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Volume 15, Number 1 (1990)

In Pursuit of the Faceless Stranger: Depths and Surfaces in Margaret Atwood's Bodily Harm

  • David Lucking
May 22, 2008


Margaret Atwood's Bodily Harm is in one sense about the tension between surface perception and depth perception. Whatever is trivial and banal is easier and therefore preferable to Rennie, the novel's protaganist. As the novel progresses, she discovers the depths of both intimacy and depravity. The novel, ostensibly a conventional thriller, ultimately both utilizes and undermines the conventions of genre; indeed, there is a formal dialectical tension between the underlying structure of this author's works and the direction of moral implication in which those same works tend.