Is The Song Really As Beautiful As It Seems?

815 words - 4 pages

Margaret Atwood was born on November 18, 1939 in Ottawa, Canada. She is known as a poet, novelist, story writer, essayist, and environmental activist. Her books have received critical acclaim in the United States, Europe, and her native Canada, and she has received numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Governor General’s Award, twice. Atwood’s critical popularity is matched by her popularity with readers; her books are regularly bestsellers. Some of Atwood’s award winning poetry, short stories and novels includes The Circle Game (1966), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), Snowbird (1981), The Blind Assassin (2000), The Tent (2006) and more. Suffering is common for the female characters in Atwood’s poems, although they are never passive victims. In the clever and humorous poem “Siren Song”, Margaret Atwood uses the speaker, allusion, and repetition to convey the true meaning of the poem, which is that women have the ability to manipulate and flatter a man to get whatever they desire.
The speaker of the poem is one of the three Sirens. Atwood depicts the siren as this beautiful, irresistible woman who is not content with continuously singing the same “song”. The Siren creates false vulnerability in order to make it seem as if she is in distress. The purpose of this is to lure men and make them believe that they are different and that only they can save her. “Help me! / Only you, only you can, / you are unique” (22-24). The siren is used as a symbol to show one of the typical stereotypes of woman in today’s society. The stereotype shown is that woman tend to make themselves seem helpless by playing the role of the “damsel in distress”. In describing her curse, the siren wails about her “picturesque and mythical” beauty. This is done to portray herself as a victim in order to draw men to save her, when in reality she doesn't need saving. By using the speaker, Atwood conveys her dissatisfaction with society's view of the intention of women, which is to be irresistible and seduce men.
Another literary device that is important to the undertstanding of this poem is the allusion that Atwood creates. Allusion is important because it connects the context and the main idea of the poem with the larger world. In Greek Mythology, Sirens were known to be beautiful half-woman, half –bird...

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