As Canada has become less wild, many of these obstacles have been recognized by writers to exist internally, as Atwood says: "no longer obstacles to physical survival but obstacles to what we may call spiritual survival, to life as anything more than a minimally human being."
Grim survival is that sort of survival which overcomes a specific threat which destroys everything else about one, such as a hurricane or plane crash. One supposes that survival in a war setting, or even survival of a serious personal tragedy (such as rape) might also qualify. Of this sort of survival, Atwood writes: "The survivor has no triumph or victory but the fact of his survival; he has little after his ordeal that he did not have before, except gratitude for having escaped with his life."
Cultural survival is also a vital issue. French Canadians struggled to retain their language and religion under…… [Read More]
The narrator states that she would like to "give" her protective charms, to help the beloved guard against grief. She wants to help guide the person back to the waking state like a divine, loving and eternal presence of spiritual support. Whether the beloved is a child or a lover, the narrator's love is powerfully transcendent.
The English language refers to "falling" asleep and waking "up." Therefore, images of ascending and descending correspond to states of consciousness in Atwood's poem. When falling asleep, the narrator refers to "the cave where you must descend." After encountering the source of "grief at the center," the narrator notes that she would like to "follow / you up the long stairway." Again, Atwood stresses an attitude of selflessness and surrender by using the word "follow" and emphasizing it by placing it at the end rather than at the beginning of the following line. Leaving…… [Read More]
Western culture as a whole promotes ideas related to dualism and individuals are provided with the feeling that it is essential for them to see society as an idea promoting two sides. People are thus taught that it would be impossible and harmful for them to concentrate on removing society's tendency to categorize them.
Even with the fact that Ainsley and Duncan manage to step away from the boundaries of their condition, one can feel the frustration that Marian puts across as she struggles to behave as socially acceptable as possible. She is initially a typical woman in a modern society, she has normal needs and she is consumerist. However, as her relationship with Peter advances it becomes obvious that she has trouble accepting the position she is in and that she compensates for her pain by taking on attitudes that mask her suffering. Food is a means for her…… [Read More]
And "civilized" also means being corrupted by rampant economic temptations and in the process, ruining the land; and the narrator goes to great lengths to show that she "...wishes to not be human," which is a linking of "guilt and self-knowledge," according to Janice Fiamengo's essay (in The American Review of Canadian Studies). Essayist Fiamengo quotes Atwood from a 1972 interview (Surfacing was published in 1972) in which the author says that if "you define yourself as intrinsically innocent...then you have a lot of problems, because in fact you aren't." The narrator wishes "...to be not human," Atwood said, "because being human inevitably involves being guilty."
She's not likely saying that we're all guilty due to "original sin," but rather because we as the human race bear the responsibility for the misbehavior and inhumanity of those who came before us, such as the Europeans who "conquered" North America and while…… [Read More]
Conventional literary criticism pertaining to Margaret Atwood and her works of fiction tend to focus on the postmodern genre of literature for which she is generally regarded as a purveyor. This scope of focus certainly applies to a bevy of criticism aimed towards some of her shorter works of fiction, particularly that found in her collection of short stories Bluebeard's Egg. Carolyn Merli (2007) both mentions this propensity and also is disposed to "consider the "post modern" strategies of one of Atwood's, Bluebeard's Egg." Postmodernists will find a variety of pieces of evidence to justify an analysis of Atwood's titular work from this collection via this perspective, such as her temporal displacements (Ridout 856) in which the narration leaps forward and backwards in time despite the chronicling of a single dinner party. In examining the work through such a lens, however, it may be easy to forget one of the…… [Read More]
Therefore, the revolutionary plotline is window dressing, serving merely to distract the reader from the fact that the underlying story - the real story - is devoid of conflict and therefore not compelling.
Atwood's other point in Happy Endings is that the endings themselves are mere window dressing. Readers typically favor a happy ending, but the happy ending should not be the point of the story. The story lies not in the ending at all, but in the how's and why's of the characters and their actions. Her choice of device to illustrate this point is unfortunate, however. She decides that to make her point all endings are "John and Mary die." This is a straw man, since the ultimate end we all face is not the ending constructed in most stories. Atwood's point is that all other endings are contrived, but this ending of hers is equally contrived since…… [Read More]
Estelle pokes fun at the magazine's obsession, noting that the carefulness urged by the magazine on the part of women makes it seem like avoiding sexual assault is a step-by-step process "like it was ten new hairdos or something," not a serious criminal and personal issue. The story evolves from Estelle's point-of-view. Estelle initially finds the conversation of her female colleagues uncomfortable, as is evidenced by her focus on the beginning pursuit of the women, a bridge game and by concentrating on her bidding. However, even the reserved Estelle becomes involved in the debate when she ironically describes a rape fantasy where the attacker is held back by a squirt of juice from a plastic lemon filled with Easy Off Cleaner.
