AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 8, Number 2 May 2024 Pp. 131-144

Meat Consumption as a Metaphor: Gender Differences in Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman

Nahed Mohammed Ahmed Meklash

English Department
Faculty of Education, Matrouh University, Matrouh, Egypt.
Corresponding Author: nahedmeklash24@mau.edu.eg


This paper studies the metaphorical representation of gender differences in meat consumption, a vital issue in vegetarian ecofeminism, masculine food studies, and feminist animal studies. In the context of Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman, the metaphor of meat eating resonates with Carol J. Adams’ concepts of the linked relation between women and edible animals and J Wyckoff’s linked oppression of sexism and speciesism. Using these concepts as a critical intersectional lens, the paper explores the various forms of gender oppression Marian is subject to, the power dynamics in Marian-Peter’s relationships, and the potential solutions presented by Atwood’s novel to resist such gender oppression that threatens Marian’s survival. The central question of this paper is how Marian’s identification with edible animals through Atwood’s use of meat consumption as a metaphor portrays the gender dynamics of oppression that threaten her relationship with Peter, thus leading to further gender imbalances in her society. The paper concludes that ensuring women are free to choose and speak up, regardless of societal expectations or gender, is crucial to eliminating some oppressive forms. However, it also argues that adopting a vegetarian lifestyle is not a practical solution to dismantling sexism or resisting other gender oppressions. It may perpetuate new forms of gender inequality and oppression

Cite as:

Meklash, N. M. A. (2024). Meat Consumption as a Metaphor: Gender Differences in
Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 8 (1), 131-144.


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Dr. Nahed Mohammed Ahmed Meklash teaches English literary studies at the Faculty of Education at Matrouh University. She is a member of ASLE-UKI. She presented papers in ‘Cross-Cultural Communication Studies in Literature, Linguistics, and Translation,” “Decentering the Irish World: Contemporary and New Directions in Global Irish Studies,” British University, “Stories from Arab and /or African Perspectives: Language, Literature, and Beyond,” and “Women of The World,” Alex University. She is a peer reviewer for the LLIDS Journal. She has published “An Intersectional Reading of Women of Color’s Multiple Identities and Differences in the Poetry of Audre Lorde” and “An Africana Womanist Reading of The Unity of Thought and Action”. She has recently published “A Cultural Ecological Reading of Human-Nature Interconnectivity in Mahmoud Darwish’s “The Second Olive Tree” ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2914-9461