But once that hairball comes out – Kat starts to discover what real rage is. Excerpt from Wilderness Tips – by Margaret Atwood, “Hairball”. Margaret Atwood’s short story Hairball by ryan_kipp in Topics > Books – Fiction and margaret atwood short stories hairball short story canadian. The author uses Hairball as a symbol to highlight how Kat’s personality Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale The Historical Notes are important in the way.

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AP Lit: Hairball analysis

Commentary Maggaret story addresses the emptiness and superficiality that is pervasive in some segments of contemporary Western culture, and particularly it addresses the impact of the culture on the modern woman–the woman of the eighties and nineties.

Kat is a woman who loves to be extremely shocking. Several times it hurt. View freely available titles: These were two of the adventures of my professional life.

Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Not in an overt way. She realizes how subordinate she was to Ger all along, and now, she asserts her independence. This poem is very feminist: The narrative tone is almost satiric and masterfully reflects the lifestyle portrayed.

I have noticed that Margaret Atwood uses a pattern of making character names shorter to demonstrate a change in character idenity. By changing Gerald’s name Kat helps change and shape Gerald into whatever type of men she desires.

Troubled, broken and trapped, she still manages to triumph. I am happy that I was able to haieball my excitement, because I absolutely love her!

This well crafted story concerns a contemporary woman in her thirties who undergoes significant personal losses; in fact, she seems to lose or lack an identity.


Kat shortened Gerald into Ger, eventually causing him to become a different person that is cruel and takes Kat’s job. The shortening of Kat’s name contributes to the meaning of “Hairball” as a whole, because it shows that Kat loses more and more of herself as her name gets shorter, and eventually leaving magraret with no name and blank state.

Reading an excerpt from the story: Kat ends up not totally victorious, but liberated in a sense.

Margaret Atwood and Hairball

Kat’s shortened name made her lose a part of herself; this shortens her up to be summed up as just like a simple KitKat that melts and gets ruined as time goes on. The English men were very competitive; they liked to win. The story begins when Kat undergoes surgical removal of a rare and peculiar ovarian tumor containing hair, teeth, bones the clinical term is a dermoid cyst ; Kat dubs it “hairball ” and stores it in formaldehyde on her mantelpiece.

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. She refuses to believe that she herself is shocked; that her body produced such a monstrosity. She went from Katherine a nice innocent person to a cruel Kat who lost some part of herself. The woman is usually trapped in a place which she had built for herself, and which is now falling down on her.

As she moved up the ladder, she altered herself even more:. Place Published New York. And people, you should seriously read Atwood. You hairbal go back to her. Her adrenaline was running out. She likes to believe that she built Ger up, and shaped him up into the man he is now. She works under him. Newer Post Older Post Home. Eventually through Gerald’s actions Kat decides to abandon her name and change herself.


Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

The question of how the disorder inscribed in the female body should be read—what order, exactly, is being disrupted? She talks to the hairball, confides in it and stares at atwooc, hypnotized. What you also had to make them believe was that they too could know this thing, this thing that would give them eminence and power and sexual allure, that would attract envy to them — but for a price.

The piece shows how women may subvert their own needs and best interests by the way in which they interact with men. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

The hairball slowly begins to develop a rage within Kat.

Originally he’d been Gerald when they first met; it was she who transformed him, first to Gerry, then to Ger. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here This poem represents everything that Atwood writes about. Kat started changing Gerald from when they first met. However, the story opens with an mxrgaret which cannot be given a cynical twist, even by Kat. Mrgaret Source Wilderness Tips. I need to go back and look at her work. Email required Address never made public.