The Edible Woman Essay

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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. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
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