Drawing parallels to modern society, Atwood’s three main concerns are the negative side of globalization, the oss of a middle class, the negative side of globalization and excessive human exploitation for personal gain. Furthermore, the limited omniscient point of view and a metaphor helps to highlight the dark aspects of increasing globalization. In a globalized world with endless flow of information, people are exposed to excessive amounts of negative data which makes everyone afraid. Atwood even gives the impression that she is not in favour of this trend: “too much hardware, too much software, too many bioforms” (34).
This growing fear makes people realize the possibility of more threats. Therefore, groups of individuals, especially those inside the Compounds such as Organlnc, tend to isolate themselves within the safety and comfort of the Compound walls to avoid “too much envy, fanaticism and bad faith” (34) out in the Pleeblands. Ultimately, the vast majority prize their privacy more than ever since globalization not only benefits people by making it easier for them to connect together, but also leaves people more susceptible to bad influence from their surroundings.
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In this case, the limited omniscient point of view points out the limited social contact that the people of the Compounds ave with the Pleeblands. Although globalization might bring some groups closer, the profound effect actually divides society apart. Moreover, a metaphor is used to describe how the relationship between the Crakers and normal human beings relate to that of developed nations and developing nations. As the Crakers came into existence, humans are left behind as they lack the physical attributes and survivability in the midst of a pandemic apocalypse.
In a similar way, less developed countries are cut off and are not receiving the plus side from the globalization of developed countries: ike the door ofa great vault shutting” (50). Both literary devices stress the imminent occurrence of a more isolated world. Atwood examines the disappearance of the middle class by emphasizing the dichotomy of the upper and lower class through the usage of juxtaposition or contrast. The comparison is first made by describing the physical layout of the communities.
Members of the elite live in heavily gated communities known as Compounds while the majority of the poor reside in the Pleeblands or the cities in which public security is low. People of the Compounds are considerably better ff, possessing luxuries with the likes of ‘the house, the pool, the furniture” (33), as opposed to ‘the addicts, the muggers, the paupers, the crazies” (33) of the Pleeblands roaming about the city wreaking havoc in the streets. Both classes have developed mistrust due to the seclusion and a lack of interaction: “Compound people didn’t go to the cities unless they had to and then never alone” (33).
From the noticeable segregation, a sense of unity between the two is slowly slipping away with the possibility of causing disastrous consequences. Therefore, the elite have more power of taking advantage of the Pleeblands or their own betterment. As one example of exploitation, corporations in the compound continuously create diseases targeted towards the Pleeblands, thus making immense profit by forcing them to buy their medications, which often worsens their health.
Without the middle class acting as a stabilizer, members of the upper class are more susceptible to immoral behaviour towards the lower class, leading to extreme social imbalance. By using hyperbole and irony, Atwood argues that there will always be the exploitation of the poor and weak in society. Similar to Jimmy’s father, many edical workers of the compound are always discovering new alternatives to gain profit from the poor: “The rewards in the case of success would be enormous” (65).
Knowing that these people are desperate for sustenance and financial aid, they take advantage of their vulnerability and deceive them by using them as test subjects to test the deadly effects of their newly created diseases. These tests often have detrimental consequences to the test subjects, leading to physical impairment and sometimes death. The destitute individuals are compensated very little for their services and are mostly unaware of the eadly consequences that may arise.
In relation to real life, Atwood uses the scenario described above as an exaggeration to emphasis the graveness of the situation and what would happen in a worst case scenario. Through the illustration of Oryx’s childhood, the concern of slavery is also brought onto the playing field. In undeveloped areas of the world, large families are incapable of supporting themselves. Thereby, selling their children into slavery is the only way to make some cash: “With this money, the mothers who sold their children would e able to give the remaining children a better chance in life. (143-144) Blinded in desperation, the parents are oblivious to the possibility of sending their children into a future of forced prostitution; such is the case of Oryx in becoming a sensational porn star. The irony in this situation is quite evident. Even though the families sold their children in the hopes of a better future for them, the children’s lives worsens as they are usually delivered into the hands of abusive caretakers. By using two literary techniques, Atwood makes her concerns on uman exploitation more noticeable.
Atwood’s exploration of social issues is closer to reality than one might think. All three concerns are currently happening in modern society at various rates. If not addressed, these concerns can pose serious problems and bring society to the depths of destruction. As mentioned, increasing globalization isolates members of society especially between the rich and poor, even more so as the middle class disappears. Without the middle class as a stabilizer, the wealthy are more inclined to abuse their power and exploit the poor for unnecessary profit.