Monday, May 03, 2010
Written in the 1960s, Marian works for a market research company. She went to university and had big dreams, but somehow got stuck writing survey questions for new products. She is dating Peter who wishes to always remain a bachelor. His last single friend has just gotten married and he begins to look at his life and really think about remaining unmarried. Marian seems to have never really thought about whether she wants to marry or stay single, she just goes along with the flow. When Peter does propose she accepts, but her unconscious seems to rebel. She runs from him and begins a friendship with student Duncan who is unattainable.
Marian's housemate Ainsley decides that to fulfil herself as a woman she wants to have a baby. She is unconventional and refuses the idea of marriage. She sets out to find a suitable father for her baby and trap him into having sex with her without him thinking she is trying to marry him. Marian is in the position of not enjoying her career but not wanting to run into marriage to escape it.
The book looks at gender stereotypes and although was written before feminism became popular, it definitely has a feminist feel to it. It's interesting spending time with the different characters, especially Ainsley. Clara is always pregnant and has forgotten her studies and of course there are the "office virgins" who are out to snag a husband. A book that really set Atwood on the map.