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Siren Song Margaret Atwood

Good Essays
The Sirens are presented in contrasting ways by Homer and Atwood, but with comparable techniques. In the Odyssey, by Homer, the Sirens are shown through the perspective of Odysseus, a hero is lost from home and is trying to find a way back. This point of view shows that the Sirens can be strong when confronted, but they can be resisted. Also, it highlights that the Sirens are a concept of annoyance. Whereas in the “Siren Song,” by Margaret Atwood, it portrays that the Sirens are unavoidable and they will always catch the men. Therefore, while both readings show the idea of Sirens concealed true nature, it also shows the concept of deception and stratagem. Through the use of tone, point of view, diction, imagery, allusion, and enjambment the…show more content…
Atwood skillfully makes it seem as if this specific Siren is dissatisfied and as a result need help so she could be attractive to the listener. Therefore, the listener is being interested to the Siren as if he is unique and only he can save her. So in pretending to need rescuing she lures the mariners. The Siren states, “Help me! Only you, only you can you are unique (Atwood 22-24)”. The literary device, tone, is significant in this poem because in a manipulating tone, the Siren lures the men to the island pleading for help. Atwood also uses a wide variety of diction in this poem that develops a sense of humor. Humor is used to suggest that the Siren is deceptive and sarcastic. In the poem, it references “bird suit (12)”, “squatting (14)”, “feathery maniacs (16)”, and “looking picturesque and mythical (15)” and this amusement shows that the Siren is deceitful. It is stated that the Siren will give away the secret of their fatal song when really the trap is the song itself. The literary device, enjambment is also used towards the end of the poem and it maintains a more biased dialogue. This is shown to depict the Sirens as a creature with a attribute to connect with their victims, making it easier to kill them. It begins gentle and interesting and then shifts towards the end with urgency. The Siren tells the listener, “I will tell the…show more content…
They both utilize stratagem in order to achieve their goals. In the Odyssey, Odysseus outwits the Sirens by enabling beeswax in the ears of his men, and he gets tied to the ship. In the “Siren Song,” the Siren misleads the listener of the song by saying that they have importance to them and that they are unique but essentially they are nothing because they get killed in the end. Both passages reveal a common interest, which is to deceive something to achieve a goal. While both Homer and Atwood portray the Sirens in comparable ways, they have differing attitudes toward escaping and the song itself. Odysseus became the first mortal in telling the story of the Sirens and this fact contrasts the poem, “Siren Song,” because it states that the song always works and the sailors will always die but in this case that did not happen. This shows that the song can manipulate people, but it can also be resisted. Through the use of tone, point of view, diction, imagery, allusion, and enjambment the Sirens were portrayed differently and similarly in a series of
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