Margaret Atwood Payback Analysis

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Some people struggle with the concept of finances. Margaret Atwood forms her own theory, with evidence, on the topic of finances in her book Payback. Topics that will be discussed is Margaret Atwood’s views on finances to society, literature that supports her views, and a personal interpretation, and opinion, of Payback. Alistair Macleod stated that writers write about what worries them. Atwood contributed to this statement, with her own opinion, that writers write about what worries and puzzles them.
“The subject of Payback is one of the most worrisome and puzzling things I know” (Atwood). Throughout the text Atwood makes it known that she knows little about finances and that her curiosity has led to gathering information, creating Payback,
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One piece of literature that would convey Atwood’s views on finances, and fairness, and how it works in society is Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. This piece allows you to view how finances worked in a different time period, compared to how it was described in Payback. The merchant of Venice is Antonio whom is close friends with Bassanio. In the piece of literature Bassanio quickly depleted his funds in pursuit of a wealthy women, Portia. To continue to court, and impress, Portia Bassanio reached out to his companion, Antonio, to borrow money. At the time, Antonio had all of his assets tied up into an investment which led him to do business with Shylock. Shylock was hesitant to do business with Antonio, since his investments were tied up and Shylock wanted his money returned to him. After consideration Shylock agreed to give Antonio the money but only if he can return the money within two months’ time or sacrifice a pound of flesh. Bassanio protested, since this trade would be viewed as unfair, but Antonio agreed to the terms. Antonio agreed because in one month he was expecting his investment to follow through and have plenty of money to return what was owed to Shylock. Flesh as substitute for cash is deemed unfair because flesh is deemed more valuable in this situation. Money can be earned to pay back Shylock but once the flesh is cut off there is no way to regain it. During this reading you are able to make the connection between love and finances, between Portia and Bassanio or Bassanio and Antonio. Also, you observe being in debt and unfair payment. Both the financial interactions and the sense of unfairness contribute to Atwood’s opinion on finances. There are many different aspects during this time, such a racism and inequality, that factor into finances. Readers may interpret Shakespeare’s, or Atwood’s, work

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