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The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature
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The city-planners-margaret-atwood-literature

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  • 1. The City Planners By Margaret Atwood Parisha Mistry-Patel
  • 2. Margaret Eleanor Atwood • Birth Date: 18th November 1939 • Birth Place: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. • Occupation: Literary critic, journalist, author and poet. • Education: Victoria College, Radcliffe College, Harvard University. • Margaret wrote a novel ‘The Edible Woman’ which was one of a number of books she wrote focusing on women’s issues. • She has won several prizes for her different novels and poems. • Margaret wrote novels for a range of audiences; children, women, adults… • Margaret Atwood campaigns for human rights and the environment.
  • 3. • Margaret is known for writing about art and it’s creation, the dangers of ideology, and sexual politics. Her writing is often considered gothic. • She has lived mainly in Canada but many parts of Europe as well. • Her father was an entomologist and Margaret herself was a very out-doorsy girl as a child. • Her favourite writer (as a child) was Edgar Allen Poe who was famous for his dark mystery series. • Some of her novels mock society and identity guests. • Margaret is also a photographer and water-colourist and some of her pictures reflect in her writing.
  • 4. The City Planners Cruising these residential Sunday streets in dry August sunlight: what offends us is the sanities: the houses in pedantic rows, the planted sanitary trees, assert levelness of the surface like a rebuke to the dent in our car door. No shouting here, or shatter of glass; nothing more abrupt than the rational whine of a power mower cutting a straight swath in the discouraged grass. But though the driveways neatly sidestep hysteria by being even, the roofs all display the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky, certain things: the smell of spilt oil a faint sickness lingering in the garages, a splash of paint on brick surprising as a bruise, a plastic hose poised in vicious coil; even the too-fixed stare of the wide windows
  • 5. give momentary access to the landscape behind or under the future cracks in the plaster when the houses, capsized, will slide obliquely into the clay seas, gradual as glaciers that right now nobody notices. That is where the City Planners with the insane faces of political conspirators are scattered over unsurveyed territories, concealed from each other, each in his own private blizzard; guessing directions, they sketch transitory lines rigid as wooden borders on a wall in the white vanishing air tracing the panic of suburb order in a bland madness of snows.
  • 6. Poetic Devices Used • Irony, Sarcasm; for example, ‘a splash of paint on brick surprising as a bruise’. • Little bit of alliteration; for example. ‘no shouting here, or shatter…’ and ‘a splash of paint on brick surprising as a bruise’. • The poem is a Free Verse (it has no regular metre or rhyme scheme). • Margaret has used a slightly sarcastic tone in some areas, for example ‘stare of the wide windows give momentary access…’. • The mood that is sensed in the poem is sarcasm, a little bit of anger or revengeful thought (coming from nature).
  • 7. Structure & Theme of Writing • People are ignorant to natural beauty. • Complete order and perfect sequence is not as attractive or appealing as it may come across. It can be boring. • The city planners are betraying nature and soon enough, nature will knock all their work down and return to its original state. • Criticism of human work. • It’s a piece of persuasive writing based on the fact that there are many ways of looking negatively at a modern city. • The structure is that the stanzas are highly structured and it has seven stanzas that grow smaller.
  • 8. • I do not think the poem is famous for its structure, but more of it’s theme and the picture it portrays. The message it preaches is also a great concern for our current days’ concerns; for example, global warming. • It uses a lot of imagery – you can just imagine the scene that Margaret is describing. • It may have seemed as a joke before as it was written a few years ago, but now more people are much more sensitive to the poem’s message.
  • 9. Main Themes of the Poem • Man versus Nature • Modern city • Urban perfection • Global warming • Humans and their power over nature • Nature’s soon-coming rebellion towards man • Ignorance of the city planners
  • 10. My Analysis First Stanza •The first three lines basically gives us a small introduction of the setting of the poem; ‘residential’, ‘August’. Like from where she’s from in Canada. •‘What offends us’; this would be the hint of disappointment from the speaker even though it’s a beautiful time of year. •The 5th and 6th lines present the perfectness of this city and set up; how everything is in its place and hasn’t got a single grain out of order. •In the 7th line, we get a definite response of absurdness and how its almost shameful to be so perfect and orderly. •The 2nd last line of this stanza tells us that the speaker is annoyed because the only sound you can hear is of making the city even more perfect; mowing the lawn.
  • 11. • The last line of the stanza mentions ‘discouraged grass’, this is my first understanding of the Man Vs. Nature theme and that in the beginning, nature has lost power to man. Second Stanza • ‘sidestep hysteria’ means that they are positioned such that there are no flaws to it – they avoid craziness. (More sarcasm) • ‘same slant of avoidance’; there is no difference from one house to the next – they are all the same – to the tee. • Lines 6 to 8 shows Margaret’s view of a bit of urban life as negativity; ‘surprising as a bruise’ this was put negatively as ‘a bruise’ whereas it could’ve been looked at positively as art (for example). • The last two lines represents a cobra; coiled and staring; they have so much focus and attention to detail.
  • 12. Third Stanza •This stanza gives a clear, official introduction to the Nature’s Rebellion theme as Margaret mentions the ‘future cracks in the plaster’. This means something is definitely coming and it’s going to ruin the efforts of the city planners. •The last three lines of this stanza indicates how all of these modern cities will end. Everything will eventually fall over and run out into the see in front of the humans. •‘gradual as glaciers’ this is quite ironic because now Margaret is showing us how it all turns around – we’ve been destroying earth’s glaciers for such a long time so now all of our creations will be slowly destroyed.
  • 13. Fourth Stanza •This entire stanza is about how the whole thing is going to come about as such a surprise and the people aren’t going to know what to do. The City Planners are going to try to fix it very quickly, but it’s too late. •Nature should not be betrayed. •‘private blizzard’ shows how the people are just caught up in their own business and are ignorant to what’s going on around them. Fifth Stanza •This is an addition to the fourth stanza, where the city planners are going to rush to rebuild the cities before they completely disappear.
  • 14. • ‘white vanishing air’ is represents the fact that the people will have no time at all. Everything’s going to be gone before the know it. Last Stanza • This stanza basically tells me that no one should mess with nature. In the end nature will always get what it wants and it will be most likely the way it started. ‘snows’ – the ice age i.e the beginning.

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