Margaret Atwood Siren Song Analysis

1002 Words 5 Pages
Women have often been thought of as very delicate, weak creatures, but these views have changed drastically over time. At one point in time, the word “power” was never associated with a woman. Margaret Atwood uses sirens to exemplify the power of women in her poem “Siren Song”. Originally from Greek mythology, a siren is a “women or winged creature whose singing lured unwary sailors on to rocks” through their seductive nature (“siren. n.”). These creatures manipulate sailors, making them believe that they were just something attractive to look at. Then, when a sailor fell for a siren’s trick, she would end his life. In the poem “Siren Song”, by Margaret Atwood, the manipulative power of women is demonstrated through repetition, verse form, …show more content…
One of the most significant aspects of this is the constant use of enjambment throughout the poem. Many sentences run into the next line, or even stanza, of the poem which changes the way that the poem is read. When the siren tell the reader to “Come closer. This song/ is a cry for help” (20-21), the sentence goes from the last line of one stanza to the first line of the next stanza. By writing the poem in this way, Atwood causes the reader keep reading and makes it hard for the reader to draw their eyes away from the poem. Since there are not many pauses at the ends of lines or stanzas, the reader is lured into reading through the entire poem quickly. By using enjambment, the reader is seduced by the siren and dragged along through the poem; not realizing it’s a trap until it is too late. Another aspect of verse form that is used is the consistent structure of tercets throughout the entire poem. By using very short stanzas, the reader is kept engaged more easily, and it causes the reader to continue through the poem. The uniform stanza lengths makes the poem seem simple and manipulates the reader into falling for the outward appearance of the poem, just as the sailors fall for the outward appearance of the sirens, “even though they see the beached skulls” (6). The beauty of the sirens is enough to convince the sailors to risk their lives, even though it is evident that they are jumping to certain …show more content…
Throughout the entire poem, the language is very simple and easy to follow. There are not any complex sentences that have to be interpreted to get a thorough understanding of the poem. To the reader, this can make it seem as though there is no complexity to the poem. The reader is manipulated into only looking at the most basic meaning at first, not realizing that there is more to both the poem and the sirens than is initially seen. The sirens seem like such delicate creatures that the sailor’s don’t question their irrational decisions to jump overboard. In the same way, the poem’s message can seem so clear until all of a sudden it is too late, and the reader has been tricked. The poem lacks what may typically be considered artistic language, but the simple words that Atwood chose to use creates an immense power over the reader. Thus, the manipulative power of women is demonstrated by the simple diction in the poem. Throughout the poem “Siren Song”, by Margaret Atwood, repetition, verse form, and diction are used to demonstrate the manipulative power of women. These aspects of the poem’s structure cause the reader to go through the poem quickly and not realize that they have fallen for the siren’s song until it is too late. Subtle effects in the way that Atwood has constructed this poem, lead to a powerful manipulative force over the reader. Through these techniques, a strong

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