The Lady Of The Squat Analysis

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“The Lady of the Squat” by Catherine Brogan is a political retelling of the poem “The Lady of Shalott” by Alfred Tennyson. It follows the same structure Tennyson’s poem and was a response to a law that was put into motion in 2012 in the U.K. that would make squatting illegal (Rutherford). Brogan, the author of this poem, is a squatter and through this poem, she expresses her belief that people should be allowed to continue squatting until the government is able to solve the housing crisis. This law was put into motion because of complaints certain people had about squatters occupying their homes. In an interview, Brogan was asked about these complaints and she responded, “If that happens it’s a criminal offence...what we’re talking about is making use of derelict, empty buildings,” (Brogan, 2012). This shows that…show more content…
Tennyson’s poem is set in the location of Camelot, while Brogan’s poem seems to refer to a Camelot that is an idealistic place in which the squatters wish their lives to unfold. Brogan begins her poem by describing the desolate life that a squatter leads, going from one place to another, never having a constant in your life except for constant uncertainty. In contrast, “The Lady of Shalott” includes descriptions of the lavishness of Camelot. This is a very effective choice because if the poems are read alongside one another, the differences are striking and Brogan’s point of view that the BBC and the government are living in an extravagant world is made known. “On either side the river lie / Squats in Hackney and Peckham Rye / That fill the empties under the sky / And through the roads the rats run by / To empties filled by Camelot” (Brogan 1-4). In these lines Brogan takes time to use very descriptive language to explain the sharp contrast between her “squatter world” and the world of “Camelot”. This is very effective because it makes us sympathize with her
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