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The “Third Eye”: Visions of Violence and the Creation of New Myths in Margaret Atwood’s Poetry

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Title: The “Third Eye”: Visions of Violence and the Creation of New Myths in Margaret Atwood’s Poetry
Authors: Kendrick, Catherine
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: There are some who resent the third eye. They would have it removed, if they could. They feel it as a parasite, squatting in the centre of the forehead, feeding on the brain. To them the third eye shows only the worst scenery: the gassed and scorched corpses at the cave mouth, the gutted babies, the spoor left by generals, and, closer to home, the hearts gone bubonic with jealousy and greed, glinting through the vests and sweaters of anyone at all. Torment, they say and see. The third eye can be merciless, especially when wounded. from Margaret Atwood's "Instructions for the Third Eye" (Murder in the Dark, 61-62) In the above prose poem, Margaret Atwood argues that "most people have a third eye" but that they distrust the images shown by it. The third eye shows many different aspects of reality, both the good and bad, the beautiful and the cruel. The poet, Atwood argues, uses art to bring multifaceted versions of reality to the audience. There is no singular truth or reality; instead, Atwood's poetry illustrates the world through a fragmented lens. Atwood employs many different speakers in her poems to examine various views of violence in humanity, nature, language and war. The subject matter of her poetry varies widely, and this variation brings her ideas into focus. By examining subjects in different contexts and through different speakers, Atwood enables her audience to see the world in a new light.
Pages/Duration: 45 pages
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for English

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