66 of the Most Powerful Margaret Atwood Quotes

The Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood, is mostly known for her feminist prespectives and prose fictions. She was born in 1939 in Ontario, Canada. She began writing at the early age of five, and was an early prodigy as she became a more serious writer at around the age of 15. Atwood attended the University of Toronto but went on to earning her bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and then master’s degree at Radcliffe College in Massachusetts in 1962 for English literature.

New beginnings and reversing roles are well-known themes of Margaret Atwood’s novels. The Handmaid’s Tale is probably one of her best known works, as it was published in 1985, turned into a film in 1990, then an opera in 2000, and even a TV series that is co-written by Atwood herself premiered in 2017.

Some of her other works include, ‘The Robber’s Bride (1993 and turned into a TV movie in 2007), ‘Cat’s Eye (1988), and ‘Alias Grace (1996). Aside from winning multiple awards, Margaret Atwood recently has published her first collection of poems in about ten years in November of 2020. This book of poetry called Dearly has themes such as love, nature of nature, passages of time and even zombies.

Maragaret Atwood Quotes

  1. “If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged.” – Margaret Atwood
  2. “You may not be able to alter reality, but you can alter your attitude towards it, and this, paradoxically, alters reality. Try it and see.” – Margaret Atwood
  3. “A word after a word after a word is power.” – Margaret Atwood
  4. “If I love you, is that a fact or a weapon?” – Margaret Atwood
  5. “I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.” – Margaret Atwood
  6. “The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn’t one.” – Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin: A Novel
  7. “Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.” – Margaret Atwood, from the poem ‘February’ in Morning in the Burned House
  8. “I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one ‘race’ – the human race – and that we are all members of it.” – Margaret Atwood
  9. “Myths can’t be translated as they did in their ancient soil. We can only find our own meaning in our own time.” – Margaret Atwood
  10. “A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less of you.” – Margaret Atwood
  11. “Don’t let the b*stards grind you down.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  12. “I’m a person of whim, and easily distracted. I don’t like multitasking. When I’m doing one thing, I like to do just that thing.” – Margaret Atwood
  13. “The small details of life often hide a great significance.” – Margaret Atwood
  14. “Inside the peach, there is a stone.” – Margaret Atwood
  15. “Heroes need monsters to establish their heroic credentials. You need something scary to overcome.” – Margaret Atwood
  16. “What fabrications they are, mothers. Scarecrows, wax dolls for us to stick pins into, crude diagrams. We deny them an existence of their own, we make them up to suit ourselves our own hungers, our own wishes, our own deficiencies.” – Margaret Atwood
  17. “Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  18. “What is believed in society is not always the equivalent of what is true; but as regards to a woman’s reputation, it amounts to the same thing.” – Margaret Atwood
  19. “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood
  20. “An eye for an eye only leads to more blindness.” – Margaret Atwood
  21. “Writing is alone, but I don’t think it’s lonely. Ask any writer if they feel lonely when they’re writing their book, and I think they’ll say no.” – Margaret Atwood
  22. “Better never means better for everyone… It always means worse, for some.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  23. “Optimism means better than reality; pessimism means worse than reality. I’m a realist.” – Margaret Atwood
  24. “Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” – Margaret Atwood
  25. “In the end, we’ll all become stories.” – Margaret Atwood
  26. “Speculative fiction encompasses that which we could actually do. Sci-fi is that which we’re probably not going to see.” – Margaret Atwood
  27. “I’m not sure I really am a Humanist. I describe myself as a rigorous agnostic, which means that you cannot declare as a matter of material truth something that is in fact a matter of spiritual belief.” – Margaret Atwood
  28. “Longed for him. Got him. Sh*t.” – Margaret Atwood
  29. “We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  30. “Knowing too much about other people puts you in their power, they have a claim on you, you are forced to understand their reasons for doing things and then you are weakened.” – Margaret Atwood
  31. “A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together.” – Margaret Atwood
  32. “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” – Margaret Atwood
