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Female Dominance And How The Male Characters Within Atwood 's Article

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Margaret Atwood’s novel Surfacing consists of an unnamed heroine visiting her childhood home with three other friends, two of which are married to one another, Anna and David and Joe, the narrator’s boyfriend. As the narrator takes us through her experience, we learn a lot about the characters within the text. This essay will exclusively focus on male dominance and how the male characters within Atwood’s text appose their power upon the women in their lives and what allows them to do so. There are many possibilities as to what had nourished the sexist mindsets and behavior many of the group members project, the sexism could be embedded into the member’s minds through their childhood experiences, reassured overtime from peers or pressured…show more content…
For example, when everyone is sitting together and David comments on the shape of the narrator’s butt and later announces that Anna has gained weight. (Atwood,98) The group continues on normally after hearing these comments as if nothing offensive or demeaning was being said, but as if it were everyday language between the group of friends. The narrator sees Anna and Joe’s relationship to be picture perfect until Anna begins to discuss her relationship problems with her. Anna mentions that David has a set of rules that consistently change for Anna to follow and her failure to do that gives him an opportunity to punish her in any way he chooses to do so. He treats her like a commodity, an object rather than a person and claims he believes in equality of the sexes, but Anna doesn’t fit the requirements, rather describes her as “a pair of boobs” (138, Atwood). While discussing her relationship problems, Anna tells the heroine about how things took a turn when David was convinced Anna really loved him. The sudden change in the relationship occurred when David realized he had Anna in a situation from which she could not easily escape, love. He knew she wouldn’t leave him and the love in the relationship is only one way, Anna’s emotions and mental health do not affect David. When others try to interfere and point out the abuse in Anna and David’s relationship, David finds a way to justify his actions. Later on in the novel, David decides he wants Anna’s naked body to
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