The Effects of Objectification of the Human Body in Margaret Atwood’s “the Handmaid’s Tale” and Nalo Hopkinson’s “a Habit of Waste”

2442 Words Apr 21st, 2013 10 Pages
Kylie Greenham

March 29, 2012

In recent history, there have been many cases of rape all over the world that have been sparking public outrage, not only because of the perverse acts but also for the way that society has responded to these attacks. The Steubenville, Ohio case is one account, where a sixteen year old girl was raped by two high school football players. Instead of focusing on the tragedy of the rape, the public and the media chose to speak about the two rapists - the boys - and how their promising football careers were over. It was suggested that the girl was at fault for being drunk, and that she was known for lying in the past, and could possibly be lying about the case (Poladian, 1). This is only one example of
…show more content…
This procedure is an expensive one, which the upper-class undergo frequently, and the lower-class may never have a chance to experience in their lives. The protagonist, Cynthia, undergoes the procedure after saving money for five years (Hopkinson, 56). She is not an upper-class citizen, but decides to save her money in order to have this procedure, which is associated with high-class society. Cynthia claims that “it’s a rich people’s thing” (Hopkinson, 58). The human body has been turned into a commodity, aestheticized to fit monetary needs and reflect social status. Much like the women of different roles in “The Handmaids Tale” look down upon each other, the lower-class citizens in “A Habit of Waste” look down upon the upper-class people that objectify themselves and undergo this vain procedure. It is a normal custom for the rich, and the objectification of the human body for aesthetic purposes becomes a mark of social status in “A Habit of Waste”. The differences in social status of the characters in “A Habit of Waste” also has an influence on the political matters within the society. Cynthia travels through the “creepy side of Sherbourne” where the less fortunate people live, with her newly acquired, small, athletic body (Hopkinson, 59). In the upper-class side of town, they decorate their gardens with food, whereas the poor have to go to food banks and resort to

Related Documents