Dani32’s Weblog

My English Blog

Death by Landscape

Wilderness plays a huge signifigance in Margaret Atwoods “Death by Landscape”.  For Atwood, she really depends on the wilderness as a basis for her story.  When Lois comments on how she is “relieved not to have to worry about the lawn, or the ivy pushing it’s musclar little suckers in to the brick work, or the squireels gnawwing at their way into the attic”, she is basically running away from the wilderness to the seculded life of the apartment in an effort to forget what had happened in the past. Lucy and Lois are having their conversation during their sleepout, Lucy says she  hates living in Chicago and doesn”t want to go back.  The Authour uses the allegory of the sky being full of stars, “layers of stars that went down and down” (p. 343) to infer that Lucy’s life is complicated with many problems including her parents divorce, her mothers extra-marital affair, and her ambivilance to her boyfriend which. Another example of an alegory is the cliff, as it represents finality.  If you cross the edge, there is no turning back.  This is also used in the movie “Thelma and Louis”, when the two women have the choice to turn themselves in or drive over the cliff, ending their lives.  For lucy, it was go back to Chicago or end your life, and when she stepped over that ledge, there was no turning back.  As for symbols, atwood uses the reference to birlds and animals in the naming the boys and girls.  Girls are refered to as birds like blue jays, Chickadees and ravens, as an effort to represent the girls as docile, free spirits, while the boys are given names like wolves, which points to their more predatory nature.   Overall, nature plays a big part in this story, not only as a method of symbolism but as a means of guaging the mood of the story.  When recollecting the events at the end of the story, Atwood describes the Lake Ontario as obscured and tranquil, represent maybe Lois interpretations of the events.


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