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Blog#4- “Death by Landscape” by Margaret Atwood November 15, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meaghan @ 12:01 am


Personally, I believe the setting in a story is very important, a great description of setting can enable you to visualize the scenes, and almost have a sense of being there. In “Death by Landscape” the Canadian wilderness is the setting in which the story takes place, I believe that this contributes to the reading of the story. When I read it I felt like I was actually there, I remember even giving it to my boyfriend to read because I said that “you actually feel like you are out in the wilderness”. Atwood’s detailed description of the scenery sets the mood for the story. Even when watching a film, if there are scenes of wildlife and wilderness you can actually get ‘lost’ in it. (well i can anyway:)) When we read “Death by Landscape” we are able to picture the girls on their campsite, we can envision the wilderness around them, which personally makes it a much more interesting and gives it that effect of realism. Also in the end when the girls go on the canoe trip, I think that the description of the wilderness around them is important because we feel like we are there as well. When Lucy disappeared I found myself ‘looking’ around the wilderness for her. I could picture where her and Lois were, and I looked around the scenery for Lucy as Lois was calling out for her. Overall, the setting of the landscape gives us a sense of actually participating in the story.


The difference between ‘symbol’ and ‘allegory’ is that a symbol is, something that itself stands for something else; example, a flag is a piece of coloured cloth, but it stands for a country. A symbol is an image that evokes an objective, concrete reality and prompts that reality to suggest another level of meaning. Whereas an Allegory, is when objects, persons, and actions in a narrative are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. It represents one thing in the disguise of another.


4 Responses to “Blog#4- “Death by Landscape” by Margaret Atwood”

  1. 091002339princess Says:

    Hi Megan,
    Thank-you for responding to my blog. I wonder if maybe Lucy ran away. I wonder though, how would she find the resources to do this, without leaving a trail. I wonder if it would be possible to alude the police and the people who own the camp site. I think it was most probable that either Lucy jumped or Lois pushed her. I tend to lean towards the Lucy jumped because pushing someone off a cliff against their will would make more noise and commotion. Another possibility is Lois assisted Lucy over the cliff.

  2. 091002339princess Says:

    I noticed you asked Chantel if someone who was not Canadian would write it from a different perspective, as far as the setting was concerned. I think that American writers would write it from a snowing all the time perspective or a coutry perspective. I think this because Canada is perceived by most foreigners as wild. Many people from America wonder if igloos can have multiple levels and if we are neigbours with bears. A writer from Europe would probably have the same perspective or even more wild than an American in my opinion.

  3. 091002339princess Says:

    Hi Megan,
    What do you think of the Frankeinstein novel? Do you think it should be a part of the literary course? In the novel do you think the monster existed, or was it only a figment of Victor’s imagination?

  4. Hey Meaghan.
    You’re right. The setting in a story is a key element to the hidding meanins and usually represent important symbolism for the characters and the story line. As for the paintings in which Lois often refers to in the beginning of the story i find to be very symbolic and the allegory behind the paitings is that she strongly believes that even though she will never be able to find the remains of her long lost friend Lucy, that Lucy is very much alive through her paintings. THis is her way of saying that having those paitings, Lois is able to keep a piece of Lucy with her.
    To answer your question, im not so sure how an American would feel in regards to the Canadian setting. As Canadians we have a different historical and cultural background from the Americans in which they might not be able to relate. But just i do believe that the exact location itself to most can be irrelevant if they are not from Canada but the fact that she gives an indepth description throughout the story about the wilderness and nature, i believe anyone could imagine themselves in such a setting.

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