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The Troubles Of Being A Woman

2855 words - 11 pages

Canadian feminist author, Margaret Atwood, has written many novels, short stories, and poems reflecting the difficulties women have faced throughout the late 1900s. By creating characters that portray the new woman, Atwood’s relatable yet surprising plots demonstrate the struggles women have gone through to earn their standings in society. Now, in the twenty-first century, women have earned a nearly equal status to men in many important areas. Some of these areas include occupation, education, and intelligence. As women become more successful, the importance of certain female traits become emphasized. Atwood creates female characters that embody the image of the ideal new woman. In addition to her female characters, Atwood develops characters that pose as representations of the past. The characters that are the most relatable to readers are the ones who tackle the difficult roles of being a wife, a mother, and a woman in a predominantly male-run civilization. In Margret Atwood’s The Edible Woman, The Handmaid’s Tail, and Surfacing, female characters confront the challenges of developing their role in a marriage, escaping oppression from society, and accepting the value of fertility.
In today’s society, women tend to feel pressured into finding a spouse before the opportunity to fall in love passes by. Unfortunately, love is not the only reason for two people to get married. Support and security provide a person with the comfort of not being alone for the rest of their lives, however, many fear time may run out if they do not act fact. In Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman, Marian McAlpin displays struggles in her decision to commit to her fiancé; Peter. Although she admires him, something just isn’t quite right. In the Overview of Margaret Eleanor Atwood, a critic produces the idea that, “Her fiancé seems too stable, too ordinary, and the role of wife too fixed and limiting”(Gale, “Overview” n.pag.). Her idea of how life would be as Peter’s wife repulses her. Marian is worried that her job is in jeopardy because her supervisor at work believes that it is an “act of disloyalty to the company” (The Edible Woman 24). Marian also, “decides not to tell her coworkers at the office about the engagement, since she needs to retain her salary” (Cooke 36). Although her job provides a lot of stress, Marian is also preoccupied with the impression that her roommate, Ainsley, plans to raise a child as a single mother. Ainsley is sickened by their close friends, Clara and Joe’s, marriage and makes the remark that; “Their worship of each other before the wedding was sometimes ridiculously idealistic; one kept expecting Joe to spread his overcoat on mud puddles or drop to his knees to kiss Clara’s rubber boots” (Edible 33). Worrying about Ainsley’s life plans, Marian begins to neglect her love for Peter. After much debate and argument, Ainsley accepts the fact that she will not be able to raise a child on her own, and decides she must find a father. Marian...

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