87 pages 2 hours read

Margaret Atwood

Hag-Seed: William Shakespeare's The Tempest Retold

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2016

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Symbols & Motifs

Fletcher County Correctional Institution

Fletcher Country Correctional Institution is a physical and metaphorical space. Felix selects the prison as an environment that will salvage his reputation and sense of purpose. When he begins working at the prison, he doesn’t know exactly how the prison will factor into his plan for revenge, but he sees in the prison a replica of Prospero’s island. Prospero’s island is his prison, but it is also a space for Prospero to flex his powers and win his life back. Felix immediately imagines the prison as his own island. He charms the guards and Estelle into arranging everything he needs or wants to make the prison his stage, thus giving Felix power that he abuses to threaten Tony into giving Felix what he wants.

The prisoners of the Fletcher County Correctional Institution represent the better side of human nature: powerless people coming together to learn from one another and extend empathy to characters first written about in the 17th century. These prisoners and their goodness contrast with Felix’s bad intentions, emphasizing the prison as a space of oppression and corruption, but also of potential joy and rehabilitation.