Analysis Of Survival By Margaret Atwood

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How can you implement tradition while remaining original? Many authors have been stuck inside this metaphorical box, and often do not know how they will escape. “Survival” by Margaret Atwood describes what seems to be the traditions of Canadian literature. When it comes to showing said traditions, “The Painted Door” and “Travel Piece” shows the traits “Survival” describes, but they manage to execute them in their own unique way. Both pieces of literature use negative events to advance their stories or even bring them to an end. They also put their characters into situations where they have to survive, though they have different definitions of what survival is. Only one author decides to use the Canadian tradition of making nature a cruel…show more content…
“The Painted Door” shows surviving as an attempt to get through an extreme storm. All throughout the story the buildup has to do with the storm, and how it gets worse. The storm gets to a point in the story where the character Steven states”...Across the would be suicide to try”(pg. 237). Describing the storm being impossible to survive, and telling the reader that John always comes back home, foreshadows that John won’t be making it back alive. John tried to survive a storm so he could return to his wife but ultimately failed. In “The Painted Door”, it displays survival as something that even if you try really hard to succeed, you will eventually fail. “Travel Piece” has a different way of showing and a different mindset about survival. “Travel Piece” paints survival as surviving a crash, and being stranded with other people, with nowhere to go. Our protagonist Annette after the crash becomes stuck in a lifeboat with others, and rescue does not seem to be arriving anytime soon. Near the end of the story, Atwood reveals that the student named Greg drank seawater, causing him to become delusional and try to jump off the boat into the ocean. They manage to pin him down, but the realization sets in that “They can’t hold him down forever…”(pg. 293) and that “...he will be lost to them”(pg. 293). With the wording and events shown later,…show more content…
Sinclair loved using the storm that was occurring throughout the story as a device to move the story along. Whether a representation of an internal struggle or not, it’s obvious that he was making the storm become a cruel and deadly force. The storm starts off calm, and increasingly gets worse and more dangerous throughout the story. When the storm begins to starts to decline into something terrible, Sinclair describes “it was if all across the yard the snow was shivering awake”(pg. 231). Sinclair specifically decided to put detail on how the storm was acting. He shows how it becomes crueler and crueler to the point where it kills. He wants you to notice the weather, and he is successful on making you doing so. In “Travel Piece”, they more focus on Annette’s struggles. Constantly in the story Annette’s problems with her job and how it makes her indecisive are brought up constantly throughout the story. She is focused on her job and how she has to make everything happy so people enjoy what she writes. Nature is hardly mentioned and when it is, it doesn’t affect what is going on. An example of this is when Annette is in the lifeboat and it is mentioned that “The boat moves up and down with the waves, which are not large”(pg. 288). This doesn’t really affect the story, only describes where the plane crashed. What is a

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