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Word Count: 1,999
The Self of women of Marian Mc Alpins time the 1960s is reduced to purchasable goods The beauty of women is celebrated in terms of the riches that are comparable to her her eyes are blue sapphires her brow is ivory and her lips are ruby She is not only available for sale but also for consumption her skin is white as milk her lips are sweet as honey This consumer emphasis in the novel peaks when Marian transmutes into the truest feminine stereotype by donning a flashy red dress and painting her face with many layers of cosmetics She has done this at her fianc Peters request to dress better than usual at his party that night Marian begins to fear that this new guise is a change that Peter wants to make permanent Women in the sixties were only just emerging from their self-accepted role in the house and men had not yet realised that women were their equals This party is the breaking point for Marian She rebels against what she believes to be Peters image of the female stereotype with a cleansing ritual in which she portrays herself as edible Marians impression is that Peter would delight in her being edible because destroying and consuming her would be faster and easier for him Marian Mc Alpins experience is an example of what women have to fight against and deal with in a male-dominated society that women perpetuate by continuing to submit to the female stereotype The novel concentrates mainly on consumerism feminism stereotyping and rebellion Marian may seem at first to be an extraordinary woman a rare case but in fact she exemplifies the majority of women in that time Margaret Atwoods introduction to Marians world is filled with metaphors and images of food Marian loves to eat and describes her meals and love of eating with great relish She takes us passionately through her breakfast and describes
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