Female and Animal in Margaret Atwood‟s The Edible Woman and SurfacingAuthor : Somasree Sarkar
Volume 8 No.2 April-June 2019 pp 48-52
The philosophy of European Enlightenment has valorized the supremacy of man, owing to his rational faculty. The universal notion of human centrism is responsible for creating the „other‟, also perceived as the „lesser‟. The Western philosophy for long has upheld binaries – human/non-human; soul/body; sex/gender; man/woman and so on. Such crippling binarization has led to discriminations, claiming the dominance of one over the „other‟. It has facilitated the subjugation of the „other‟ by the assumed superior power through the politics of prejudiced representation of the „other‟. The postmodern philosophy along with feminism questions the politics of universal representation. The postmodern studies have looked into the crevices of the Enlightenment enterprise and have argued that the endeavor has been the prerogative of white males. So, it is necessary to debunk the long nourished notion by decentering (hu)man. The body of postmodern studies seeks to represent the marginal through the unprejudiced lenses of tolerance. It is important to note that any non-(hu)man – whether it is an animal or a woman, is considered to be the „other‟ of man. Both are subjected to violation by male. In the consumerist society, animals and women both, suffer from the threat of consumption. The male centric society has encroached upon the realm of animals as well as of women, depriving them of their fundamental rights of living freely and independently. The research paper critically argues the ethical violation of animals and women, both marginalized by the male dominated consumerist society. A parallel is drawn between the two “lesser-than-man” communities. To serve my purpose, I have chosen Atwood‟s novels – The Edible Woman and Surfacing. Both the novels explore the issue of woman‟s identity in the patriarchal system. The novels seek to redefine the identity of woman by identifying them with animals.
Enlightenment, other, animal, woman, identity, consumption
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