In the human experience, it is so easy to fall for simple tricks that seem like acts of kindness.
One way to prove this is the mythological creature the siren. The sirens sing a beautiful song, which seems like an act of kindness, but they sing it for evil. The song traps sailors on an island where they die.
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In the painting Ulysses and the Sirens, John William Waterhouse uses the scene of Sirens trying to mesmerize Odysseus’ crew to show that it is easy for humans to get distracted by their problems and become easily overwhelmed, while in “Siren Song”, Margaret Atwood uses the same scene to show that humans often get deceived by people who seem kind, but actually hope for the worse.
The poem by Atwood takes place in the thoughts of a siren. Whoever hears the siren song dies, but the speaker is tired of singing it. She is claiming that the song is a call for help, but this could easily be another trap
In the poem, the speaker states, “This song is a cry for help: Help me!” (Atwood 22)
In conclusion, the speaker is saying she is trapped and has no escape, we will never know whether this is just another trap or if she is being honest.
Research about the Poet
- Atwood was born in Ontario, Canada on November 18, 1939. She started writing at the age of 5. Since then, she has written 27 poems. Not only has she achieved this much, she also earned a master’s degree in English Literature from Radcliffe COllege in 1962. Her poems all basically have the same theme, which is human behavior. Out of all of her achievements, her best was probably winning the PEN Pinter Prize for the spirit of political activism in 2016.
- Atwood is a very experienced and encouraging writer. She claims that the only reason the female characters in her poems are suffering is because every woman she has talked to about personal experiences has suffered.
In conclusion, Atwood is a great role model for anyone who is looking for a future in writing. Not only is she a great writer, her poems are very inspirational and interesting.
- The mood of the painting can be described as overwhelming, which demonstrates the idea that Odysseus’s crew is overwhelmed with stress.
- The poem demonstrates stress in comparison to human experiences by showing the sirens as problems, and Odysseus’s crew as the humans being overwhelmed by their problems. The sirens are tempting and deceiving, while the crew is trying their best to not fall for the trap, it is very hard for them which causes stress.
- In conclusion, the artist is trying to show that humans have to use all of the strength they have to avoid their temptations. Even though the sirens are singing as beautifully as they could, the crew thought ahead of time and planned for temptations.
Research About the Artist
- John William Waterhouse lived a very fulfilling life. He was born on April 6, 1849. He produced over 200 paintings in his whole lifetime. The paintings by Waterhouse depicted scenes of tragedy, betrayal, and love. Sadly, Water house died at the age of 68 due to cancer. His last painting made was titled The Enchanted Garden.
- Even though Waterhouse had cancer, he still continued to perservere with his painting and he ended up being very succesful.
- In conclusion, Waterhouse worked hard and it payed off in the end of things, no matter what age he was, he was still very prosperous.
Theme that Connects Poem and Painting
- The main theme that connects the poem and painting is deception.
- The sirens are very deceptive creatures just simply by singing. In both the painting and the poem, the sirens are singing and tricking sailors who pass by simply using flattery.
- In conclusion, the painting and poem both have a very universal theme, which is to not fall for simple temptations.
- In the painting Waterhouse uses the scene of Sirens trying to mesmerize Odysseus’ crew to show that it is easy for humans to get distracted by their problems and become easily overwhelmed, while in “Siren Song”, Atwood uses the same scene to show that humans easily get deceived.
- The painting and the poem both express the idea that humans are easily tricked by small obstacles or even each other.
- Both the painting and the poem had two different moods, yet they still have the same theme. The painting has a mood that shows stress, however the poem has a mood of sadness. The theme of these two pieces of art is deception.