An Analysis Of Magaret Atwood's Bluebeard's Egg: External Versus Internal Self

1039 words - 4 pages

Margaret Atwood's “Bluebeard's Egg” is a story centred upon a woman called Sally, describing her relationship with her husband, Ed, and her best friend, Marylynn. The story is told in a third person perspective, a “God-like” figure that takes us through the whole narration, but only revealing the thoughts of one character, Sally. In the story “Bluebeard's Egg”, the main conflict is within the protagonist, Sally; that is, her external self versus her internal self. Sally's external self does not act according to her internal self. In other words, Sally does not express her emotions and thoughts due to the many concerns that she has, both psychological and environmental.
From the first paragraph we are already given insight into the situation - Sally is living together with a man called Edward, who most certainly is her husband, and Sally is also taking care of his kids, whom they did not have together. From there on readers can guess that this probably is not Ed's first marriage and it is logical to think that Sally is aware of this fact. The reason of Ed's previous divorces remains unknown, even to Ed himself (or so we are told), Sally is bound not to let it happen again, she shall be his perfect wife and “the one” in his life. Internally, this frustrates Sally, who worries that Ed would one day realize she is not the “true bride”. “What if he wakes up one day and decides that she isn't the true bride after all, but the false one? Then she will be put into a barrel stuck full of nails and rolled downhill, endlessly, while he is sitting in yet another bridal bed, drinking champagne”(773). This passage not only fully reveals the frustration and worries of Sally but also her insecurity. Bounded by the thought of getting a divorce with Ed, and him marrying yet again, Sally is not to display her true concerns to Ed, or anyone else. This concern is one of the reasons why she keeps her emotions and thoughts to herself. She even makes jokes about Ed's “stupidity” to her best friend, Marylynn.
With regards to Marylynn, Sally admires her intelligence, confidence, ability, appearance and almost everything else about her. Again, Sally does not display such admiration for Marylynn to anyone. In a dinner party Sally is preparing for Ed and his heart men, the only thing she is looking forward to is Marylynn's appearance in hopes of lighting up the dull dinner; this makes obvious that her attitude toward Marylynn is not just a outwardly display of politeness. From the story we become aware of the fact that Sally thinks of herself as an intellectual woman, independent and confident, thus, she does not show high regard for anyone. One can say that her internal self is dominating over her external self, however, this changes when she is at her workplace in front of her boss.
In her workplace, Sally may not be considered as an asset to the company from a third party point of view, that is, one has to work in the...

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