Essay on The Edible Woman

Submitted By marbri9
Words: 1064
Pages: 5

Marco Briones Page 1 In the beginning of "The Edible Woman" written by Margaret Atwood, Marian McAlpin the protagonist in the novel, is having trouble finding what she really wants to do with her life. Marian struggles from having to juggle between the role that society has bestowed upon her, while still trying to manage her own personal life, and the fear of what she may become if matters stay this way. Fortunately by the end of the novel, through the difficulties that occur Marian manages to escape from her wearisome job, her controlling boyfriend, and because of this is able to find her own true identity. Here, we will see how some certain factors that occurred during the novel that triggered Marian to realize that her femininity meant very little to society when associated with male dominance. With the use of Simone de Beauvoir's theories, it will allow us to see how masculinity and femininity are structured, society's expectations of her, female in general, and her boyfriend Peter are what hindered Marian from discovering her own self identity. One of the aspects in which Marian gets prevented from finding her own identity is the fact that Seymour Surveys, the market research company that Marian works in is dominated by males. The top floor of the market research company in which Marian has no access to, is exclusively run by males, while the lower level is run by the females.
"But we must insist again that woman have never constituted a closed and independent society; they form an integral part of the group which is governed by males and in which they have a subordinate place."(Clipperton 19) As Beauvoir explains, the views on

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females have remained the same, even up to now most people believe that men are superior than women, and are far more capable than woman which gives them the right to govern the females. Marian believes that she is superior and far more capable than all the other women in her floor, and does not want to be there. She sees that all the positions which are important and respectable are all taken by the men. This hinders her from finding her self identity because Marian knows that society sees this as acceptable and normal. "Now what's a nice little girl like you doing walking around asking men all about their beer?" he said moistly. "You ought to be at home with some big strong man to take care of you."(Atwood 49). Here is another example of how we see Marian is just viewed as a frail woman, whom should allow the men to do all the dirty work, and instead should be taken care of, this causes her to be angry. The choices and positions are limited for Marian in society because she is female. Having society structure the way you should be depending on your gender is difficult to get away from. When it's someone close to you, it's even harder. Probably one of the biggest obstacles, that stopped her from discovering her identity would be Marian's boyfriend /fiancé Peter. Peter plays a vital role in Marian's life throughout the novel. In "The Edible Woman", when Peter proposed to her, it ultimately causes Maria to lose the sense of self dependency and begins to fit the role of most women are seen doing by society. By allowing the male in their life to make all the decisions, and planning, it causes women to be more and more self reliant on the male and thus lose their self identity because they are no longer the ones deciding what they
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want and just follow whatever the male wants. This is self evident in the novel when
Margaret Atwood decides to change the control of narration. In the first part Marian would