Analysis Essay of Margatet Atwood's Death by Landscape

  • Category: Literature,
  • Words: 932 Pages: 4
  • Published: 20 September 2021
  • Copied: 148

Death by Landscape is a literary article that shows the effects of a death and the pain and confusion it can leave, especially if the death occurred at a young age. “Death by Landscape”, written by Margaret Atwood, is a short story that jumps inside the life of Lois, a woman who suffered from a tragic event in her childhood numerous years ago.  The memory of her childhood is a vital factor to the theme of the story, mostly because as a child she experienced the missing and death of her close friend at summer camp. Atwood was allowed to draw up the effects of the death and the theme of self guilt through the use of  figurative languages throughout the story. In conclusion, the importance and role of literary devices builds the image that death affects many different aspects of a persons’ life. 

Atwood begins the story in Lois’s apartment a few years after the tragic camp trip took place at Camp Manitou. As the story goes her apartment is looked at as being a safe haven for her, free from the wilderness or “gnawing their way into the attic”. However she is accompanied by her collection of landscape paintings of the outdoors. Besides the “wordless unease” caused by the paintings, Lois proceeds to fill in every spot on the wall with paintings of hers. The illustration of all different landscapes has the same meaning and is used as a reminder of the close friend she lost to the wilderness. Atwood uses figurative language throughout the whole story to help the audience better understand what was going on and how they saw it. For example, “the water stretching out, with the shores twisting away on either side”. The images of nature in Lois’s eyes differ from the ordinary person, nature is defined more by feelings, fear, and grief she feels. This trait is a key factor resulting from her past life as a child. After suffering from the pain of losing her best friend at camp, Lois makes the decision to keep these paintings in her house to continually remind herself of her friend and that horrible day “she looks at the paintings, she looks into them. All of them are pictures of Lucy”. Her choice of decoration shows she has guilt from the past events even though she had nothing to do with her death. 

In addition, the effect of death and all the more significantly the vulnerability that is combined with the possibility of death is uncovered through implied symbolism. Atwood uses height as a symbol in the short story. The cliff of the mountain peak and water  symbolizes the fear in which Lois has when Lucy steps closer to the edge. Lois’s encounterment with the peak of the mountain causes discomfort and fear by size and long drop to the water. Lucy describes the drop from the peak to the water as going “straight down” which causes a “stab in her midriff” as Lucy stepped a foot closer to the edge to look at the water. The cliff and water  is illustrative of the appearance of death and the obscurity covering it. This is noticed in the following events of Lucy's disappearance where the camp advisers search for the missing girl. The discomfort caused by water is constant for Lois throughout the story; she could not even visit her mother-in-law due to the appearance of the lakes. For instance, she can feel discomfort from looking out the window of her own house onto the water, she would rather turn and focus on the landscape paintings she has hung up. The imagery of death and its vulnerability which is exemplified by the presence of the cliff and  water presents that demise is a tremendous typifying pit of vulnerability. 

Adapting to misfortune is weighty all through the short story. Lois rehearses an adapting technique that is reliable with continually helping herself to remember the deficiency of her friend Lucy. Her apartment is cluttered with landscape paintings portraying where Lucy had gone missing. Each painting is different with the same meaning to them. This strategy for adapting to the misfortune which has finished into a habit-forming journey for artworks of arranged creation has shown to be very unfortunate in the existence of Lois where she sabotages the death of her better half and life communicating with her adult youngsters in return for an existence of detachment. Lois’s guilt with the death of her friend had overcome her life as she surrounds herself with constant memories and guilt rather than trying to heal and move on. This phase of anguish is perceived as deprivation by The English Authentic Survey and is portrayed as a time of sorrow and grieving after a demise. Nonetheless, deprivation is just depicted as a period and not as a consistent condition of life which is depicted in the brief tale. Lois' way of life proposes a steady condition of mourning which is helped by the consistent presence of her works of art. The act of adapting recommends that Lois herself feels remorseful for the unfortunate occasions that occurred on the precipice and even is spooky by the reverberation of a yell she accepts she heard. The endless loss that Lois experiences is consequence of her absence of conclusion she had the option to experience, and it has stayed with her right into her grown-up life showing the risks of experiences with injury at an exceptionally youthful age which has significantly harmed her recollections of pre-adulthood.

In general, Atwood features the impacts of misfortune and passing through a mixture of literary devices and a portrayal of adapting. Death by Landscape uncovers the enduring effect of injury when experienced at a young age as it can defeat pretty much every part of life and even group the psyche of the individuals who let it. In any case, more critically, the piece of work uncovers the significance of overseeing melancholy by featuring the negative and durable impacts of helpless treatment of deaths.


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