Estelle's fantasy is funny and empowering all at once. (104) But Estelle always reminds the other women, including the disgusted Darlene that what they're describing are sexual fantasies: "Listen...…… [Read More]
eview of Margret Atwood's Short Prose Piece
"The Female Body" was a short piece that appeared in the Michigan eview in the early nineties that had many feminist themes featured within it. Feminism focuses on combating the marginalization and objectification of women and defend equality among the sexes. There are many dimensions in which it is argued that women receive inferior consideration in society such as in employment opportunities or compensation, social arrangements, or just perceptions of norms of behaviors among others. Margaret Atwood illustrates in her work the disconnect between many women and their own bodies. For instance, if the female body is an object, then the individual female may not be in control of that object.
The primary objective of the essay is to make people realize how they view the female body and discover their own disposition and prejudices. To achieve her objective, she uses…… [Read More]
In this simple, somewhat old-fashioned novel in which happiness is demonstrated by young girls successfully marrying, the ending of the novel is much more preferable to the beginning. The novel ends, of course, with Elizabeth marrying Mr. Darcy in a state of happiness. The beginning of their relationship, however, was characterized by a sense of tension and perhaps even mutual dislike on the part of both parties, as Mr. Darcy refuses to dance with Elizabeth due to his displeasure with his surroundings. However, much as the narrator in "Happen Endings" alludes to, the subsequent events that occur after this initial one are what set up the happy ending. Mr. Darcy is eventually attracted to Elizabeth's intelligence and caring, compassionate nature. In fact, the ending of this novel shows how the pair are able to overcome a number of obstacles, even Elizabeth's initial refusal of Mr. Darcy's proposal -- all of…… [Read More]
Oppressed Edible Woman
The Edible Woman -- Margaret Atwood
The Edible Woman offers a look at the conventionalized aspects of society that result in a version of cultural violence which is gender-oppressive. In kaleidoscopic fashion, the protagonist undergoes a series of transformations that are fundamental to her self-identity, her current and future places in society, and her rediscovery of mediating levers to overturn the cultural violence boulder that has come to rest on her shoulders.
The Warping of Marian's Self-Identity
The Marian the reader first meets is a liberated young woman with the clear-headed ability to assess the society in which she lives. She appears to have rejected the role that society has described for women her age. Her relationship with a young lawyer is relaxed by the standards of the day -- a time before hard-line feminism had been articulated -- and her job is meaningful and situated beyond…… [Read More]
political, social, and civil rights as they are, the notion of possible futures haunts nearly everyone. Potential political realities in the present and not-so-distant future are examined in Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale and Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time. These novels have become modern classics precisely because of their poignant relevance to real-world social and political affairs. Although both Atwood's and Piercy's novels are at least in part set in future times, both tales are devoid of any significant characteristics that distinguish them from the present day reality. Thus, both The Handmaid's Tale and Woman on the Edge of Time eerily depict life in modern-day America even as they bridge gaps in time. In particular, issues related to gender and to political power are salient in both books. Through the core elements of their narratives, The Handmaid's Tale and Woman on the Edge of Time reveal that male-dominated…… [Read More]
Gender, Sexuality, and Identity -- Question 2 "So, is the category bisexuality less or more threatening to the status quo than is homosexuality?"
The passage suggests that in fact, rather than presenting patriarchic constructs of identity with less threatening formulation of human sexual identity, bisexuality does the exact opposite -- it presents common social norms with the more threatening notion that human sexuality is not an either/or 'Chinese menu' option of stable choices. The practice of homosexuality, even when it is deemed taboo and beyond the pale of the human sexual order is still a 'comfort' to the heterosexual norm. The construct of homosexuality suggests that human sexuality exists in an either/or dichotomy. So long as one is attracted to the opposite gender one is, in essence, safe from the presumably aberrant, even pathological orientation of homosexuality.
However, bisexuality presents a potentially fluid rendering of human sexual desire, whereby even…… [Read More]
Billy Collins' poem is a lyric poem because mainly it expresses highly personal emotions and feelings. Many lyric poems involve musical themes or tones, and in fact in Shakespeare's era the word "lyric" meant that the poem was accompanied by a musical instrument (a lyre). But while Collins' poem doesn't give off a musical idea or theme (unless the sound of a fork scratching across a granite table is music), it does use metaphor and achieves a dramatic impact.
