Allusions to other works

Surfacing echoes the structure of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, as the narrator travels by car back to her childhood home.[2] The novel has also been compared to Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Atwood's unnamed narrator and Plath's Esther Greenwood are both driven to psychological breakdowns due to their unwillingness to adhere to the social expectations imposed on women.[5]

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