Against Still Life Essay Research Paper In

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Against Still Life Essay, Research Paper In the poem Against Still Life, poet Margaret Atwood fascinates us by weaving her words into descriptive feelings we can all relate too, especially women. Atwood is a well known poet and novelist who has a certain way of grabbing the attention of the reader and throwing the reader?s thoughts around without her even realizing it. In Against Still Life for example, Atwood opens her poem with an orange, nothing more than an orange. By the end of the poem she has got the reader pondering what men think about. It is assumed that Atwood is the speaker of the poem and the setting is simply a situation most of us can find ourselves in often. The speaker of the poem is Margaret Atwood herself. She describes thoughts that would only belong to

her. Atwood uses the word ?I? to describe herself in the poem and ?you? to describe a second party other than the reader, who we later find to be a man. The poem, seems as though it is directed as a thought to the man, not a conversation or a poem for him to read, but Atwood?s desire to know this man?s thoughts. Atwood is clever, and describes feelings and the frustrations that any woman has felt about a man. This makes us really wonder if Atwood truly feels this way, or if she is just describing feelings that a general woman have about a general man. I believe Atwood did this on purpose not only to more easily relate to the reader but because she once said in a lecture, ?Plato said that poets should be excluded from the ideal republic because they are such liars. I am a poet,

and I affirm that this is true. About no subject are poets tempted to lie so much as about their own lives? I of course — being also a novelist — am a much more truthful person than that. But since poets lie, how can you believe me?? (Atwood). This suggests that maybe Atwood doesn?t really feel this way about a man, she could have made the whole thing up simply to please and relate to her readers, but then again, she could be telling the truth. Atwood?s attitude in the poem is very demanding and unknowing. She is a woman who wants answers about a man. She is having a hard time understanding this man and wants to know what?s going on inside his head. This happens to describe Atwood perfectly because she once said her husband (who is also a writer) was ?[b]etter than a dentist.

At least another writer knows why you are being so strange. And you can take long vacations? (Author Profile). In the poem, Atwood compares an orange to the man. It is said that Atwood often writes of food in her publications because she feels as though women have come to feel uncomfortable with themselves and food. "Atwood probes the prohibitions on the public display of female appetite and the social taboos which surround women and food in terms of the politics of eating" (Parker). I believe Atwood does this to make herself and the reader feel more comfortable with the frustrations she describes. She can only see the outside of the orange in the same way that she can only see the outside of the man. But she wants more than that, ?I want to pick it up in my hand I want

to peel the skin off; I want more to be said to me than just Orange: want to be told everything it has to say? (Muller 255). She wants to know all she can about the man, and it is driving her crazy not knowing what?s really going on inside that head of his. There is a constant battle in our world; men want to know how women really work and think, and women want to know what men really work and think. Atwood even mentions that she knows the man is thinking the same thing she is, and she wants to make him say it out load. ?[M]ake me want to wrench you into saying: now I?d crack your skull like a walnut, split it like a pumpkin to make you talk, or get a look inside? (Muller 256). She knows that this man has the same thoughts about her. She knows that he has this overwhelming desire