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“Lusus Naturae” by Margaret Atwood Essay (Critical Writing)


All people want to show their individuality, all people like to understand that they are unique and do not depend on others. However, when it comes to extraordinary situations, it appears that all people are similar. Living in one society, people strive for becoming like others, even though they refuse the issue. Having read “Lusus Naturae” by Margaret Atwood, I was shocked by the importance of social opinion which dictated how people were to look like, and in case one failed to correspond to general rules, a severe punishment had to follow. “Lusus Naturae” by Margaret Atwood is a scary story which shows not the exterior abnormality as it may seem from the first sight, but it aims to describe inner ugliness through the parents of physically disabled girl.

A story starts with a family council where the destiny of a girl is decided. All the members of the family seem to understand that a girl is one of them, that she deserves living and it is something evil which has transformed her. However, reading the story further the shocking facts are revealed. It turns out that a family is ready to kill their blood and flesh in order to show society that they are one of them and that they are not on the side of something evil and unknown. Sitting at night at the kitchen table all the members of the family seem to pity a girl who has been transformed by a devil. The father even feels pride for teaching her to read. However, when the situation changes and people in the community get to know about girl’s defects, they choose to kill this “freak of nature” only because she is different. When it comes to the question what to do with the girl, when the community gets to know, the family takes a side of society having forgotten about family ties with the girl. She becomes a monster to them even though she is the part of them.

The author perfectly shows how social opinion is important. People are ready to betray and kill their blood relative in order to show society that their point of view is similar. The girl is a monster due to some disease, however, relatives have to be on her side up to the end, they are to protect her and to take care of her. But they decide to be like others. Social opinion matters for people more than it should be. Using such cruel example, the author depicts the main sins of modern society. People are too devoted to public opinion, they are dependent on it, so that their actions may be ugly and shocking just in the name of social correspondence. Parents are ready to kill their child to show that they also consider her as something that cannot live in society with people.

Margaret Atwood has shown the vices of society. Presenting one specific case and showing the reaction in one particular society, it is possible to refer the situation to all social formations in the modern world. The story may be considered as a true one if to think about it as of a symbolic one. All people are foul inside and they care just for personal good. Even blood connections do not play any role, if society is against something. And this is a present reality, unfortunately.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 5). “Lusus Naturae” by Margaret Atwood. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/lusus-naturae-by-margaret-atwood/

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"“Lusus Naturae” by Margaret Atwood." IvyPanda, 5 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/lusus-naturae-by-margaret-atwood/.

1. IvyPanda. "“Lusus Naturae” by Margaret Atwood." September 5, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lusus-naturae-by-margaret-atwood/.


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IvyPanda. "“Lusus Naturae” by Margaret Atwood." September 5, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lusus-naturae-by-margaret-atwood/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "“Lusus Naturae” by Margaret Atwood." September 5, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lusus-naturae-by-margaret-atwood/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '“Lusus Naturae” by Margaret Atwood'. 5 September.

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