Bodily Harm Margaret Atwood Quotes

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Is that all you want to be? Liked? Wouldn’t you rather be passionately and voraciously desired?
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
She’s afraid of men and it’s simple, it’s rational, she’s afraid of men because men are frightening.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
...the beige should not wear beige.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
She sees where she is, she's here, by herself, she's stranded in the future. She doesn't know how to get back.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
I'm sitting there with my hair not brushed and I really have to pee, but I don't want to interrupt him because he obviously finds this important, and I'm thinking, I've heard this before, only it used to be women saying it to men. I can't believe it! And I'm thinking do I want a long-term meaningful relationship with this guy? And then I'm thinking, does he have anything to offer besides sex? Well, the answer was no. But that didn't used to matter, did it. How come it matters all of a sudden? Why do we have to start respecting their minds? Who keeps changing the rules, them or us?
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Rennie can see what she is now: she's an object of negotiation. The truth about knights comes suddenly clear: the maidens were only an excuse. The dragon was the real business. So much for vacation romances, she thinks. A kiss is just a kiss, Jocasta would say, and you're lucky if you don't get trenchmouth.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
As a child I learned three things well: how to be quiet, what not to say, and how to look at things without touching them. When I think of that house I think of the objects and silences. The silences of that house were almost visible; I pictured them as grey, hanging in the air like smoke. I learned to listen for what wasn’t being said, because it was usually more important than what was. My grandmother was the best at silences. According to her, it was bad manners to ask direct questions.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Laugh and the world laughs with you, said my grandmother. Cry and you cry alone.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Life is just another sexually transmitted social disease.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Nobody lives forever, who said you could?
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
A profile used to mean a picture of somebody's nose seen from the side, she wrote. Now it means the picture of somebody's nose seen from the bottom.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Pretend you're really here, she thinks. Now: what would you do?
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
What am I doing here? thinks Rennie. I should take my body and run. I don’t need another man I’m not supposed to expect anything from.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
Who would you redo me? said Daniel, laughing. If I could get my hands on you? said Rennie. I wouldn’t, you’re perfect the way you are. See how good I’d be for your ego, if you had one?
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Daniel, who at this point was still Dr. Luoma, looked at her as if he was disappointed in her: other women no doubt said similar things. This embarrassed her, since even such a short time ago she still assumed she was unique.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
It’s all right, he said. It was malignant but I think we got it all. He was telling her that he has saved her life, for the time being anyway, and now he was dragging her back into it, this life that he had saved. By the hand. Malignant, Rennie thought.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
I'm sitting there with my hair not brushed and I really have to pee, but I don't want to interrupt him because he obviously finds this important, and I'm thinking, I've heard this before, only it used to be women saying it to men. I can't believe it! And I'm thinking do I want a long-term meaningful relationship with this guy? And then I'm thinking, does he have anything to offer besides sex? Well, the answer was no. But that didn't used to matter, did it. How come it matters all of a sudden? Why do we have to start respecting their minds?
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
He thought Rennie knew things she didn’t know but ought to; he thought she lived in the real world. It pleased him to believe this, and Rennie wanted him to be pleased, she liked to amuse him, though she was afraid that sooner or later he would decide that the things she knew weren’t really worth knowing.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
For one thing you’re nice”, says Paul. “You’d rather not be, you’d rather be something else, tough or sharp or something like that, but you’re nice, you can’t help it. Naïve. But you think you have to prove you’re not merely nice, so you get into things you shouldn’t. You want to know more than other people, am I right?