The metaphor has two people, presumably married and in a love partnership who have divorced. (It is known that although un-married couples who have been together for a long time and break up are also involved essentially in a "divorce" of their partnership.) The metaphor of "two spoons" shows two people locked together, snuggling would be a good word, in a warm bed. "Tined" means prongs on a fork -- or…… [Read More]
" (Atwood, 4) the seamless convergence of the warm familial title 'aunt' with the image of this corporal mode of enforcement helps to underscore a society that is violently hostile toward independence, particularly contextualized by its treatment of women. There is an element of forcible control over these women that smacks of government imposition, a key element of the society and the primary mode through which the rights of women are disrupted.
Certainly, the aggression which seems to be an increasingly inescapable aspect of the is channeled toward the female gender as a whole in Atwood's novel, even as Offred struggles to recognize this. She herself ponders the meaning of the valued traditionalism in her society; "A return to traditional values. aste not want not. I am not being wasted. hy do I want?" (Atwood, 7) it is clear that, far separated from the notion of femininity as something more…… [Read More]
Many people do not understand this distinction in school, but when they get into the 'real world' they will often discover it. I liked this essay a lot because it was very true to life, and because Baker was not afraid to say what he thought about the issue instead of trying to make sure that he kept everyone who read the essay happy with his beliefs. Since he was not trying to please everyone, his honesty came through and was quite valuable.
Men and Women Talking on the Job' was written by Deborah Tannen and deals with differences in communication between the genders. It is written in the block style. The main thesis of the essay is that men and women have very different communication styles and this often leads to problems and misunderstandings. The author makes her point very well, and the way that she does this is…… [Read More]
Simile -- A common device in poetry is the use of comparisons, often comparing something unusual or uncommon with something that is more familiar to the reader or audience. One kind of comparison is the simile, which uses the words like or as and compares two things that are dissimilar in order to bring about a fresh view and new meaning.
An example of a simile that does this is found in Margaret Atwood's "You fit into me," in which she describes the fit of two lovers to each other as "like a hook into an eye." The reader imagines a hook and eye on the band of a skirt or the back of a bra, but then Atwood changes the significance of the simile by becoming more specific. She adds the explanation "A fish hook ... An open eye." The extended simile creates a very painful image of being…… [Read More]
As Margaret Atwood points out, Americans have as much to be ashamed of as to be proud of.
When Barbara Kingsolver claims "The values we fought for and won there are best understood, I think, by oil companies," she refers to the way the American flag has been distorted. The issues the flag symbolizes, such as freedom and liberty, are myths for many people. As Kingsolver points out, the American flag has been used to justify many evils including wars like Vietnam and Iraq. Instead of delivering true freedom, liberty, and democracy, the American flag really brought economic dependence. Instead of associating the American flag with negativity, death, and intimidation, Kingsolver suggests that Americans reclaim it. The red stripes do not need to symbolize war. They can also symbolize "blood donated to the ed Cross."
The American flag is a flexible symbol that is often used in ways that manipulate…… [Read More]
This became an age in which visionary thinkers said, "see, we told you so," and were able to garner additional support from not only the activist type, but the regular citizen.
Malthusian dynamics (overpopulation and resource allocation) became a focus of futurists. Marshall McLuhan, for one, combined futuristic predictions with analysis of global media and advertising trends.
Noam Chomsky was revolutionizing the idea of linguistics as a way to view our innate cultural mechanisms.
Science fiction writers like Clarke, Asimov, and Lem pushed the boundaries of science as far as possible -- insisting that the reader ask very difficult questions about what it truly means to be human, what it truly means to have conservatorship of a planet, and whether or not we have the wisdom to maintain life on earth as we know it.
Chapter 6 -- Fast Forward
Arthur C. Clarke made an interesting remark about…… [Read More]
This appearance does not improve as the book progresses. Because their first set of knives is taken away, the twins go to the butcher Faustino Santos twice to have knives sharpened for the murder. In piecing together the story later on, the narrator says, "Faustino Santos told me that he'd still been doubtful, and that he reported it to a policeman who came by a little later to buy a pound of liver for the mayor's breakfast" (Marquez 53). He is doubtful, but he reports it to the police; he reports it to the police, but he still sharpens the twins' knives when they come back a second time. There is a vague sense of civic duty in the report, but a greater sense of curiosity and possibly even macabre justice in the butcher's actions. This is also shown by father Amador, who is asked to conduct the autopsy on…… [Read More]
Irony in "Soldier's Home" -- Irony is a device used by writers to let the audience know something that the characters in the story do not know. There is usually a descrepancyt between how things appear and the reality of the situation. Often the characters do not seem aware of any conflict between appearances and the reality, but the audience or reader is aware of the conflict because the writer has used irony in the story. Whatever the emotion of the story is, irony heightens it.
