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The Edible Woman Essay | Critical Essay #2

This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Edible Woman.
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Critical Essay #2

In the following essay excerpt, Howells examines The Edible Woman within the context of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, finding many thematic similarities between the works but arguing that Atwood's novel greatly differs in its "dimensions of fantasy and metaphorical thinking."

In this chapter I shall trace Atwood's exploration of sexual power politics through social myths of femininity and representations of the female body in two texts which mark very different stages in her writing career and in the history of feminism. The Edible Woman, her first novel, appeared in 1969 at the beginning of 'second wave' feminism, whereas the savage little fable 'The Female Body' written 20 years later (after Bodily Harm, The Handmaid's Tale, and a woman artist's paintings of the female body in Cat's Eye) belongs to the explicitly political context of feminism in the early 1990s, laying out the implications of patriarchal myths and fantasies about...

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This section contains 4,373 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Edible Woman Study Guide
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The Edible Woman from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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