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Landcrab by Margaret Atwood

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Bella Utley

on 3 March 2016

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Transcript of Landcrab by Margaret Atwood

Landcrab by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
Born in November 18, 1939 in Ontario, Canada.
Studied ath the University of Toronto and Radcliffe College.
Author of more than forty volumes of poetry, children's literature, fiction, and nonfiction.
She is best known for her novels.
Her mother was a former dietition and nutritionist.
Father was an entomologist.
Her works coincided with the second wave of feminism in the late '60s.
An environmental activist.
1st stanza
A lie, that we come from water.
The truth is we were born
from stones, dragons, the sea's
teeth, as you testify,
with your crust and jagged scissors.

2nd stanza
Hermit, hard socket
for a timid eye,
you're a soft gut scuttling
sideways, a blue skull,
round bone on the prowl.
Wolf of treeroots of gravelly holes,
a mouth on stilts,
the husk of a small demon.

in line 1, it is alluding to Darwin's evolution theory
in line 3, the stone refers to the Greek myth, Decaulion who threw stones over his shoulders and they became human.
Also in line 3, the Greek myth of Cadmus: He killed a dragon, and then planted the teeth in the ground. The teeth sprouted into men.
In line 5, "crust and jagged" because humans are raw and fresh from being born from the ground.
compares the crab's features to human's ugly nature
3rd stanza
Attack, voracious
eating and flight:
it's a sound routine
for staying alive on edges.
Then there's the tide, and that dance
you do for the moon
on wet sand, claws raised
to fend off your mate,
your coupling a quick
dry clatter of rocks
For mammals
with their lobes and tubes,
scruples and warm milk,
you've nothing but contempt.
describing the repetitiveness of the lifestyle of humans (gotta do what you can in order to survive)
There's a switch to happiness when the moon comes out, because that is the crab's time to shine. Its true purpose is portrayed here.
However, mammals tend to only see the harsh tendecies that crabs carry out in order to survive.
4th stanza
Here you are, a frozen scowl
targeted in flashlight,
then gone: a piece of what
we are, not all,
my stunted child, my momentary
face in the mirror,
my tiny nightmare.
People constantly hunt for crabs with flashlights, similar to when people look within themselves for self realization.
We are all landcrabs. We all have highs and lows, but no one sees your internal struggle like you do.
Figurative Language
The 2nd stanza
vivid language in 3rd stanza
Allusion to Greek Mythology

Other interpretations:
Full transcript