Q: How does the poet Margaret Atwood effectively use language to present the “Power of Nature” in “The City Planners”?
Ever so slightly the world is changing all around us. Our surroundings of nature are nonetheless altered by the dominant symmetrical figures of endless cities, which we ourselves have created. For the mere adjudication of an easier life, we intend to eliminate the struggles that naturality brings. But to the point of abuse and neglect towards nature’s cause, where we as humans are suppressed of our own ideals and art causing our world to be as fake as plastic, shows unjust and utter misjudgement by our superiors. Whom hold the intent to build future utopias over that of forests and patches of grass.Where it is covered shamelessly by slabs of pavement, where relics of nature’s history and sentiment are nowhere to be remembered yet alone found amongst this mirage of artificial monotony. Thus shown in “The City Planners”, a poem by Margaret Atwood we are enlightened of Nature’s capabilities, and its disdained beauty andpower over all of us. Through Atwood’s use of language in this poem she is able to articulate the greater contrast between “The City Planners” which represent the politicians in our world, and that of the will and power that Nature suppresses and bestows of us in our everyday lives.
Inherently this is predominant within the structure and content of the first 4 stanzas of the poem, because as it progresses the length of each stanza decreases. Which illustrates the oppression of self – expression, caused by the Planner’s bringing upon society at a stencil of pre made ideas and organisation. Shunning the questions and importance of Nature within context, from each and every coming generation. Alternatively, she could also be addressing the transition from the urban area to rural area as housing becomes smaller and more and more packed together and furthermore becomes taller and taller. “The houses in pedantic rows”which can bring a sense of claustrophobia as we feel that our area of movement becomes more limited.“the rational whine of a power mower cutting in a straight swath of discouraged grass”, thus the freedom of roaming around is prevented by the modern discrepancy of rules but most importantly the lack of area to reconsolidate and nurture the fine authentic ornaments of nature. “The planted sanitary trees”.This demonstrates development’s hold over nature, as it is being oppressed to grow in a peculiar way in a peculiar location, just for the sake of decoration in the city. This in a way is a sense of mockery of nature by development as nature always tends to be free and uncontrolled, which is the direct opposite of the implied city that the poet is describing.Furthermore the fact that it is sanitary brings about a sense of urban dominance over nature as we are applying our own urban rules to something that is not part of what we have done, as if we have conquered it and are subjectifying it over our authority. Likewise, nature requires filth. It requires the beautiful organisms of bacteria and animals that live in these things to survive. By removing this, Margaret Atwood has created an image of a subjected tree enclosed on the middle of a path without purpose. Thus nature has shown itself being tortured into being treated and identified as something that it’s not, as we as a society see trees as a mere decoration or rather a barricade. Not as the fine resource and treasure that we solely depend on, to breathe. To live. Hence proving that the urbanization and way of development that “The City Planners” have forced us to be a part of has brought us a much harder, repetitious and tiring life rather than that of intended.
Furthermore Margaret uses these illustrations in order to build up her testimony towards Nature’s hidden abilities and power over our control, as she also introduces its rightful importance in our lives. From how disrespecting the