The Robber Bride Quotes

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The Robber Bride The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
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The Robber Bride Quotes (showing 1-30 of 55)
“Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it's all a male fantasy: that you're strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it. Even pretending you aren't catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you're unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“Genius is an infinite capacity for causing pain.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“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, The Robber Bride
“Just because there's a silence it doesn't mean that nothing is going on.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“Every ending is arbitrary, because the end is where you write The end. A period, a dot of punctuation, a point of stasis. A pinprick in the paper: you could put your eye to it and see through, to the other side, to the beginning of something else. Or, as Tony says to her students, Time is not a solid, like wood, but a fluid, like water or the wind. It doesn't come neatly cut into even-sized length, into decades and centuries. Nevertheless, for our purposes we have to pretend it does. The end of any history is a lie in which we all agree to conspire.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“Where to start is the problem, because nothing begins when it begins and nothing's over when it's over, and everything needs a preface: a preface, a postscript, a chart of simultaneous events.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“How old do you have to get before wisdom descends like a plastic bag over your head and you learn to keep your big mouth shut? Maybe never. Maybe you get more frivolous with age.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“Extreme good, extreme evil: the abilities required are similar.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“Karen wasn't hard, she was soft, too soft. A soft touch. Her hair was soft, her smile was soft, her voice was soft. She was so soft there was no resistance. Hard things sank into her, they went right through her, and if she made a real effort, out the other side. Then she didn't have to see them or hear them, or even touch them.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“But maybe, underneath, she loves him too much. Maybe it's her excessive love that pushes him away.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“You can't keep a cool head when you're drowning in love. You just thrash around a lot and scream, and wear yourself out.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“They are as happy as they can be, given who they are. Though if they'd been different people they might have been happier.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“On the whole she fares better with the men, if they can work their way past the awkward preliminaries; if they can avoid calling her "little lady," or saying they weren't expecting her to be so feminine, by which they mean short. Though only the most doddering ones do that any more. If she weren't so tiny, though, she'd never get away with it. If she were six feet tall and built like a blockhouse; if she had hips. Then she'd be threatening, then she'd be an Amazon. It's the incongruity that grants her permission. A breath would blow you away, they beam down at her silently. You wish, thinks Tony, smiling up. Many have blown.
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“When you alter yourself, the alterations become the truth...”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“They didn't realize that her clumsiness was not the ordinary kind, not poor coordination. It was just because she wasn't sure where the edges of her body ended and the rest of the world began.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“The heart of Jesus glowed, because it was holy. Holy things glowed in general.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“Those in pain have no time for the pain they cause.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“History is a construct...Any point of entry is possible and all choices are arbitrary. Still there are definitive moments...We can look at these events and say that after them things were never the same again.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“It's clear, it's fresh, like a mint candy.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“She looks like a very young old person, or a very old young person; but then, she's looked that way ever since she was two.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
tags: age, humor
“Charis herself gave up Christianity a long time ago. For one thing, the Bible is full of meat: animals being sacrificed, lambs, bullocks, doves. Cain was right to offer up the vegetables, God was wrong to refuse them. And there's too much blood: people in the Bible are always having their blood spilled, blood on their hands, their blood licked up by dogs. There are too many slaughters, too much suffering, too many tears.

She used to think some of the Eastern religions would be more serene; she was a Buddhist for a while, before she discovered how many hells they had. Most religions are so intent on punishment.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“Art is long and life is brief and mortality looms.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“But mostly she likes the fact that there's a reason for every death, and only one murderer at a time, and things get figured out at the end, and the murderer always gets caught.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“he doesn't know it, but this touching she does is not only compassionate, but possessive.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“Condoms seemed to her inherently wicked. But they were also inherently funny. They were like rubber gloves with only one finger, and every time she saw one she had to be severe with herself or she’d get the giggles, a terrifying thought because the man might think you were laughing at him, at his dick, at its size, and that would be fatal.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“Her face is silting up, like a pond; layers are accumulating. Every once in a while, when she can afford the time, she spends a few days at a spa north of the city, drinking vegetable juice and having ultrasound treatments, in search of her original face, the one she knows is under there somewhere; she comes back feeling toned up and virtuous, and hungry.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“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, The Robber Bride
“She probably has a row of men's dicks nailed to her wall, like stuffed animal heads.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“He got his driver's license, he got his high school diploma, he got his university degree. He got a worried little furrow between his eyes. He did what he thought was expected of him, and brought the official pieces of paper home to her like a cat bringing dead mice. Now it's as if he's given up because he doesn't know what else to bring; he's run out of ideas.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
“She walks towards Karen and Karen feels a cool wind against her skin, and the grandmother holds out both of her knobby old hands, and Karen puts out her own hands and touches her, and her hands feel as if sand is falling over them. There's a smell of milkweed flowers and garden soil. The grandmother keeps on walking; her eyes are light blue, and her cheek comes against Karen's, cool grains of dry rice. Then she's like the dots on the comic page, close up, and then she's only a swirl in the air, and then she's gone.”
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride

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