The Misogny in Oryx and Crake Essay

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(intro about 3-4 line, open topic of oppression and misogyny, short guide to essay) In their dystopian novels, both Atwood and Huxley offer an extremely sexist vision that portrays women as being obstructions to the success of men. Gender inequality was still prevalent even in 2001, when Atwood was writing Oryx and Crake, and the misogynistic issues shown in her dystopias such as child pornography and sex slaves may not have existed when Huxley was writing, however the motives of the authors are the same – they are trying to reflect the sexist society that they lived in. It was these presentations of misogynistic societies that made Deanna Maddern comment that in Brave New World ‘the women interfere with or prevent the men from achieving spiritually.’ There seems to be a lot of truth in this quotation, as in Brave New World we see how Helmholtz manages to rebel intellectually, and establish himself as a true poet, only when he decides to deprive himself of women and soma. Maddern’s view can also be extended to Atwood’s dystopia as the female protagonist, Oryx, is also presented as being a disruption to male characters work. We can see this by the way that she distracts Jimmy to such an extent that he is unable to do his work properly because he is tormented ‘night and day’ with the desire to ‘touch’ and ‘worship’ her. Although Sigmund Freud’s theories were often criticised throughout his lifetime, they gained much more acceptance and recognition towards the end of the 20th century – and were perhaps very influential on both Huxley and Atwood’s work. Coincidental or not, Freud’s three part concept of the psyche interestingly can be applied to Atwood’s three main protagonists as Appleton explained. Oryx can be seen through a Freudian reading as the Id: she represents the symbol of lust and is the embodiment of men’s illicit desires in that she is the

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