This blog addresses the use of religion in Margaret Atwood’s book The Year of the Flood. This book covered so many different themes and topics that relate to our world today. The topic that I wanted to cover is the book’s use of religion and how the characters used and viewed it throughout the story. People often feel the need for community and purpose in times of their life when they are facing hardships and crises. In the book we see characters such as Toby, Ren, and Amanda who all faced hardships and did not have anywhere to go. These characters found a type of acceptance, home, and family in the God’s Gardeners group and they were all influenced by the group’s teachings whether they realized it or not. Found on this website, https://news.osu.edu/the-psychology-behind-religious-belief/ , researchers have identified 16 basic desires that we all share that religion helps people to fulfill. Some of these desires include, acceptance, curiosity, family, independence, order, social contact, tranquility, and more. I have grown up in a Christian household and throughout my life I have seen many people come to my church while only staying for a short time. They come to our church for a short time because they need help and community through a hard time in their life and they do not know where else to go. I really liked how Margaret Atwood implemented the idea that the God’s Gardeners offered people such as Toby a place that allowed her safety, acceptance, community, social contact, and more. After Toby had experienced the abuse by Blanco and physical harm she encountered trying to survive, the God’s Gardeners offered a new safe place to live. Also, when the waterless flood hits, Margaret Atwood shows us how people can use religion and what they learn from it to survive. I thought it was interesting how Toby would consistently feel sorry and pray before eating animals to survive. Throughout most of the book, Toby would constantly think about how she did not believe in most of what Adam One taught to the God’s Gardeners, but when she needed to survive during the waterless flood, she would use a lot of what she learned to guide her and her decisions. I thought this was interesting because it showed how humans can use religion and cling to it in the most trying times in their life. Do you think Toby knew how much she actually believed in the teachings of the God’s Gardeners before she was faced with the waterless flood and survival? I think it’s very interesting how Margaret Atwood used religion and showed the influence it can have on people even in the midst of an apocalypse such as the waterless flood.
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