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Rape Fantasies by Margaret Atwood

“Rape Fantasies” is written by Margaret Atwood in 1977. Basically this short story is about the narrator, named Estelle, recalling a conversation of several women during their lunch hour. It starts with one of Estelle’s co-workers, asking the question “How about it, girls, do you have rape fantasies? “(pg 72) The story goes on with each woman telling their supposed “rape fantasy” to one another.

As each is telling their fantasy, Estelle is doing her best to try to deflect the situation by making jokes about their fantasies. After all the women have told their fantasies, Estelle says, “those aren’t rape fantasies. I mean, you aren’t getting raped, it’s just some guy you haven’t met formally who happens to be more attractive than Derek Cummins . . . and you have a good time. Rape is when they’ve got a knife or something and you don’t want to. pg 74)

Estelle then goes on to talk about her “rape fantasies” from about to be raped by a short, ugly guy dieing from leukemia to squirting lemon juice in another attacker’s eye. I believe that her use of characters in the story was good. This type of story telling would seem typical to me for girls in an office setting. I don’t think that they would really talk about the fantasy of being forcible raped by telling their sex with a stranger type story instead. I also think that the point of view is important.

Estelle is retelling the story through her view to someone else. She is probly at a bar or something, telling her story to some random man she met. I believe that she is trying to control a possible bad situation, maybe avoiding a rape, because she says in the last page “.. how could a fellow do that to a person he’s just had a long conversation with, once you let them know you’re human, your have a life too, I don’t see how they could go ahead with it, rights? “(pg 78)

I actually enjoyed this short story. I really like the way Margaret Atwood laces the humor into her stories, like making fun the blond receptionist and the other blond, and how they compete with one anther. It is something of a taboo topic of discussion though. I believe that Estelle does have a short of kinky side to her, but at the end, we realize she is telling this whole story to some guy, possibly to avoid a rape situation. All in all, this was very good short story.

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