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Identity and Margaret Atwoods Lady Oracle

The relationships we have with different people throughout our lives are strong influences on us all. Our relationships with one another can define who we are, as well as the quality of the lives we lead. Strenuous relationships cause stress and unhappiness, while close, loving relationships are a source of support and comfort. Joan Foster, the main character in Margaret Atwood=s Lady Oracle, is a complex woman who has had more than her share of turbulent relationships during her life. From her childhood and teenage relationship with her mother, to her bond with her husband later in life, Joan=s relationships are rarely free of turmoil and drama. These relationships definitely have an influence on Joan, impacting her as a person. The issue of Joan and her relationships reveals a question: How are Joan=s relationships important to her identity?The first major relationship in Joan=s life is the one with her mother. Joan feels unwanted and unloved by her mother, who treats Joan coldly because of her weight problem. At first, Joan struggles to fit in with her mother=s perfect vision of her and tries to live up to her mother=s expectations. When she fails at this, Joan resents her mother=s unbearable attitude and becomes antagonistic toward her. Joan=s identity then becomes based on the opposite of what her mother expects and wants from her. At this time my mother gave me a clothing allowance, as an incentive to reduce. She thought I should buy clothes that would make me less conspicuous, the dark dresses with tiny polka-dots and vertical stripes favored by designers for the fat. Instead I sought out clothes of a peculiar and offensive hideousness, violently colored, horizontally striped. Some of them I got in maternity shops, others at cut-rate discount stores; I was especially pleased with a red felt skirt, cut in a circle with a black telephone appliqued onto it. The brighter the colors, the more rotund the effect, the m...

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