Quotable: Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood

Just finished reading The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. I came across two interesting quotations:

The setting is when Toby finds herself all alone in the world after the Waterless Flood swept over the world. She thinks she’s the only survival. She has to defend herself against the pigs after she shot one of them. The pigs are smart, they don’t forget nor forgive. She’s thinking how to build a defence.

‘She’ll need to think of every angle. An Ararat without a wall isn’t an Ararat at all, as the Gardener children used to chant. A wall that cannot be defended is no sooner built than ended. The Gardeners loved thei instructive rhymes.’


‘Among the ancient Greeks, serpents were sacred to the god of healing. In other religions, the Serpent with its tail in its mouth refers to the cycle of Life, and to the beginning and end of time. Because they shed their skins, Serpents have also symbolized Renewal – the soul casting of its old self, from which it emerges resplendent. A complicated symbol, indeed. Therefore, how are we to be “wise as Serepents”? Are we to eat our own tails, or tempt people to wrongdoing, or coil around our enemies and squeeze them to death? Surely not – because in the samen sentence, we are told to be as harmless as Doves.”

Great writing and intriguing. Sequel to her book Oryx & Crake (2003)

From: Margaret Atwood The Year of the Flood (2009)


~ by eneryvibes on 1,May 29, 2011.

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