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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 1070 words

Analysis of "The city planners" by Margaret Atwood

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Introduction

âThe city plannersâ Margaret Atwood The poem âThe city plannersâ was written by Margaret Atwood. This poem is about living in a suburban residence. Which is described by the narrator as a boring place, were everything is the same and there is no originality or uniqueness. It also talks about the âcity plannersâ who are apparently ruining the city and imposing rules. The key theme in this poem is the numbness produced by living in a place without originality or creativity. The first stanza of this poem is describing the city, nature and how dull and how nothing exciting ever happens in that suburban residence. âWhat offends us is the sanities:â with this line the author is kind of criticising the city and suburbia. She then continues to list the things that bother her âthe houses in pedantic rows, the planted sanitary treesâ¦â this words show how the author sees suburbia which she describes as picture perfect everything is too clean âsanitiesâ too neat and structured.

Middle

For example with these lines âfuture cracks in the plasterâ âwill slide obliquely into clay seas, gradual glaciers that right now nobody noticesâ the author is saying that all these things of being flawless will lead to destruction. In stanza four Atwood introduces the new idea of the âcity plannersâ. In the lines 29-32 the narrator is describing the city planners, who they are and where they work. They say that they are âpolitical conspiratorsâ which makes them powerful. Then in line 33 it is said âeach in his own private blizzardâ which could be referring to each of the city planners different ideas that will destroy the city. Then it says âthey sketch transitory lines rigid as wooden bordersâ which means they are imposing tough rules and creating paths for the people to follow. Stanza five is a brief two line stanza which ends the poem with the lines âtracing the panic of suburb order in a bland madness of snowâ this means that all the suburbs are perfect and follow a straight perfect line but really there is a snow storm âmadnessâ hidden by all this flawless, picture perfect world.

Conclusion

This poem can be linked with the poem by Boey Kin Cheng âThe Plannersâ. Both of these poems talk about similar themes which are the suburban and perfect cities and nature for example in âThe city plannersâ Atwood describes the âplanted sanitary treesâ âthe discouraged grassâ and in âThe plannersâ Cheng talk about âthe seas draw backâ and âthe skies surrenderâ. Also both poems talk about people that âplanâ or control the cities. So in conclusion this poem is transmitting a feeling of anxiety, concern and unease as it talks about the destruction and madness there really is in the world although some people âthe city plannersâ try to cover it and live hiding the truth of this world of perfection and flawlessness. I think the poem is successful as it is transmitting its subtexts which are the dullness and flatness of this world which soon will be destroyed in a pretty clear way and I think that is what Margaret Atwood was trying to transmit through this poem.

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