& # 8211 ; A Reason To Kill Essay, Research Paper
A Reason To Kill
Margaret Atwood & # 8217 ; s Surfacing is an intensely symbolic novel about an creative person whose weekend trip place to seek for her losing male parent turns into a journey of self find. The chief character in the narrative is besides the storyteller and is non given a name likely because readers will be able to place with her as the narrative & # 8217 ; s heroine. Early in the narrative, she talks about being married, divorced, and holding a kid. Later it is made known that she was ne’er married, but has had an matter with her art professor. As a consequence of the matter, she gets pregnant and has to hold an abortion. Her method of covering with the hurting of holding an abortion is to make a false memory to cover it up. Her false memory becomes so existent that she really forgets until subsequently in the novel that she truly did hold an abortion. Having the abortion was a atrocious experience for her because she had killed another animal without holding a ground for making so. The abortion symbolizes the violent death of her ain humanity which causes her to experience alienated from everyone around her. This feeling of disaffection is like being confined in a jar.
In the novel, there are several mentions to jars, bottles and Sn tins. These points represent methods of incorporating or incarcerating life: & # 8220 ; I put the worms in a can and some soil for them. & # 8221 ; They besides represent the storyteller & # 8217 ; s ain emotional life which has been put into jars forestalling her from being able to experience. The storyteller knows that she has feelings, but the injury of holding an abortion has caused her to go highly desensitized.
It can be deduced that the storyteller has ever felt trapped in topographic points she did non desire to be. On page 58, she says that Anna could be her at 16, & # 8220 ; pouting on the dock, resentful at being off from the metropolis and the male child friend I & # 8217 ; vitamin D proved my normalcy by obtaining & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; She has ne’er felt normal. She even has a calling that she did non mean to hold and this makes her uncomfortable: & # 8221 ; & # 8230 ; it feels strapped to me, like an Aqua-Lung or an excess, unreal limb.
For her full life, The storyteller has been unable to cognize her true ego because she has non been taught to experience. Alternatively she has been taught how to react suitably to different state of affairss. Her organic structure becomes a symbol for the unconscious quashing her emotions so that she has to do a witting attempt to make up one’s mind hoe she feels about things. She talks on page 54 about how she memorized survival ushers at an age when misss in the metropolis were reading True Romance magazines. She thinks that the magazines would hold given her better counsel for societal behaviour than all the material she had learned from the maps and survival ushers. Knowing how to delve a hole in a blizzard and picking the right mushrooms to eat had been no good to her life in the metropolis.
In the first chapter, the storyteller negotiations about the clip Anna read her thenar: & # 8220 ; & # 8216 ; You had a good childhood but so there & # 8217 ; s this amusing break. & # 8217 ; & # 8221 ; As a kid the heroine idolized her parents. Her parents were atheist, so she was ne’er taught to believe in God. She refers to Him as the foreigner God, and her parents go her Gods since they are all she has to believe in: & # 8220 ; If you tell your kids God doesn & # 8217 ; t exist they will be forced to believe you are the God, but what happens when they find out you are human after all, you have to turn old and decease? & # 8221 ; The amusing interruption Anna saw in her thenar represents her separation from her parents after the abortion. She was really ashamed of what she had done and did non experience like she could speak to her parents about it because they would non understand something so evil. & # 8220 ; They were from another age & # 8230 ; when everyone got married and had a household & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; She besides stayed off from her parents in an effort to maintain them immature: & # 8220 ; & # 8216 ; They have no right to acquire old. & # 8217 ; & # 8221 ; She says she was certain her parents would stay unchanged: & # 8221 ; & # 8230 ; I could go forth and return much later and everything would be the same. & # 8221 ; She wants to maintain her Gods immature because they would lose their power if she had to watch them turn old.
Traveling place is a awful experience for her, and the lone ground she makes the trip is because of her male parent & # 8217 ; s accident. If she finds him alive she intends to go forth without of all time allowing him cognize she was at that place. She knows in her bosom that her male parent is dead, but she keeps seeking to convert herself otherwise. She tells Paul the ground she can non sell the cabin is that her male parent is still alive and off on a trip: & # 8220 ; & # 8216 ; For all I could state he might hold been listening to us at that minute & # 8230 ; & # 8216 ; & # 8221 ;
The chief characters in the novel are Canadian, and they all appear to harbour a great trade of bitterness towards Americans. To the heroine, & # 8220 ; Americans & # 8221 ; becomes a metaphor for the heroic self-importance and people who live in a civilization which has separated them from their ain humanity. On pages 152 & # 8211 ; 154, she compares Americans to Hitler because in her head Americans are seeking to take complete control of the continent and to turn everyone into a individual type of animal: & # 8220 ; Are
the Americans worse than Hitler. It was like cutting up the pieces of a cestode, the pieces grew.” Bing American agencies being replicated for a paradigm of the ideal animal and forced to populate in a society separated from life’ s most cardinal qualities. If people are populating in a civilization which separates them from the most cardinal things in life, they have no freedom ; so the storyteller disfavors Americans because she believes that all life animals should be free: “I emptied those bottles into the swamp. The other things, the 1s still alive, I let out.”