There is a strong element of irony in Ernest Hemingway's painful story "Soldier's Home." Harold, who served in the Army in World War I on the bloodiest battlefields, comes home too late to be welcomed as a hero. We know he needed to be treated as a hero (because he makes up lies about himself) but the townsfolk and his parents do not. While…… [Read More]
" Soon thereafter Marian begins struggling with eating and acting more feminine (out of character) due to the pressures imposed by the expectations of society. Atwood's implication is that this expectation of femininity dehumanizes woman, restricting their potential to self-actualize and personal freedom. The author's portrayal of Marian as feminine and weak indicates she is programmed to act this way and unable to consciously behave in any other manner. Marian is dehumanized by society.
As the story progresses Marian begins to grow into a stronger person. She begins to discover who she is and what she wants and take control over her life. Marion understands she does not want Peter and the life her has to offer. She takes her ring off places it in her change purse next to her nickels and dimes, coins of low value. Ultimately she overcomes the oppression of her culture, literally devouring a cake…… [Read More]
The mystery, which is representative for Kroetsch, would simply disappear once someone would give a translation for his poem.
Readers are likely to think that the poem is too authoritarian in the beginning. Their inability to understand its meaning when trying to relate to the exact meaning of the words used Kroetsch used would be frustrating. However, this is essentially wrong. The author wants people to feel free and to think what ever they want to instead of limiting themselves to a simple and rather restrained idea at the time they read his poem.
The protagonist in "Surfacing" is to a certain degree comparable to Kroetsch, as she too is discontented with the strict nature of language and with the fact that it does not give people total freedom. The use of language however affects Atwood's creation to a higher degree. It transpires the will to virtually abandon everything related…… [Read More]
Storni, Alfonsina. "You ant Me hite." The Norton Anthology of orld
Vol. F. Ed. Sarah Lawall and Mayard Mac. New York: Norton, 2002. 2124-2125
The poem titled "You ant Me hite" written by Alfonsina Storni explores the issue of women mistreatment by men. The women complain how men expect them to be virgins when they (men ) are not.
Atwood, Margaret and Martin, Valerie.The Handmaid's Tale . Anchor.1998
In this book the author portrays how women are only valued for their fertility and they are allowed access to education in the patriarch society. This work is important to the research since it shows how women were mistreated by being regarded as sex symbols as well as not being allowed access to education.
Staves, Susan. Married omen's Separate Property Rights in England, 1660(1833. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1990.
This work is a recollection of the actual case studies and examples of various…… [Read More]
She found a place where she could grow and succeed as herself. Diane Oakes, executive director of the Kaw Valley Council, saw girl scouting as a tool in bringing out the leader from every girl of any age. It is one of the few service organizations, which gives full voting power to its young representatives to choose council board of directors. These elected and hardworking representatives become an important voice in the council. The respect they earn from the adult members of the board boosts their self-esteem. That self-esteem, productivity and sense of achievement contribute to their total personality development into adulthood. And Amanda Atwood, a senior high school student, relished a sense of fulfillment when her opinions benefit younger girl scouts. Amanda and three other Senior Girl Scouts organized a safety program for students in the elementary level. As a result, 2,000 children received identification cards with their photos…… [Read More]
Paradoxically, based on the outcome of the story, it can be argued that the snake in the crest is not poisonous or else Fortunato's "bite" would have had more severe consequences on Montressor; however, the story ends with Montressor getting away in Fortunato's murder.
Symbolic foreshadowing can also be seen in the conversation about masons between Montressor and Fortunato. As Fortunato questions Montressor about being a mason, Montressor assures his victim that he is and pulls out a trowel "from beneath the folds of [his] roquelaire" (277). Ironically, Fortunato is asking if Montressor is a Freemason and not a mason by trade. Furthermore, Montressor's assertion that he is a mason also hints at how he will carry out his revenge.
Lastly, symbolism and irony are evident in the characters' names. Montressor's name can be loosely translated into my treasure, which can refer to the type of slight that was committed…… [Read More]
Clickers/esponses Phonics Lesson
Phonics Long Vowel - Silent e Lesson Plan for Special Education
Students will recognize and say words that follow the c-v-c-e and v-c-e rule where the first vowel is a long vowel and the final e is silent. By using the Clickers/esponses as a classroom game they will utilize them after hearing the correct sounds.
Students with the will be able to spell and write out some basic long vowel words that have c-v-c-e and v-c-e spelling patterns and will use the Clickers/esponses when they hear the right sound.
About the Concept:
There are several regular long vowel spelling patterns in the English language. The c-v-c-e pattern (consonant-vowel-consonant-final e) is a long vowel spelling pattern which occurs quite frequently in early reading and spelling. Essentially, the phonics rule for this design mentions that when a vowel and final e are separated by a single consonant, the…… [Read More]