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Margaret Atwoods Purpose Of The Female Body English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1099 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Feminism is the movement that seeks to define, establish and defend equality among women. This may be in social economic or political arenas where women feel they are marginalized. In promoting women rights, feminists argue that they will achieve gender equality and especially break from social barriers which make them inferior to men. Sexism on the other hand relies on the belief that one sex is superior, competent or valuable than the other. It can occur to either men or women such that they tend to show hatred or prejudice to the opposite gender.

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Feminism and sexism are directly related to one another in that they both try to bring crashes on gender diversity. In her writing, Margaret Atwood portrays how women wish to return to their bodies in which they feel estranged as well as they are there just for display. Most often they are advantage of and are subjected to do things against their wish. Women in all parts of the world at one time in their lifetime may encounter what she writes about thus making her piece of work applicable anywhere.

From Margaret Atwood’s point of view, she has the feeling that there is exploitation of the female body. She tries to bring out the picture that a woman’s body is used as an object of trade. She says that from a woman’s face more than a hundred products are launched; using the beautiful faces as a lure. She symbolizes the female body by using imagery where the many parts are used in advertisement and marketing products. Examples of these instances include; the female body use in selling cars, lotions, cigarettes and liquor.

Other instances are when the body is used as bait in selling diet plans, diamonds and desire in tiny crystal bottles. She however cautions her readers not to get any funny idea for that “smile is a dime a dozen”. She uses constraints to clearly illustrate the need for being dominating, greedy and selfish; for these are values of the world is after.

Atwood writes about social afflictions that affect both men and women and thus creating inequality. The author further argues that rape is as a result of male dominance albeit being degrading a woman’s value (Margery, 159).

Margaret Atwood in her works utilizes a style that is not only distinctive but also effective. Imagery is the usage of figures meant to form mental images and or likeness of things so that one event is related to another. She uses the word “leash” to imply restraint by tethering; common attitude women usually feel towards men. The word “chain” portrays something that is used to restraint while “lock” implies placing where someone cannot escape. All these imageries relate to a dog, and hence women may sometimes get disgusted by such acts.

This shows that women are tired of certain things especially if they cannot escape because they are restrained. Much evidence is in the imageries discussed and which show that the dignity, authority and the freedom of a woman has been, lessened (Margery 178). The style of being effective evidently appears in her work. The fairytales allusion is illustrated by the diction of terms such as “pumpkin”, “high tower” and “chamber” which despite being directed towards women, show the ideology of male domination over females.

Atwood’s in her work says that the female body manifests female powerlessness and yet the body vainly protests. She considers the female body as a source of resistance and power. The illustration of how the female body and the earth connects, show a woman being vulnerable to much oppression. This is a reason she tries to figure out how man and women are different.

All women struggles are further amplified in Judy Brady’s “Why I (Still) Want a Wife”. In spite of her being a woman, a wife and a mother, she ironically states that she need a wife. The idea strikes her after analyzing a divorced man who was in search of a wife. She then goes ahead to vindicate her desire in a manner which shows the oppression women undergo as well as their desire to break free.

One of the reasons is to resume studies so as to gain economic independence and support her life. This is a common scenario women undergo especially in nurturing the men in their lives while suffering quietly. In all these, they are left to do the hard work like raising children, a hard task, while husbands engage in other business. With a tongue in the cheek she explores the many chores women engage in and which their husbands never give credit. Men and especially married ones would rather in their selfishness see that their physical and emotional need met and yet play no part in attaining them. Instead they leave everything to women.

By asserting that she need a wife “who will not bother me with rambling complaints about a wife’s duties”, the writer want us to understand the turmoil women face quietly. In as much as they sacrifice a lot to keeps a family running, they are expected to be submissive and not complain. Social life is important to every human being and if women are denied a chance to engage in it, they might accumulate much tension which if not relived causes conflicts.

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Again, the writer touches on the most sensitive part of any relationship in the form of sexual fulfillments. This in its ideality is meant to be two way between a man and a woman. But it seems that men get the most out of it is complete disregard of women needs. This also relates to Atwood assertion that women bodies are just objects to satisfy men egos. In conclusion, she finally touches on the most vital part; change which will ensure liberty and understanding between men and women.

From my point of view, the argument that feminism should be about making both men and woman equal is very important. Both writers desire women liberation so that a woman is not to be forced in “picking things up”, but that they are left to choose for themselves. Atwood still believes though her writing that even today women still face numerous obstacles and hardships. By critically analyzing her works both men and women can pursue a brighter future devoid of inequality in the world.

Work cited

Fee, Margery. The Fat Lady Dances: Margaret Atwood’s Lady Oracle.

Toronto: ECW Press. (36)

Bordo, Susan. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body.

London: University of California Press, Ltd.


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