Margaret Atwood Siren Song Feminism Essay

Feminism In Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye

Feminism is defined as supporting the Equal Rights Amendment. Feminism interests in the “equality and justice for all women” and “seeks to eliminate systems of inequality and injustice” for all women (Shaw and Lee 10). The Equal Rights Amendment was presented into Congress in 1923 from the failure in referencing women and citizenship in the Fourteenth Amendment. If the Equal Rights Amendment passed, women would have the same equal rights as men. Women would also not be separated or singled out by other men. In the book Cat’s Eye, written by Margaret Atwood, Elaine Risley, who is the main character in the book, is an artist living within the Second World War to the late 1980’s, and participates in the modern art movement. Due to childhood bullying and being victimized by girls her age, Elaine’s adult life is different than others. In Cat’s Eye, Elaine finds her identity by going back in time willfully and accepting the past, along with the people, to embrace the women she was and is.
Elaine is an independent woman artist. This independence eventually contributes the successes Elaine achieves as a painter. It does cause Elaine difficulty in interacting and founding relationships with other women. In spite of what she believes, Elaine’s symbolization of her isolated experiences in each of her paintings speaks to other women. Her artistic career proves that, through art, women artists can open up and be creative and create opportunities for themselves and other women.
In the beginning of Cat’s Eye, Elaine returns to her previous hometown, Toronto Canada, after being called for a retrospective show of her artwork. According to spectators, Elaine’s paintings that she created are feminine, making Elaine a feminist painter. This is because Elaine paints a lot of women and women spectators like her work. There are certain media associated with the arts. These gender roles in the art field change in different cultures and communities where they may be. Some art forms dominated by women have been historically removed from the art historical precept as a craft and/or hobby, instead of fine art. Women artists are faced with challenges due to gender narrow mindedness in the mainstream fine art world today. These women have often encountered difficulties in getting trained, in travelling and trading their work, and gaining acceptance and appreciation (Osborne). Elaine had a difficult acceptance area of her talents, abilities, and passion, but that did not stop her from painting these works of art.
The issues of the meanings of Elaine’s paintings present a valid analysis of feminism in the novel and in society. Jody and Charna, the art show coordinators, are both feminists in the novel. They also include Elaine’s paintings in the art show they organize. Elaine’s career has become successful because her paintings have been accepted by feminists as a true fine art and not a craft or hobby. Behind each painting is a real...

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The Manipulative Sirens And Their Victims In Margaret Atwood's Siren Song

The Manipulative Sirens and Their Victims in Margaret Atwood's Siren Song

In Homer's Odyssey, the Sirens are mythical creatures whose enchanting voices lure sailors to their deaths. These women have fascinated people ever since Homer sung the lines of his epic, inspiring artists of many genres from oil paintings to films. In her poem "Siren Song," Margaret Atwood re-envisions the Sirens to draw a comparison between the myths and modern life. Atwood portrays men as victims of "Sirens" (women) by making her readers the victims.

Atwood begins her poem with the speaker mysteriously introducing a secret. Speaking to her audience, the Siren--whose role is played in real life by women and paralleled by poets--attracts attention immediately with her luring phrases and vocabulary: "This is the one song everyone / would like to learn: the song / that is irresistible..." (1-3). Even with the word "siren" screaming, "Warning! Danger!" the loud ringing serves only to catch more notice. Readers respond with interest, wanting to hear this song and wondering why it is "irresistible" (3). Atwood uses colons in this first stanza as her tool for pulling readers into her story. Her colons hint at the revelation of this great secret; readers must read on to discover it.

Rather than stopping abruptly, Atwood carries her thought to the second stanza by beginning it with a lower case letter. However the speaker does not continue that thought by telling the secret right away as the reader would expect. Instead Atwood gives the speaker a seductive voice through her description of the enigmatic power of the Siren song. The speaker teases readers with evidence of its strength that "forces men / to leap overboard" (4-5), plunging to their deaths. She paints a picture of these men as completely under the control of the Siren enchantresses. Atwood's imagery of "beached skulls" in line thirteen proves to readers that the Sirens' victims know their fate. The men know they are being sucked into the women's trap. Readers know they are being pulled into a whirlpool of chaotic and capturing poetry--but the song is so "irresistible" (3) that neither tries to escape.

Atwood begins the third stanza with "the song" (7), again using lower case letters to lead readers towards the revelation. Her repetition of "the song" in the first three stanzas illuminates a theme of hypnotic phrases that runs its course through the poem. Ironically readers falls into the "irresistible" (3) trance by listening to the tales of its destructive nature: "anyone who has heard it / is dead..." (8). Atwood also alludes to the story of Odysseus with the phrase "others can't remember" (9), Odysseus being the only man who escaped the enchanting voices of the Sirens. The readers' curiosity mounts with the allusion to the man who had to be bound to keep him from "leap[ing] overboard" (5) to his death. They beg to know what kind of song this is and the power that is holds. The poet is the Siren to her...

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