“The Landlady” Poetry Commentary Essay
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Margaret Atwood’s subject in The Landlady is about the speaker’s prison-like life state of affairs in what can be assumed to be a residence hall. The landlady has made place. the topographic point where we can experience free and comfy. to a agony sentence. The landlady is sin control. and the talker. a immature university pupil. can non get away from the landlady. physically nor mentally.

The Landlady is efficaciously written in free poetry and is a run-on manner of poesy. leting the readers emotions and ideas to transport to the following line all the manner to the terminal of the verse form. The verse form runs for 9 stanzas. all of which vary in the figure of lines. The shorter stanzas are in the beginning and in the terminal ; where as the larger stanzas are in the center. The verse form begins and ends with a one line stanza. the first one being a full sentence. where as the last line completing off the sentence of the 8th stanza. The first line compares the landlady to an animate being. a average unsafe 1. as the landlady is said to hold a “lair” . and the last line makes mention to animal. every bit good. as Atwood uses the word “bacon” .

After the first stanza. or line. there is one three-line stanza. followed by a four-line stanza. so a five-line stanza. but so cuts back down to a four-line stanza. leaping to a six-line stanza. reiterating a six-line stanza. so a four-line stanza. and completing off with a one-line stanza. There truly seems to be no form. except for pandemonium. and no sense of order. However. in stanza six. it has senses which are in order. first sounds ( “raw voice” “slams…doors” ) . so smells ( intrusive as the odors that bulge in under my doorsill” ) . and so sight ( “a bulk” . “blocking my way” ) . By making this. Margaret Atwood increases the tenseness. from the sounds of the den below the speaker’s room. to her existent physical presence. Line lengths vary. every bit good. and are rather often broken and run on to the following line. proposing a fast beat to stand for danger. fright. anxiousness and a sense of entrapment of this adult female. the landlady.

The verse form is smartly divided into four subdivisions. each giving a different and new thought. The first subdivision. which is the first four stanzas. is the talker depicting the landlady. She is said to be “intrusive” and “everywhere” . This symbolizes that the landlady is strong and commanding. The 2nd subdivision. which is the 5th stanza. says that the landlady is said to command the speaker’s life ; everything belongs to the landlady and nil to the university pupil. The 3rd subdivision. which the 6th stanza. explicating the speaker’s dream of an flight from the landlady. but even in the dream. she is merely ever at that place. The last subdivision. which is the staying three stanzas. depict how the landlady is overmastering and will non allow the talker go through her.

As noted before. the signifier of the verse form suggest the tone of the verse form as fearful. full of anxiousness. and a sense of entrapment by the talker because of the woman’s power and authorization over him. The 5th poetry. “and when I dream images/of make bolding flights through the snow/I happen myself walking/always over a huge face/which is the land-/lady’s. and wake up shouting. ” give the verse form and about dyspneic quality. reflected in these short. broken lines.

Atwood uses strong usage imagination and metaphorical linguistic communication. Images are graphic and enlightening to give us a clearer apprehension of how the landlady is viewed by the talker. In the 2nd stanza. Atwood writes that the landlady is “a natural voice” . utilizing a synecdoche. bespeaking beastlike sounds. The landlady is given beastlike imagination. when the talker says she is “loose in the suites beneath me” like an carnal Lashkar-e-Taiba out of a coop which can be reasonably unsafe and with the usage of plants of “lair” . “henyard/squabble” and “bacon” .

The reader truly gets the feeling of the landlady being intrusive. In the 5th stanza. we are given the feel that the talker is in a infinite which feels like a prison. “From her I rent my time” . as if the landlady owns him. like in prison when captives give clip for their clip. Equally good. the talker states that “nothing is [ his ] ” . once more. in prison. you don’t have anything. The talker besides says that the landlady “slams [ his ] yearss like doors” giving more of a commanding character to the landlady.

The enunciation used in this verse form has a big usage of vocabulary to depict the fright of the talker. utilizing rough words such as “squabble” . “bicker” . “intrusive” . “raucous” and “immutable” . All these words have difficult consonants to depict a rough lady. and a prison-like feeling. “squabble” uses strong sounds such as “sq” and “bb” . “bicker” utilizing sounds such as “b” and “ck” . “intrusive” . utilizing sounds with the “t” and “s” . “raucous” has a strong “c” sound. and eventually. “immutable” uses the powerful “mm” sound. The vocabulary Atwood utilizations truly helps depict the fright and danger the talker is traveling through at the clip.

In decision. Margaret Atwood’s chief concern is to voice her sentiment and convey every bit clearly as possible her feminist positions. Though her usage of metaphors and pick of words. she gives and feeling that adult females. during the clip period of when this verse form was written. there was a strong women’s rightist rebellion. leting the adult females to recognize they were treated with no regard.


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