The Female Body Critique

1426 Words6 Pages
The Female Body Critique In Margaret Atwood’s “The Female Body” she gives an interesting view on the life of women and the ways in which women are controlled, devalued and taken advantage of. Atwood's thesis is unclear, but it's unclear because she's conjuring images for the reader to piece together. More specifically Atwood attempts to explain the female form through an array of metaphors and comparisons. In the following pages, I investigate Atwood’s perception/interpretation of the female body and analyze the ways in which she responds to, and resists, society’s destructive effects. Using present theory I show how Atwood deals with the concept of female body itself. I also consider Atwood’s depiction of the female desire, taking into account its relationship to power and identity. Atwood’s language has visible denotation and hidden connotation. She uses dictation such as “chain”, “leash”, “door knocker”, and “bottle opener” to show that society devalues and dehumanizes the female body. Atwood pits civilization against the wilderness surrounding it and society against the savagery from which it arose. The female body represents servitude and entrapment, victimization and imprisonment as defined by a man. It is a battlefield of violence in which the speaker describes a woman’s body as a “mute symbol” of grotesque weakness. A woman’s body is the theatre on which men’s brutal rituals are enacted, as they vie for supremacy. The female body in Atwood’s work also demonstrates the unbreakable connection between the Earth and women, proof of a woman’s vulnerability and mortality. While the female body can represent continuity, sensual pleasure, and self-reliance, in most of Atwood’s piece, there is some disconnection between substance and spirit, between flesh and essence. Atwood’s figures do not carry an attitude of female indifference. While this piece invites the
Open Document