Bread and Atwood

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Wealth, Greed and Death – Are We to Blame for Global Starvation and Wars?

Margaret Atwood’s “Bread” carefully crafts several scenarios in which most people easily relate. All the while however, Atwood sets up the reader to be overcome with emotion and empathy. Through bread, Atwood stealthy argues that we have an abundance of comfort and life while others are suffering throughout the world. That American’s turn a blind eye to what is happening in the world today. Eventually, Atwood leads the reader to a place of guilt and self blame. The reader is shamed, feeling at fault for their part in world starvation and war. Through ordinary aspects of everyday life such as having a slice of bread, lavishly topped, Atwood achieves her argument. The “Occupy Wall Street” could easily be compared to this essay. The affluence of the 1% is oppressive to the 99%. However, as we point fingers at billionaires and their crimes against the poor and the decreasing size of middle class earners, we must recognize the larger picture. Wealth and greed has been sought after for centuries and continues today. We cannot ignore our complacency about those in the world whom are truly starving, and dying in war.

The first story shows the reader that we live in abundance with an example of bread. “You don’t have to imagine it, it’s right here.” (Atwood) Atwood shows the reader this example of bread to convince us of our attitude towards the simple things we take for granted. We have so many choices; bread is nothing to most people. In the first story Atwood shows our complacency with “white bread, in the refrigerator, and a heel of rye you got last week, round as a full stomach then, now going moldy.” (Atwood) Most people could care less if food spoils because it is easily replaced. We live in the richest country in the world; we have so many things within our reach. We have many conveniences that other’s do not. We have super markets full of food with a variety of...
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