Alienation And Identity In Margaret Atwood's The Animals In That Country

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Margaret Atwood, an internationally acclaimed novelist, poet and short story writer is widely considered as a major figure in Canadian litrature. In her works, she focuses on the themes of alienation and self-identity. As a poet, her works concentrate on the question of identity with as much pasion as Neruda and Walcott. There is a style and force in her writing.The major themes of Atwood’s poetry include the inconsistencies of self-perception, the Canadian identity and experience, the paradoxical nature of language and the conflicts between human kind and nature. Her poems are intensely personal and lyrical. Through her poems, she performs mental transformations of identity as she looks at the life of Canadian pioneers. She is of the…show more content…
Ray and Rama Kundu in their Studies In Women Writers in English analysis Atwood’s poem. Acoording to them, “The Animals in that Country” reflects the Canadian situation to a great extent. It is appropriate to observe that Canada was famous for fur trade and remains a hunting ground for Americans to quench their recreational fancies. ‘The Animals’ in the poem are Canadians and ‘that country’ metaphorically stands for Canada. In his work on Atwood’s poems, Paul Lee Thomas states that Atwood’s “The Animals in that Country” asks the reader to note the distinction between ‘that country’ and ‘this country’ suggesting a commentry by the speaker. The poem’s first twenty lines addresses the ‘ceremonial’ and the mythic through images such as fox hunt, bull fights and legends. These romanticized views of the destruction of animals in ‘that country’ where ‘animals have the faces of people’ is contrasted with ‘this country’ where ‘animals have the faces of animals,. But in ‘this country’ animals die mercilessly in the headlights of careless cars. But their deaths are not elegant. Thus Atwood can be described as a poet who always urged to depict the condition of alienated individuals through her works. She often dealt with political themes and issues like social injustice and maintained an autobiographical vein in her poems. These features can be traced in this particular poem

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