The characters come across a dead Hero tied with a bluish nylon rope and hanging from a tree subdivision. This Hero symbolizes the natural universe. The storyteller does non understand why they killed the Hero since you can non eat them. It bothers her to see the bird strung up like a lynch victim. She thinks the Americans did it to turn out & # 8220 ; they had the power to kill. & # 8221 ; Killing the Hero was their manner of possessing it. The heroic self-importance establishes control over the natural universe by killing.
The storyteller goes plunging one dark by a stone face to look for Indian pictures. While plunging, she has a vision of a foetus: & # 8220 ; It was blurred but it had eyes, they were unfastened, it was something I knew approximately, a dead thing & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; She is a different individual from this point on because her memory is restored and her healing procedure eventually begins. She makes a descent into the fabulous underworld by traveling through some physical alterations which symbolize a return to her emotional life.
Joe attempts to hold sex with the heroine when she is through diving, but she pushes him off because he is human, one of the slayers, and she does non desire him in her. After her male parent & # 8217 ; s organic structure is found, she all of a sudden decides to acquire pregnant by Joe: & # 8220 ; But nil has died, everything is alive, everything is waiting to go alive. & # 8221 ; She takes him out into the forests and has sex with him really hastily. Like an animate being, she is non interested in pleasance. Her lone focal point is on acquiring pregnant: & # 8220 ; I guide him into me, it & # 8217 ; s the right season, I hurry. & # 8221 ;
She is non certain that she is really pregnant, and it does non count. What matters is that her gestation symbolizes the recovery of the loss she incurred during the abortion: & # 8220 ; I can experience my lost kid come uping within me, forgiving me & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; Like the Americans who killed the Hero, her lover had tried to possess her by killing something that was a portion of her. He did non merely kill a babe, he besides destroyed her humanity. Now she is pregnant with her ain capacity to be human, and this kid must be allowed.
The storyteller & # 8217 ; s epic descent makes it possible for her to travel beyond the bounds of human being and return to what is most basic because she becomes an animate being. She can non be a portion of any type of societal order. She breaks, knocks, or X-es out everything in the cabin. She stops eating canned nutrients and finally stops eating at all. The garden and the cabin become topographic points she is out to travel because they are things that contain and define life harmonizing to a societal order.
During her journey, the storyteller has visions of her parents, and subsequently, as she is fixing to reenter the universe, she talks about non being able to experience their presence: & # 8220 ; No Gods to assist me now, they & # 8217 ; re questionable one time more, theoretical as Jesus. & # 8221 ; At this point, she acknowledges for the first clip that her female parent and male parent are truly dead. She has ever perceived them as being super-human, but her supplications to them to assist her are non working: & # 8221 ; & # 8230 ; they dwindle, grow, go what they were, human. Something I ne’er gave them recognition for & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; Once she accepts the fact that her parents are human and have died, they are no longer her beginning of power. She can now look indoors herself to happen the power she needs to last.
It is slightly amusive that her journey ends merely before the conditions turns cold. She says, & # 8221 ; & # 8230 ; I can & # 8217 ; t remain here everlastingly, there isn & # 8217 ; t adequate nutrient. The garden won & # 8217 ; t last and & # 8230 ; I have no money. & # 8221 ; She goes on to discourse & # 8220 ; their definition of saneness, & # 8221 ; and decides, partly out of fright of being institutionalized, to reenter society: & # 8221 ; & # 8230 ; the infirmary or the menagerie, where we are put & # 8230 ; when we can no longer cope. & # 8221 ; She is looking at herself in the mirror with a soiled face and hair matted with branchlets and foliages, and she laughs about seeing a natural adult female wish herself as & # 8220 ; a new sort of centerfold. & # 8221 ; She has to acquire herself back together before she is found and locked off in a mental infirmary.
At the terminal of the novel, it is non of import to cognize if she goes back with Joe. What is of import is cognizing that the & # 8220 ; kid & # 8221 ; with which she is pregnant symbolizes the possible to go human. She has regained her ain humanity and eventually feels in control of her life. She has accepted the deceases of her parents. She has forgiven herself for holding the abortion. She has surfaced as a true homo. If she does travel back with Joe, he will go her nexus to society, and their relationship will help her in go oning to develop as a human being.