Skip to Main Content

ENG 102 (Michaud)


This guide supports Essay #4. Surfacing by Margaret Atwood is the primary source for this essay.

Prompt 1: Explore the nuanced portrayal of gender complexity in Surfacing, analyzing the novel's alignment with, interrogation of, or divergence from contemporary discourse on these issues. Consider socio-cultural dynamics and emphasize delving into specific niche ideas within the broader spectrum of gender complexity, steering clear of generalizations.
Suggested search terms: 
women AND patriarchy AND alienation
women AND male dominance
power in marriage
male gaze AND social implications
objectification AND women
objectification AND patriarchy
hormonal contraception AND health risks AND patriarchy

Prompt 2: Nationalism is characterized by an obsessive identification with one's own country at the expense of outsiders. Explore the nuanced exploration of nationalism in the novel. Scrutinize how the narrative aligns with, complicates, or challenges prevailing notions of nationalism, particularly as they pertain to the contemporary socio-political climate of the United States, considering global perspectives and historical contexts.
Suggested search terms: 
nationalism AND United States
Christian nationalism AND United States
nationalism AND America
new nationalism
digital nationalism

Prompt 3: Delve into the intricacies of the protagonist's confrontation with mental illness and trauma in the novel. Evaluate how the current landscape of research on these subjects both supports and complicates Atwood's treatment, taking into account evolving perspectives and interdisciplinary insights.
Suggested search terms:
psychological trauma AND psychosis NOT childhood
psychological trauma AND neurosis NOT childhood
alienation AND psychosis

Feedback Form


© , Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers websites to or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback form.