Eating In Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman

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‘The Edible Woman’ is structured like a journey into the interior landscape of its protagonists, Marian and her association with several male and female acquaintances and friends. Through her close association with them, she realizes her real ‘self’. The main action of the novel puts the various alternatives before Marian who is present throughout the novel either as an observer or as active or passive participants. The theme of the novel is acquiring a confident voice of her own, identifying her ‘self’. In the first part of the novel, Atwood uses the confessional mode. Marian tells us about herself, her own voice, projecting different attitudes towards womanhood out of which the protagonist chooses one as her ultimate destiny and she looks for choices in terms of alternatives to her present situation. The Edible Woman is the first novel by Margaret Atwood, published in 1969. It is often discussed as an early work of…show more content…
She accepts male-chauvinistic society. But at the end of the novel she finds with her ‘self’. Marian partially reconstructs that new persona or concept of self through a renewed relationship to food. Non-eating in The Edible Woman is mainly a symbol of the denial of the patriarchal model of femininity. Although the protagonist is an educated bright woman who lives on her own, she feels manipulated and unable to take decisions for herself. Atwood in an interview says:
It’s a human activity that has all kinds of symbolic connotations depending on the society and the level of society. In other words ,what you eat varies from place to place, how we feel about what we eat varies from place to place, how we feel about what we eat varies from individual as well as from place to place. If you think of food as coming in various categories: sacred food, ceremonial food, everyday food and things that are not to be eaten ,forbidden food, dirty food, if you like- for the anorexic ,all food is dirty
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