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Now that she no longer suffers from illusions, Rennie views her kind of honesty less as a virtue than a perversion, one from which she still suffers, true; like psoriasis and haemorrhoids, those other diseases typical of Griswold, it can be kept under control. Why make such things public? Her closet honesty is – there’s no doubt about it – a professional liability.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Jake looked up at her. His eyes were puffy, he hadn’t been sleeping well lately. Neither had Rennie, as far as that went, but every time she mentioned it it turned out he’d slept even worse than she had. They were competing for each other’s pity, which was too bad because neither of them seemed to have a lot of it lying around, they’d been using it up on themselves.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Better than that, he liked her body and said so, which Rennie found refreshing. Most of men she knew used the word person, a little too much, a little too nervously. A fine person. It was a burden, being a fine person. She knew she was not as fine a person as they wanted her to be. It was a relief to have a man say, admit, confess, that he thought she had a terrific ass.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Most of people she knew thought Rennie was way out ahead of it, but she saw herself as off to the side. She preferred it there; she’d noted, many times, the typical pose of performers, celebrities, in magazine shots and publicity stills and especially on stage. Teeth bared in an ingratiating smile, arms flung wide to the sides, hands open to show that there were no weapons, head thrown back, throat bared to the knife; an offering, an exposure. She felt no envy towards them. In fact she found them embarrassing, their eagerness, their desperation, for that was what it was, even when they were successful. Underneath it they would do anything; they’d take their clothes off if there was no other way, they’d stand on heads, anything, in that frenzied grab for attention. She would much rather be the one who wrote things about people like that than be the one that got written about.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Rennie looked again and his hand attached itself to his arm, which was part of him. He wasn’t very far away. She fell in love with him because he was the first thing she saw after her life had been saved. This was the only explanation she could think of. She wished, later, when she was no longer feeling dizzy but was sitting up, trying to ignore the little sucking tubes that were coming out of her and the constant ache, that it had been a potted begonia or a stuffed rabbit, some safe bedside object. Jake sent her roses but by then it was too late. I imprinted on him, she thought; like a duckling, like a baby chick. She knew about imprinting; once, when she was hard up for cash, she’d done a profile for Owl Magazine of a man who believed geese should be used as safe and loyal substitute for watchdogs. It was best to be there yourself when the goslings came out of the eggs, he said. Then they’d follow you to the ends of the earth. Rennie had smirked because that man seemed to think that being followed to the ends of the earth by a flock of adoring geese was both desirable and romantic, but she’d written it all down in his own words. Now she was behaving like a goose, and the whole thing put her on foul temper. It was inappropriate to have fallen in love with Daniel, who had no distinguishing features that Rennie could see. She hardly even knew what he looked like, since, during the examinations before the operation, she hadn’t bothered to look at him. One did not look at doctors; they were functionaries, they were what your mother one hoped you would marry, they were fifties, they were passe. It wasn’t only inappropriate, it was ridiculous. It was expected. Falling in love with your doctor was something middle-aged married women did, women in soaps, women in nurse novels and sex-and-scalpel epics with titles like Surgery and nurse with big tits and doctors who looked like Dr. Kildare on the covers. It was the sort of thing Toronto Life did stories about, soft-core gossip masquerading as hard-nosed research expose. Rennie could not stand being guilty of such a banality.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm)
Alien reaction paranoia,” says Paul. “Because you don’t know what’s dangerous and what isn’t, everything seems dangerous.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
If you were a girl it was a lot safer to be decent than to be beautiful. If you were a boy, the question didn’t arise; the choice was whether or not you were a fool. Clothes could be decent or indecent. Mine were always decent, and they smelled decent too, a wool smell, mothballs and a hint of furniture polish. Other girls, from families considered shoddy and loose, wore questionable clothes and smelled like violets. The opposite of decent wasn’t beautiful, but flashy or cheap. Flashy, cheap people drank and smoked, and who knew what else? Everyone knew. In Griswold, everyone knew everything, sooner or later.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
If your family was respectable, though, you could choose not to disgrace it. The best way to keep from disgracing it was to do nothing unusual.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
As a child I learned three things well: how to be quiet, what not to say, and how to look at things without touching them. When I think of that house I think of objects and silences. The silences were almost visible; I pictured them as gray, hanging in the air like smoke. I learned to listen for what wasn’t being said, because it was usually more important than what was.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
It was understood that you could never sell these objects or give them away. The only way you could ever get rid of them was to will them to someone else and then die.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
all that money from the sweet Canadians. This is not all. He is using threats now, he says he will take away the jobs and maybe burn down the houses of those who do not vote for him.” “He’s doing this openly?” says Rennie. “On the radio, my friend,” says Dr. Minnow. “As for the people, many are afraid of him and the rest admire him, not for this behavior, you understand, but because he can get away with it. They see this as power and they admire a big man here. He spends their money on new cars and so forth for himself and friends, they applaud that. They look at me, they say, ‘What you can do for us?
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
It’s the old story, my friend. We will have a Papa Doc and after that a revolution or so. Then the Americans will wonder why people are getting killed. They should tell the sweet Canadians to stop giving money to this man.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
The only votes Ellis is getting are the ones he buys. First they bribe the people with the foreign aid money from the hurricane,” he says.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
This is not Canada, my friend,” he says. “It is not Britain. Those rules no longer apply here.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
Rennie can see what she is now: She’s an object of negotiation. The truth about knights comes suddenly clear: The maidens were only an excuse. The dragon was the real business.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))
As a child I learned three things well: how to be quiet, what not to say, and how to look at things without touching them.
Margaret Atwood (Bodily Harm (A Romance Bestseller))