Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Atwood :: Character Analysis, Kat, Disintegration

Atwood uses symbolism to convey how a person’s personality can disintegrate by living in a repressive society. In the beginning of the story, Kat goes through a surgery to remove a large ovarian cyst which she keeps and names â€Å"Hairball†. This large cyst is in fact, a symbol that represents Kat’s personality disintegration. Most cyst that develop in the human body are dysfunctional, and Kat can be seen as a dysfunctional woman when she decides to keep this cyst. â€Å"The cyst turned out to be a benign tumor. Kat liked that use if ‘benign,‘ as if the thing had a soul and wished her well† (304). This specific passage shows the readers how Kat is slowly loosing her mind by thinking that her cyst has a soul of its own. In addition, she humanizes her cyst by naming it â€Å"Hairball† and by giving it human characteristics: â€Å"Hairball’s baby teeth glint in the light; it looks as if it’s about to speak† (312). More over, Hairball is described as having baby teeth which can represent how it is like a baby who still developing. This developing cyst can also symbolize how Kat is trying to develop her own personality. However, this becomes a challenge for her because she lives in a society where male domination is present. She works as a photographer for an avant-garde magazine, and tries to express her ideas, but the men whom she works with don’t let her do so. Kat trying to develop her personality within her society leads her to become lost, and back to becoming dysfunctional just like a cyst trying to be a tumor. The author uses Hairball as a symbol to highlight how Kat’s personality disintegrates by living in a society where gender inequality is supported. Characterization plays an important role when conveying how one’s personality can disintegrate by living in a restrictive society. Although Kat is slowly loosing her mind, in the story, she is portrayed as a confident woman who tries to strive for excellence. This can be seen when she wants to name the magazine â€Å"All the Rage†. She claims that â€Å"it’s a forties sounds† and that â€Å"forties is back† (311). However the board of directors, who were all men, did not approve. They actually â€Å"though it was too feminist, of all things† (311). This passage not only shows how gender opportunities is apparent in the society Kat lives in, but also shows the readers why Kat starts to loose her mind.

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