The Edible Woman Chapters 17-19: Questions and Answers

Margaret Atwood

Chapters 17-19: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Describe Marian’s feelings towards Peter as they sit together in the restaurant.

2. What triggers Marian’s thought of the diagram of the planned cow?

3. What does Marian make of her inability to eat certain foods?

4. Does Peter have any difficulty finishing his steak? What does he say when he is finished eating?

5. What brand of beer does Marian offer Len? Why did she choose to buy this particular brand?

6. After learning that Ainsley planned to get pregnant, Len makes a comment concerning women and college education. What does he say?

7. At the office Christmas party, Marian sits with Lucy, Millie, and Emmy even though they are now treating her coolly. Why has their behaviour towards Marian changed?

8. What does Marian buy Peter for Christmas?

9. Is there any evidence in the text that Marian is somehow affected by the story about the girl who stopped washing?

10. Walking in the snowy park near the university, Marian decides that she is just about ready to go home and eat half a cow. What stops her?

Answers
1. Marian thinks of Peter as “nicely packaged” and, sitting with him here in this public place, feels a sense of “proud
ownership.”

2. Watching Peter cut his meat leads to thoughts about Moose Beer commercials, removed violence, and the cow diagram.

3. Marian is certain that it is not her mind making the decisions to reject certain foods. She is afraid that the refusal will spread and that she might become a vegetarian.

4. As Peter cleans off his plate, he says: “A good meal always makes you feel a little more human.”

5. Marian offers Len Moose Beer. She bought it “out of curiosity” but discovers that it tastes just like any other brand.

6. “That’s what we get then for educating women. They get all kinds of ridiculous ideas.”

7. They know that Marian is on the “fringe of matrimony” and thus no longer genuinely single and no longer able to empathize with their problems.

8. Marian buys Peter a technical book about cameras.

9. Walking home after the party, Marian tells herself that she will have to be careful, “you don’t want to end up not taking baths.”

10. Marian is stopped by the sound of Duncan’s voice.