• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Variations on the Word Love by Margarett Atwood - Critical Analysis

Extracts from this document...


"Variations on the Word Love" by Margaret Atwood The poem "Variations on the Word Love" by Margaret Atwood describes the wide range of different types of love. Each is uniquely different as described by the poet. The poet is saying that love shouldn't be just a "word we use to plug up holes with." Atwood divides her poem into two concrete sections, which in turn represent two different ways of looking at the word love. The first stanza is dedicated to expressing love as a word and the second focuses on love as a feeling. There is a drastic change in Atwood's tone between the two stanzas; in the first stanza, her attitude about love is expressed quite bitterly. ...read more.


In these lines, Atwood expresses that love has lost all of its meaning because it has been misrepresented and exploited. Although Atwood's attitude towards love appears bitter in the first stanza, this completely changes at the start of the second stanza when she says, "Then there's the two of us. This word is far too short for us, it has only four letters." When reading this line, the reader clearly understands that Atwood's bitterness is not towards love, but the misinterpretation of it by the people. Atwood describes love as a "single vowel in this metallic silence." ...read more.


As stated in the appropriate title, love has many variations. These variations do not allow love to be presented easily or accurately by one simple definition. Her line breaks are irregular, making the poem unpredictable, which is another characteristic of love; furthermore, the absence of rhyme in a poem about love challenges preconceptions of how love should be expressed. Throughout "Variations on the Word Love," Atwood explores the topic of love in terms of connotation versus denotation. As a word, love has become so altered that it has lost significance. Therefore, as a feeling, love is too deep and intimate to be represented by such a short word. Her drastic change in diction and attitude further show that love has many different sides and can be viewed from different perspectives. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Poets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Poets essays

  1. Why is most of Coleridge's best writing unfinished?

    at this time, the drugs to which Coleridge had become so reliant on would have affected the direction and inspiration that the poet had in regards to this poem. Just as some believed it had influenced him when writing "Kubla Kahn".

  2. Emily Bronte-Cold in the Earth Critical Analysis

    joy", the use of the word 'fed' gives the image of rejuvenation and rebirth, an image that contributes to Bronte's strength of character. Following the theme of recreation, Bronte draws feelings from her memories. "Then did I check the tears of useless passion", Bronte here demonstrates the ability to pick

  1. Commentary on The Lost Heritage by Heather Buck

    There is an alliteration of the f sound in the first line, which creates an emphasis on a cold feeling. This is because when people are cold, they tend to shudder and mumble the f sound. Then by the choice of the word "shuddered", the cold atmosphere of the time is emphasized to a greater extent.

  2. Analysis of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How do I love thee?"

    The final way ?and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.? Is saying that if she is permitted to heaven after death and God allows her, her love will continue eternally and even greater than at present as she will feel God?s love and have that to feel for him as well as her own love.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work