Margaret Atwood Theme Of Betrayal

Betrayal: “Lusus Naturae” and “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”
Betrayal is a violation of trust which creates conflict within a relationship. Margaret Atwood’s “Lusus Naturae” calls attention to a protagonist, who understands and copes with a disease which turns her into a ‘monster,’ and who forfeits her own life for the sake of her family. Similarly, in Karen Russell’s “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” the theme of betrayal is present when Claudette realizes her desire to adapt as a naturalized citizen of human society and will do whatever necessary in order to succeed. Equally, the “monsters” in both stories are forced to make decisions that alter their future, which illustrates the ideas of betrayal. Margaret Atwood’s story is about a girl who has a disease which unavoidably turns her into a monster. Atwood sets a disconsolate tone to her story in the very beginning by posing a rhetorical question: “What could be done with me, what should be done with me?” (232).
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Each monster was simply doing what she needed in order to benefit herself, as well as those around them. Atwood’s monster was dedicated to her family and “didn’t want to stand in the way” (234), whereas Russell’s monster wanted to make her parents proud because “[they] wanted something better for us” (238). Each character perceives her actions as just because the benefits of dying or evolving, by way of self-improvement, helped not only themselves but everyone else as well.
While betrayal is present in both short stories, it is portrayed in different ways. In “Lusus Naturae,” the monster’s family betrayed her, wanting her gone so it did not affect them anymore. Claudette, on the other hand, betrayed her sisters so she could become a more acclimatized citizen. In both stories, betrayal or simply being dedicated to something influenced the characters and ultimately defined their

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