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At first I thought my reaction to Margaret Atwoods Rape Fantasies was too personal too distraught to ever allow me to form a coherent response with any basis for understanding her main character Estelle It was not until discussing the story in class that I was able to assign some rationality to my feelings It was then that I realized the extent to which experience shapes our understanding and appreciation of literature I normally do not have a problem in determining whether a certain character is appealing or unappealing to me or if I connected with them at all Because of this my initial connection with the narrator Estelle was clearly nonexistent Due to the fact that I am female I became angered by the conversation that was being held between Estelle and her lunchtime pals when it was implied that rape is not a hate-crime but more of an erotic fantasy This is where I lost all ability to connect with anyone in the story As the story progressed Estelle started to take up the role of the storys narrator Her characterization at this point struck me as being truly unusual Through her use of absurd dialogue and descriptions regarding her own personal fantasies I was left in extreme amazement Estelle has absolutely no idea what she is talking about She perceives rape as a dream that she subconsciously wishes would come true During all but one fantasy Estelle ends up talking the rapists out of the crime and then ends up spending friendly time with them She assumes these imaginary intruders as non-violent unaggressive men At our next classroom discussion my professor began to talk about Rape Fantasies and what may be wrong with Estelle As the class condemned her I actually began to wonder if I was the one who had been blind the whole time It did not occur to me that these ironic interpretations of what
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