The Monster In Margaret Atwood's 'Lusus Naturae'

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Monsters have always been perceived as creatures with petrifying characteristics. They are often described as dire, dreadful, and horrendous. An individual deemed as a monster by an entire community must have committed atrocious acts; however, the unnamed protagonist in Margaret Atwood’s short story “Lusus Naturae” was considered monstrous by the entire faction despite neither committing such acts. The protagonist, who’s suffering from an illness called porphyria, was disdained and classified as a monster merely because of her looks—her yellow eyes, pink teeth, red fingernails, and long dark sprouting hair around her chest and arms. Even though her outward appearance is comparably peculiar with respect to the appearance of typical humans, one cannot basically imply that she is a monster. As ironic as it may sound, the protagonist’s family, along with the priest and the townspeople, are the genuine monsters in this literary piece. In this short story, it was clearly seen that the protagonist was physically and psychologically isolated from her community. This abhorrence initiated within the protagonist’s own household. Her family implied that something was wrong with her—that she used to be a lovely baby and that she was cursed (263). This implication has undoubtedly destroyed the protagonist’s self-confidence to the point that she acknowledged herself as an “it”—an object that is not valued—as she stated the words, “it saddened [my mother] to have given birth to an item

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