Tender Is The Flesh Summary,Themes,Characters & Synopsis [Augustina Bazterrica]

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TitleTender Is The Flesh
AuthorAugustina Bazterrica
Original TitleCadáver exquisito
Publication YearNovember 29, 2017 (Spanish)
August 4, 2020 (English translation)
Age ratingAdult
GenreDystopian Fiction, Speculative Fiction
SettingDystopian society where humans are farmed for meat

Watch “Tender Is The Flesh” by Augustina Bazterrica by Summary

Tender Is The Flesh Characters

The main characters of “Tender Is The Flesh” are:

  1. Marcos – the protagonist and a slaughterhouse manager.
  2. Gloria – Marcos’ wife.
  3. David – Marcos’ brother-in-law and government official.
  4. Gabriela – a woman who challenges societal norms.

Tender Is The Flesh Themes

The themes of “Tender Is The Flesh” are:

  1. Dehumanization – The novel delves into the dehumanizing effects of a society where humans are raised as livestock for consumption, highlighting how easily people can be reduced to mere commodities.
  2. Ethical Dilemmas – The story raises complex moral questions about the treatment of animals versus humans, challenging readers to confront their beliefs about the value of life and the boundaries of compassion.
  3. Societal Decay – The novel portrays a grim future where traditional values and ethical norms have eroded, leading to a society that condones and institutionalizes brutality.
  4. Control and Power – The narrative examines the power dynamics between those who control the meat industry and those who are subjected to its horrors, showcasing the abuse of power and the manipulation of vulnerable populations.
  5. Resistance and Rebellion – Characters within the story grapple with their own agency and the desire to resist the oppressive system, revealing the innate human drive for freedom and justice.

Tender Is The Flesh Synopsis

Tender Is The Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica is a disturbing dystopian novel where animals are extinct and humans are raised as livestock for meat.

The story follows Marcos, a worker at a slaughterhouse, as he grapples with the moral implications of his job and the gruesome reality of the world.

When Marcos encounters a woman named Clara, his perspective begins to shift, and he questions the societal norms.

It’s a thought-provoking tale that challenges readers to reflect on the boundaries of compassion and the value of life.

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Tender Is The Flesh Summary

Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica takes place in a dystopian world. Following the introduction of a virus that infects animals, mankind devises a solution to their meat shortage: breeding and murdering humans for sustenance. The novel, written in the third person, follows the protagonist, Marcos, through his life and psychological difficulties as he attempts to reconcile himself with his new cultural surroundings.

Marcos’s wife Cecilia leaves their home when their son Leo dies. Marcos’ living area has been lifeless and empty since her departure. Marcos is still mourning, but he is having difficulty acknowledging his loss and so recovering from it.

Marcos tries to concentrate on his work to distract himself from his grief. He is in a position of authority at the Krieg Processing Plant. The facility is in charge of killing human flesh, which is euphemistically referred to as “head or product.” Because of the visual nature of his work, Marcos is always at war with his professional obligations. However, he is unable to forsake his career to live out his ideals. This is due to Marcos’ responsibility for his elderly father’s care.

After his father, Don Armando, suffered a mental breakdown, Marcos admitted him to the New Dawn Nursing Home, an upscale residential institution. Because his sister Marisa refuses to help, Marcos has taken on the financial burden of Don Armando’s care. She is always blaming her children for her failure to see Don Armando or contribute to his upkeep.

El Gringo, a Krieg customer, brings Marcos a present one day: a female FGP. The female specimen is a pure class of head & it is supposed to express Gringo’s gratitude for his firm’s partnership with Marcos’s company. Instead of being thankful, Marcos is angered by the gift. He’s not sure what to do with the female because he doesn’t want to butcher her for meat and isn’t interested in inseminating & breeding her.

When Marcos gets upset, he goes to an abandoned zoo near New Dawn. Visiting the zoo both relaxes him and reminds him of his father.

Marcos ultimately tells Cecilia how he feels over a phone conversation one day. Although he realizes her anguish, he tells her that he, too, has lost his kid. Cecilia breaks into tears rather than console him. Marcos understands when he hangs up that Cecilia may never heal from Leo’s death.

When Marcos gets home, he dismantles Leo’s old crib. Then he sets it ablaze. He notices the female staring at him. Marcos is attracted by the female’s physique and fragrance the next morning while watching her sleep. To avoid temptation, he runs to Spanel Butchers & engages in sexual activity with the proprietor, Spanel.

Marcos discovers a litter of puppies in the serpentarium at the zoo one day. He washes the girl when he gets home. Then he removes her clothes and chooses to have intercourse with her even though it is illegal.

Marcos names the female Jasmine & domesticates her after impregnating her. He locks her up whenever he leaves for work, scared she would escape and others will find out what he has done.

Marcos’ father died in his sleep not long after. Marcos cremates him and throws his ashes to the zoo. Marisa insists on holding a goodbye service despite her lack of engagement in Don Armando’s life. Marcos angrily confronts her at the service for her discrepancies and inauthenticity.

Marcos arrives home to find Jasmine’s water has burst & the amniotic fluid is discoloured. Recognizing that anything is amiss with the infant, he seeks assistance from Cecilia. He begs her to carry the baby like an expert instead of criticizing him for his transgressions because she is a nurse. The couple refuses to give Jasmine the kid once he is born. They claim custody of the child. Marcos stuns Jasmine & informs Cecilia that he must murder her.

Tender Is The Flesh FAQs

What is the message of Tender is the Flesh?

Tender is the Flesh portrays a future where humans eat each other as meat. It warns about cruelty, ethics and consequences of treating beings as mere commodities.

What happens in the end of Tender is the Flesh?

In the end, Marcos stops supporting the meat industry, realizing the cruelty. They find a way to free animals and expose the truth.

Is Tender is the Flesh disturbing?

Yes, Tender Is the Flesh is disturbing. It’s a book about people eating other people. This might make some readers uncomfortable due to its dark and unsettling theme.

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