The Self in "The Robber Bride" and "Beautiful Losers". Comparison Essay by Master Researcher

The Self in "The Robber Bride" and "Beautiful Losers".
A comparative analysis of Margaret Atwood's "The Robber Bride" and Leonard Cohen's "Beautiful Losers".
# 33266 | 1,900 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 02, 2003 in Literature (American) , Literature (Canadian)

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This paper compares and contrasts the representations of masculine and feminine selfhood in Margaret Atwood's "The Robber Bride" and Leonard Cohen's "Beautiful Losers". The paper discusses how both works represent twentieth century gendered communities; in both texts, the characters are preoccupied with their gender roles, their narrative agency, the opposite sex, and with their fears. The paper points out that Atwood's community of women compares itself to an outsider in their midst, and these women also judge themselves by their relationships with men, while the men in Cohen's text are trapped by cultural signifiers and their own views of their roles and their fears of femininity.

From the Paper:

"Part of the problem with defining self in both novels is the way that self gets translated. In Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers, for example, there is a tension between F and I, the narrator. F remains deeply suspicious of the ways in which his male selfhood gets represented, begging the narrator I, to "connect nothing" and noting that he "distorted the truth" (Cohen, 42), advice which I ignores. F's request seems to suggest an anxiety about the way in which his masculine self is represented. In other instances, however, F seems to partially surrender this agency. In the "Telephone Dance", for example, F claims "I became a telephone" while "Edith was the electronic conversation that went through me" (Cohen, 35). The imagery of the telephone is interesting, for although he refuses to surrender his agency or his right to tell his story to "I", in representing himself as a telephone he seems to partially waiver his agency to Edith. The telephone is a medium through which others speak. Thus, F is presenting himself as an instrument through which Edith's energy can pass through. His representation of self is quite passive, while his representation of Edith's (significantly feminine) power is quite potent."

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The Self in "The Robber Bride" and "Beautiful Losers". (2003, October 02) Retrieved October 04, 2022, from

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"The Self in "The Robber Bride" and "Beautiful Losers"." 02 October 2003. Web. 04 October. 2022. <>