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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys the centrality of disability to Canadian literature, examining how it is ever present yet almost always ignored. Considering Margaret Atwood’s influential focus on the concept of survival, with its associated implications of physical and mental fitness, the chapter thinks about how Canadian literary works have emphasized fit male bodies and have used disability as a trope to explain moral character. However, more recent Canadian literature presents disabled characters as fully realized central characters who tell their own stories, rather than simply matching cultural scripts about their disabilities imposed by other characters. Such works think of disability as central, embodied, and always deeply contextual, thereby drawing on and contributing to a cultural model of disability.

Keywords: disability, Canadian literature, Margaret Atwood, survival, cultural script

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