IRJE: The Edible Woman (January 1st)

The Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood is beginning to pick up in speed and intrigue for the main character, Marian.  When Marian runs into her old college friend, Len, she proposes to have dinner with him, and her boyfriend, Peter. Marian’s roommate, Ainsley, ends up coming as well, which she wasn’t expecting.  At the dinner, some unpleasant conversation mixed with a previous unknown instability of Marian’s, she reaches a breaking point. After crying in the washroom (which is so unlike her), she regains her composure with the help of Ainsley’s comforting and a breath of fresh air. However, not for long, as she gets a sudden impulse, leading to an unexpected urge to run.

I was running along the sidewalk. After the first minute I was surprised to find my feet moving, wondering how they had begun, but I didn’t stop. (p.79)

This passage thoroughly stood out to me, because this does not reflect Marian’s character so far, whatsoever. We’re seeing a completely new side of her, which is why I found this so captivating. The novel is starting to develop Marian’s character in an unfamiliar manner, which is why I believe that this is the first event leading to her eating disorder, and her changing lifestyle. She’s acting up, and toning down her sensibility. It’s a fresh layer for her, one that’s impulsive and full of risk; one that takes action based on emotion, rather than channelling her meticulous thought process. This new side of Marian is really introducing some depth to her, which is something that is essential when looking to connect with a character. That sudden urge to just escape, is something that many can relate to, it just wasn’t expected in Marian.

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