Analysis Of Margaret Atwood's Payback

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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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Moreover, Atwood noted that social animals, such as humans and chimpanzees, indulge in sharing out. Atwood also noted that children start saying, “That’s not fair!” around the age of four, before they have an interest in finances. With fairness comes unfairness. For example, someone may owe you a pen but they give you a loaf of bread which may be deemed as having lesser value then the pen causing the transaction to be “unfair”. Atwood used an example of trading between monkeys done at Emory’s University by Sarah F. Brosnan. In this example the monkeys are given a shiny coin which can be given to the human for a cucumber. One day one of the monkeys was given a grape for its shiny coin while the others continued to receive a cucumber which resulted in upsetting the monkeys that did not receive a grape to such an extent that they began throwing their pebbles. Monkeys were used, in Payback, as an example of a different type of fairness. Atwood explained that fairness is not simply breaking things into even section but there are many factors that play into it. For example, chimps hunt in groups and when the chimps return they do not evenly distribute what was collected but the chimp strongest in physique or personality receives more but all the monkeys that participated in the hunt receives something. If the chimps did not receive anything after …show more content…
Atwood uses her own personal experience with money, human instinct’s connection with finances, and the connection between religion and finances. Personal beliefs dictate me to believe that balance is learned rather than instinctual. There are examples that Atwood provides that can prove my point. For example, it is known that religion is how we represent society 's moral conscience and provides collective effervescence. Durkheim’s work explaining society, specifically The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, the collective and moral conscience may influence a reader to view Atwood’s material in a different light. I believe that “fairness” and balance are taught to us through religion, and example through other people, not instinctual. Also, a four year old child stating, “That’s not fair!” by that age is already being taught “wrong” from “right” by their parents, or caretaker, which is societal influence not instinctual. Atwood’s view of humans impulsive behavior is understandable. For many centuries humans were taught to grab what they could to survive which is viewed as impulsive, a negative trait, that is noticed especially in people with addictive tendencies. I would agree with Atwood’s opinion if she believed that balance and finances were taught but viewing it as instinctual is incorrect in my

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