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READ KINDLE ⚢ The Penelopiad õ Now That All The Others Have Run Out Of Air, It S My Turn To Do A Little Story Making In Homer S Account In The Odyssey, Penelope Wife Of Odysseus And Cousin Of The Beautiful Helen Of Troy Is Portrayed As The Quintessential Faithful Wife, Her Story A Salutary Lesson Through The Ages Left Alone For Twenty Years When Odysseus Goes Off To Fight In The Trojan War After The Abduction Of Helen, Penelope Manages, In The Face Of Scandalous Rumors, To Maintain The Kingdom Of Ithaca, Bring Up Her Wayward Son, And Keep Over A Hundred Suitors At Bay, Simultaneously When Odysseus Finally Comes Home After Enduring Hardships, Overcoming Monsters, And Sleeping With Goddesses, He Kills Her Suitors And Curiously Twelve Of Her Maids In A Splendid Contemporary Twist To The Ancient Story, Margaret Atwood Has Chosen To Give The Telling Of It To Penelope And To Her Twelve Hanged Maids, Asking What Led To The Hanging Of The Maids, And What Was Penelope Really Up To In Atwood S Dazzling, Playful Retelling, The Story Becomes As Wise And Compassionate As It Is Haunting, And As Wildly Entertaining As It Is Disturbing With Wit And Verve, Drawing On The Story Telling And Poetic Talent For Which She Herself Is Renowned, She Gives Penelope New Life And Reality And Sets Out To Provide An Answer To An Ancient Mystery 3We had no voice,We had no name,We had no choice,We had one face,One face the same This book focuses on the story of Penelope and the twelve maids immortalised in myth by the story of Odysseus This is told from Penelope s point of view as she wonders through the underworld, looking back on events that had taken place in her life.Penelope in this book is fiercely intelligent, cunning and muchthan just the devoted wife as portrayed in Homer s The Odyssey It goes through her life as a young girl sent away to the Island of Ithaca, married to the stranger Odysseus It describes her struggles with trying to find her place in Ithaca and conflicts with the overbearing Eurycleia When news comes of the war in Troy, Odysseus sets out on his journey What is largely ignored in literature is the story of Penelope as she awaits her husbands returns Margaret Atwood fills in these gaps spectacularly She shows how Penelope becomes in charge of Ithaca as Odysseus is away, how she deals with the burden of Telemachus, her spoiled son, how the suitors try to gain her hand in marriage and refuse to go away and, of course, the story and relationship she has with her maids The plot describes Penelope s struggles with being alone for 20 years with only the songs of travellers to inform her of Odysseus adventures She forever remains faithful to her husband, despite learning of his sexual encounters with Goddesses It is fantastic to see the story of Penelope a cunning and intelligent woman, brought to light As already known, the story of the maids ends tragically Atwood does a brilliant job of describing their side of the story She does this through poems, chorus and a modern court scene at the end of the book The maids are described as beautiful and dutiful to Penelope They are Penelope s faithful allies in informing the Queen of what the suitors intend to do and what they say behind closed doors It is most likely that these women were raped by the suitors rather than consenting my their own admission It is refreshing that Margaret Atwood addresses this hidden voice and story of the maids, rather than sticking to the classic version of the women merely just throwing themselves at the suitors.Overall this was a really easy and simple read I was able to breeze through the book as it is only under 200 pages Despite the shortness of this book, Margaret Atwood includes gods, goddesses and creatures from the beloved Greek myths, as well as addressing the importance of the story of Penelope as a character and her maids Under the thumbs of women, who as usual were being overemotional and showing no reasonableness and judgement I had not been attempting to catch men like flies on the contrary, I d merely been trying to avoid entanglement myself. B 77% Good NotesIt succeeds in its ambitious concept and style, but comes offlike a postscript to The Odyssey than its own story. we had no voice we had no namewe had no choicewe had one faceone face the same we took the blameit was no fairbut now w re herewe re all here toothe same as you The truly successful myths are those that can be retold over and over from different angles and still speak to a contemporary audience with the same intensity as to past centuries When Margaret Atwood picked up the story of Penelope and Odysseus, she kept all the familiar ideas, and yet it is an entirely modern vision, and a modern voice speaking She looks beyond the famous stars of the narrative Helen, Odysseus, Agamemnon, Menelaus, Penelope, and lets a chorus line of maids have their say She retells the story of their harsh lives, of their vulnerability Many of them experience rape and abuse from the suitors that gather to court Penelope during the absence of her husband, and on returning home, Odysseus decides to kill them because they slept with the enemy without his permission It is a rare treat of tragicomedy when Penelope describes their fury in the Hades, after all characters involved in the drama have left the stage of the living The maids, demanding justice in an objective court, are left disappointed because the judge doesn t want to be guilty of an anachronism Don t we hear that quite often still All those cases of sexual violence against women, justified with different times, different customs Is that a reason not to raise the issue at all How can the times and customs ever change then Those maids, singing in a choir of rage against the double standards of a patriarchal society, seem both ancient and prophetic at the same time While they denounce the millennia of injustice and hypocrisy, they also become early members of the metoo movement, begging the audience of famous mythological stories to listen to the neglected minor characters as well Famous actresses of the caliber of Helen or Penelope may speak for themselves, but what about the powerless, poor girls in the background The chambermaids, barmaids, nurses Who speaks for those young women Atwood does, in the slightly arrogant, bitter voice of privileged Penelope a woman in power, but with her own share of frustrations, too clever for her own good, and in the eternal shadow of her barbie doll cousin Helen.And what about Odysseus Well, this is not the Odyssey, it is the Penelopiad, so he is acting backstage, evasive and hard to catch, a mere prerequisite for the lives of the women of Ithaca Do I recommend this short novel Yes, to those of you who love myths, and are well acquainted with Homer s take on the household drama in the palace of Ithaca as well as with the geopolitics of the time, involving the disastrous Trojan war and plenty of other local conflicts To see and value the slight changes Atwood made to the common myth , one has to know where she is coming from I would also suggest trying some of her major novels before choosing this thin volume, as it is quite different even though it is clearly a typical Atwood as well, to contradict myself in the last paragraph Oh whatever, just read it and judge for yourselves whether she is guilty of anachronism or not I d say no, as her topic has never ceased to be contemporary I hope my children will grow up and look back to say that the kind of injustice she describes is a thing of the past Period But chances are that The Handmaid s Tale will still be acted out in some places, and that the minor characters in the big plays will be treated with contempt by those who are famous enough to get away with anything Until that stops, Atwood s chorus should keep singing for JUSTICE And we should chime in.