Writer's Responsibility

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Gabrielle Boutin T00015989
Essay 1-Summary
In The Writer’s Responsibility, author Margaret Atwood asks; what responsibility do writers have to the society in which they live in? Atwood urges that writers take moral responsibility and use their voice. Atwood describes Canadians as an audience that wants to be entertained by writers, giving readers a distraction from reality and the truth. How an author is appraised is not based on their message but on their ability to entertain. Atwood describes a writer as someone who writes what is being seen and experienced in the world. Atwood then focuses the attention on Canada compared to other countries where writers are suppressed in means of what they can say and how they can say it, opposed to Canada, which is more accepting to people’s opinions and styles as long as the message does not focus us too much on the world around us. Atwood reminds readers that Canada has not always been the Canada it is today known for its civil rights. She then continues with describing how Canadian writers are currently being constrained and how it is not seen as of any importance. Atwood then goes on to write that Canadians should not take for granted their right to voice; she connects a voice with having power. A Power that is needed in this “state of war” as Atwood describes it, against those who want to control and conquer. Atwood ends with saying that writers hold this power, it is how the writer uses it that determines whether it will better humanity.
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