An Analysis of The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood Essay examples

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An Analysis of The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

The Le Deuxième Sexe by Simone De Beauvoir was written about twenty-one years before Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman and yet it summarizes the gender inequality encountered by the human female species. In De Beauvoir’s book, she takes apart the basis of the gender inequality and the myths and stereotyping attached to being a woman. Atwood’s novel, on the other hand, symbolically identifies the stereotyping that women have to endure their whole lives as the second sex. This writing’s objective is to analyze Atwood’s novel, The Edible Woman using the theories discussed by De Beauvoir.

Marian McAlpin is the main character in the novel. Other characters try to slot her into a “box” or
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In other words, humanity acculturated and helped woman form herself and her concept of self. In the same manner, Marian’s environment has presented her with paths she can take to realize one particular stereotype however, Marian, (as we later found out) rejected all this propositions of what she should become.

Women’s association with food has always been an issue. People see it as a means for women to vent out their frustrations- when in fact even men could also choose to food binge and not be perceived as “frustrated” or hormonal. Atwood’s novel takes anorexia nervosa and changes the perspective of woman’s relationship to food as manifestation of the main character’s revulsion towards being subjected to labels. Marian’s action of running away from Peter after she hears the story about Peter gutting the rabbit is symbolic of Marian losing her personality- “her inner self” to Peter same as the rabbit lost its insides to Peter’s knife. This happens later on as her reliance to Peter increases more and more as seen in page 87 when she said "I'd rather leave all the big decisions up to you".

“When a little girl climbs trees it is, according to Adler, just to show her equality with boys; it does not occur to him that she likes to climb trees” (de Beauvoir, 1949). In her writing of Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex), de Beavoir takes

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