The Resplendent Quetzal

The Resplendent Quetzal

"The Resplendent Quetzal" is a short story by Margaret Atwood. It was published in the collection "Dancing Girls" in 1977.

Plot summary

Sarah and Edward are on a vacation in South America, and are visiting uninteresting tourist locations. Sarah and Edward are married, but do not get along well. Sarah describes Edward's passions (such as birdwatching) as "compulsions" which are "awkward and boyish". They merely make her tired. Sarah is "bland and pale and plump and smug". Things were once different between them, but Sarah had a miscarriage and they have become increasingly uninterested in each other since. Their discrepancies multiply. While visiting a restaurant, Sarah steals a toy figure of baby Jesus, and later throws it into a sacrificial well that they visit on a tour. Edward sees this and makes an attempt to confront her, but their contact fails, and the story ends.

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