Analysis Of Siren Song By Margaret Atwood

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The poem “Siren Song,” by Margaret Atwood, uses a popular allusion to convey her message on the relationship between men and women in contemporary society. The speaker in this poem is one of the three Sirens, mythical creatures found in Greek mythology. Sirens are a mix of bird and woman, and are creatures whose songs would hypnotize and charm sailors. Most sailors could not resist the beautiful sound of the Sirens, and their song would lead the them to their island, only to have the sailors devouard and destroyed by the island's rocky coast. This knowledge of the myth illuminates the speaker’s message. Most people are familiar with the cunning nature of the Sirens because of the story of “The Odyssey,” by Homer, where the crew mates heard the sweet song of these creatures, and were inclined to jump off the ship to their deaths. The Siren in this poem is alluring to the sailor because, the Siren speaks as if the sailor is the only one capable of rescuing her, “Help me!/ Only you, only you can/ you are unique.” In pretending to need help, and appearing vulnerable, she draws in the sailor and makes him believe that he is the one in power, and that she is a damsel in distress. While…show more content…
The fact that the Siren has lost her desire to lure and manipulate men, and is bored with the idea of having power over them, demonstrates how the need for control becomes meaningless overtime, and power play between men and women should be insignificant to the relationship as a whole. Another way of looking at the poem is seeing the Siren as a helpless creature who is stuck in her situation. The poem humanizes a demonized mythical creature and creates sympathy toward the lost creature. The Siren is unwilling and unable to leave her role as a manipulator because no man has been able to successfully help her before dying, and because of this she is trapped in this
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