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Write a response to 'Embroidery' by Ray Bradbury from two different critical positions.

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Introduction

Write a response to 'Embroidery' by Ray Bradbury from two different critical positions. The short story 'Embroidery', written by Ray Bradbury is one, which could be classed as a science fiction story with some political aspects to it. 'Embroidery' ends in apocalyptic terms, where an atom bomb is dropped. Written in the 1960's meant that the cold war was still going on and being hit by an atomic bomb was highly possible. I think that because of this a general reader reading this story in the time it was written would have found this story frightening and at that time the story may haven even been slightly controversial. From a feminists point of view this text would be looked upon with quite a lot of interest. Firstly, the short story was written by Ray Bradbury, a male, and so a feminist reader may find it interesting how women are portrayed in the story compared to the men. The text primarily deals with a group of elderly women, who seem to be acting out their normal daily rituals, 'shelling peas' and preparing dinner, activities, which are normally associated with the stereotypical housewife. ...read more.

Middle

Also, the story has a political agenda behind it as well as being fictional. It was written during the arms race of the fifties between the US and Russia when an atomic bomb hitting either one of these countries was highly viable. As mentioned earlier, a man with an imperfect face is ripped from the embroidery. This man cannot only represent the male gender as a whole but also the politicians, which drove the countries of America and Russia during the fifties who were mostly male. This is how I think a feminist reader would interpret the text, although a person unfamiliar with history would not be able to make sense of the ending, and so not fully understand it. A modern reader or feminist would not instantly associate this story with the cold war and so find it hard to interpret the ending, however a feminist reader would be more interested in the gender related issues which are explored throughout the story. Another point which a feminist reader may dislike is that the women in the story are used as political pawns used merely to help a political agenda. ...read more.

Conclusion

The story deals with the dropping of an atomic bomb. This is not too apparent when first read but when you understand the context behind the story then it is made clear. The author maybe shifting the blame to the human race, saying that making is evil and flawed. This is another interpretation of the line "the man standing on the road had something wrong with his face." Here the author instead of meaning the male gender could be generally accusing mankind. This moral theme is not all that clear or accessible and so maybe disliked by a reader in a moral critical position. Another moral topic which is touched upon lightly throughout the story is the question of technology rapid progress and whether or not it is an overall benefit to mankind or if it is leading us to our doom. Overall, I think that a feminist reader would be able to appreciate this text more due to the implied extent of the feminine and gender issues raised. For a moral reader this text would be quite disheartening because the critical position of a moral reader is describes all good literature as moral and uplifting and this text hardly seems uplifting. Rameez Raja ...read more.

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