless, she longs to be there." ~ Margaret Atwood
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France has lost the battle but she has not lost the war."
Author: Charles De Gaulle

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