Woman on the Edge of Time Book Review

Published 22 Jun 2017

Nobody can ever see and realize what is in the mind of a woman considered to be crazy but the person herself. In fact, it is unfortunate to note that not even her thoughts and emotions, however real they seem to appear, may even rescue her from the demeaning and judgmental position of people and the society in general. However, is it not more valuable to consider that a supposedly irrational woman possesses much wisdom than a normal person? This is especially if she is able to clearly identify and understand that the apparent horrors of her existing world are undeserving of what the future promises to provide.

Such futuristic condition may be difficult to be accepted as true in the contemporary setting. However, using the said kind of principle in a literary work has proven to be the effective tool for an author to make the public realize the significance of exposing the true condition of the current surrounding. Rather than covering the very evident ills of the present-day society, a book’s attempt to boldly reveal the evils of humans, by looking through her future, has served to be a more effective way to require and instill the need to create an ideal society to live in.

The said scenario was what the book “Woman on the Edge of Time” by Marge Piercy has explicitly and effectively imparted. Through the use of a daring and advanced or ultramodern narrative style of writing, the book has successfully served its very essence and purpose of disclosing the harmful elements of the current society and the surprising depiction of the potential future based from the perspective of an allegedly insane woman.
Considered to be a science-fiction, the author efficiently made the “Woman on the Edge of Time” as an intense reflection of people’s essential and conflicting notions of the existing and future societies as well as a thrilling depiction of an ideal community which will replace the obscurity of the present condition. Equally noteworthy is the fact that the story was told in the context of a woman whose ideas and sentiments are supposed to be not within the edge of sanity.

The lady who is thought to be “on the edge of time” is 37-year-old Consuelo or Connie Ramos. Piercy, through the book, explored and allowed the readers to have a glimpse of the mind of a Mexican-American woman resident of New York City who lives on the borders of life in the current and future settings. Locked up in a mental facility for inflicting injury to the abusive partner of her niece, Connie is subjected but vehemently objects to the conduct of mind-control therapy. This is because, according to her, she will be deprived of the opportunity to illustrate that a future society which is free from all harms is definitely better that the one where she is currently existing (Piercy, 1983).

Looking through the mind and emotions of Connie, the public is able to picture that what she is portraying is, in fact, a place which she desires. It turns out that what the book is trying to impart is that human beings, as represented by Connie, create an ideal and alternative place or condition in order to or in an aspiration to emphasize the harms of the contemporary setting where they exist. In doing so, however, a person’s sanity is jeopardized. As what has happened to Connie in the book, one’s attempt to deviate from reality, no matter how ideal the cause is, will just lead to the blemishing of a person’s ideas and feelings or overall personality.

Because of Connie, people will have an experience of how it is totally different to live in the present period and during the year 2137. The book’s use of a symbolic personality in the name of Luciente showed to be valuable. This is because the Connie-created person Luciente was able to clearly provide a vivid description of an anti-sexist and united society where human’s continued existence is reliant and guaranteed not according to one’s wealth but based on necessity (Piercy, 1983).

While the imaginary character of Connie lives in place with a complete sense of independence, option and security, the more the book was able to effectively illustrate the humiliating and cruel life of Connie whose existence is totally contrary. In essence, I say that the courage and honesty of the author’s presentation made the book disturbing yet a reminder of the existing cruelties of the present society. It is a sort of telling the truths and realities of life in the context of a woman who was made to appear and believe, although against her will, that she is mentally and emotionally unstable.

Taking into consideration the said psychological state of Connie as well as her moving and effective representation that people is better to live in an ideal setting; it is then empirical to say that the book has achieved a sense of victory. This is by making the public realize the disadvantages of creating a life full of negative aspects and instead the beauty and benefit of living one’s life based on positive elements.

Piercy’s narrative power coupled with the information and eventual realization that readers progressively gained from the life story of Connie, the book presented a depressing and extremely far credible illustration of how the current society has institutionalized the many forms of brutalities. In doing so, the readers will be able to create a clear picture of the inability of the current society not to inflict cruelties to those who are already and those who are only made to appear as crazy. Fortunately for the character of Connie that she was able to resist her condition by an acknowledgment that she is struggling a battle not only for herself but also on behalf of those in similar condition.

In response to the ideas and themes presented by the book, I should say that the concepts formulated and extracted from the book particularly the story of Connie are not moralistic. This is because the author’s depiction of an ideal society was based supposedly according to the existence of the people who inhabit such a perfect setting. It is like realizing exactly the extent of the book’s vision through the lives of crazy people such as Connie.


  • Piercy, M. (1983). Woman on the Edge of Time. New York: Fawcett Crest.
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