The analysis of some important images of Margaret Atwood’s “Adventure Story” demonstrates that the real purpose of the author is to describe the magical process of fecundation. “Adventure Story” tells an old story about an intrepid band of strong, numerous, and well-nourished individuals who prepare themselves to start an arduous and dangerous journey. The author cleverly describes all the details of the obstacles that nature provides to this band all along their marvelous trip. As the story goes on, some of these strong band members die. At a given moment, the author infers that maybe the reader is thinking that this band is conformed only by males, but she clarifies that there are females in this band, too. At the end of this enchanting story, only one member of the band succeeds and reaches victory. This story is, in fact, a story about life, about creation. It beautifully describes the whole journey as if the setting was a space with dangerous forests full of monstrous animals and surrounded by deep seas. Some of the most important images presented in this story are the band that goes on the journey, the allusion to the Amazonian vegetation, and the target that only the winner can reach in the end.
One of the most important images of this story is the band of members who go to live the adventure. The following fragment of the story describes the most relevant characteristics that these band members must posses to be capable of resisting such adventure.
“Those who are to go must prepare first. They must be strong and well
nourished and they must posses also a sense of purpose, a faith, a
determination to persevere to the end, because the way is long and
arduous and there are many dangers.
At the right time they gather together in the appointed place.” (Atwood, 4)
Those characteristics associated to strength are directly related to the most important features that sperms must have in order to succeed in the process of fecundation. The magic way in which the author describes this band is a very subtle means of inviting the reader to go further, and look for an interpretation of this image in the story. A very determining aspect of this image is the fact that all these band members start the journey together, and; therefore, they have to face all the dangers as a group, although only one of them is going to reach victory at the end. Another relevant aspect of this band, or group of sperms, is the fact stated by the author which says that there are not only males, but also females belonging to this group. “(You may think I’m talking about male bonding, or war, but no: half of these are female, and they swim and help and sacrifice their lives in the same way as the rest.)” (Atwood, 38)
This is, then, the clearest way in which Atwood assures that she is magically describing the process of fecundation. In such process, sperms are the ones that carry the genes that determine the sexual characteristic of the new creature. When the author says that there are females integrating this band, too, she refers to the fact that, although men are the ones who transmit the sexual characteristic to a new human being (through their sperms), they do not have any control over this determination. Once again, magic is used here as a powerful tool given by literature to describe natural processes in a wonderful way, giving the reader a new perspective full of details that enrich descriptions and meanings.
(See part two of this abstract)