B2 -C2 English Story
There Was Once: by Margaret Atwood
"There was once a poor girl, as beautiful as she was good, who lived with her wicked stepmother in a house in the forest."
"Forest? Forest is passé, I mean, I've had it with all this wilderness stuff. It's not a right image of our society, today. Let's have some urban for a change."
"There was once a poor girl, as beautiful as she was good, who lived with her wicked stepmother in a house in the suburbs."
"That's better. But I have to seriously query this word poor."
"But she was poor!"
"Poor is relative. She lived in a house, didn't she?"
"Then socio-economically speaking, she was not poor."
"But none of the money was hers! The whole point of the story is that the wicked stepmother makes her wear old clothes and sleep in the fireplace-"
"Aha! They had a fireplace! With poor, let me tell you, there's no fireplace. Come down to the park, come to the subway stations after dark, come down to where they sleep in cardboard boxes, and I'll show you poor!"
"There was once a middle-class girl, as beautiful as she was good-"
"Stop right there. I think we can cut the beautiful, don't you? Women these days have to deal with too many intimidating physical role models as it is, what with those bimbos in the ads. Can't you make her, well, more average?"
"There was once a girl who was a little overweight and whose front teeth stuck out, who-"
"I don't think it's nice to make fun of people's appearances. Plus, you're encouraging anorexia."
"I wasn't making fun! I was just describing-"
"Skip the description. Description oppresses. But you can say what colour she was."
"You know. Black, white, red, brown, yellow. Those are the choices. And I'm telling you right now, I've had enough of white. Dominant culture this, dominant culture that-"
"I don't know what colour."
"Well, it would probably be your colour, wouldn't it?"
"But this isn't about me! It's about this girl-"