  33. “Hatred would have been easier. With hatred, I would have known what to do. Hatred is clear, metallic, one-handed, unwavering; unlike love.” – Margaret Atwood
  34. “I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.” – Margaret Atwood
  35. “Social media is called social media for a reason. It lends itself to sharing rather than horn-tooting.” – Margaret Atwood
  36. “You fit into me like a hook into an eye a fish hook an open eye” – Margaret Atwood, from the poem ‘You Fit Into Me’ in Power Politics
  37. “So much better to travel than to arrive.” – Margaret Atwood
  38. “Every utopia – let’s just stick with the literary ones – faces the same problem: What do you do with the people who don’t fit in?” – Margaret Atwood
  39. “You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.” – Margaret Atwood
  40. “When we think of the past it’s the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  41. “There may not be one Truth there may be several truths but saying that is not to say that reality doesn’t exist.” – Margaret Atwood
  42. “The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself.” – Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin: A Novel
  43. “War is what happens when language fails.” – Margaret Atwood, from The Robber Bride
  44. “Poetry is where the language is renewed.” – Margaret Atwood
  45. “You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built into the human plan. We come with it.” – Margaret Atwood
  46. “Reading is one of the most individual things that happens. So every reader is going to read a piece in a slightly different way, sometimes a radically different way.” – Margaret Atwood
  47. “Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.” – Margaret Atwood
  48. “But who can remember pain, once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  49. “Every aspect of human technology has a dark side, including the bow and arrow.” – Margaret Atwood
  50. “All stories are about wolves. All worth repeating, that is. Anything else is sentimental drivel…” – Margaret Atwood, from The Blind Assassin
  51. “Without the light, no chance; without the dark, no dance.” – Margaret Atwood
  52. “If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.” – Margaret Atwood
  53. “I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one ‘race’ the human race and that we are all members of it.” – Margaret Atwood
  54. “Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.” – Margaret Atwood, Surfacing
  55. “Why does the mind do such things? Turn on us, rend us, dig the claws in. If you get hungry enough, they say, you start eating your own heart. Maybe it’s much the same.” – Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
  56. “Some people mistakenly think nature is very nice and benevolent and never betrays.” – Margaret Atwood
  57. “Amazing how the heart clutches at anything familiar, whimpering Mine! Mine!” – Margaret Atwood, from The Year of the Flood
  58. “If your not annoying somebody, you’re not alive.” – Margaret Atwood
  59. “The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose.” – Margaret Atwood
  60. “Kafka thought his stories were hilarious. We don’t necessarily have that reaction to them, but he certainly laughed his head off every time he read them out loud.” – Margaret Atwood
  61. “A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  62. “Take me to your trees. Take me to your breakfasts, your sunsets, your bad dreams, your shoes, your nouns. Take me to your fingers.” – Margaret Atwood, Good Bones
  63. “Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life-sized.” – Margaret Atwood
  64. “There’s something to be said for hunger: at least it lets you know you’re still alive.” – Margaret Atwood, from Oryx and Crake
  65. “Reality simply consists of different points of view.” – Margaret Atwood
Read ->  The 50 Most Inspiring Quotes From Wayne Gretzky

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Margaret Atwood Video – Why You Should Read the Handmaid’s Tale

If you are looking for motivation and inspiration to read The Handmaid’s Tale, be sure to watch this video

We think it will convince you!

Related: Kurt Vonnegut’s Best Quotes


Margaret Atwood is an inspiration to the feminist world, is an accredited best-selling author, and an award winner. You may have already had knowledge of this amazing author because you looked into your favorite TV series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, or maybe you have read some of her works previously if you are a lover of her literature yourself.

However you have landed yourself here, these quotes are some of Margaret Atwood’s best and express her opinions, views and creative nature. We hope these inspire you to read more of her work.

Related: Neil Gaiman Quotes

Image Credit: ActuaLitté, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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