Reality Versus Appearance, Release Of Repression Argumentative Essays Example
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Thesis Statement: In the following analysis, I will demonstrate how Margaret Atwood’s “Death by Landscape” is used to represent the repression of traumatic events and the ways in which one copes and manifests the memory (reality) through inanimate objects (appearance).
As the story begins, Lois is described looking over her many painting in her new apartment. Her collection of art made her a sort of amateur art connoisseur among her friends. However, in reality it is the haunting memories of the past, which have caused this strange fascination of art. “Lois has two Tom Thomsons, three A.Y Jacksons, and a Lawren Harris. She has an Arthur Lismer, she has a J.E.H. MacDonald. She has a David Milne” (Atwood, 1990). This quote confirms Lois’ expansive collection of many different pieces of landscape paintings from various artists. It displays her connection and desire for art. Possibly through art, Lois finds answers to the mysteries of her life; a life filled with an emptiness that only the painting could fill. The paintings were more than what they appeared to the rest of the world:
She bought them because she wanted them. She wanted something that was in them, although she could not have said at the time what it was. It was not peace: she does not find them peaceful in the least. Looking at them fills her with a wordless unease. Despite the fact that there are no people in them or even animals, it’s as if there is something, or someone, looking back out (Atwood, 1990).
The paintings are telling the story of her past, the story of the loss of hope and innocence of the tragic day when Lucy disappeared without a trace. They are the only thing in life which allows her to acknowledge these feelings. Her repression of that period in life is so deep that she refused to ever visit any locations that were similar to Camp Manitou. The guilt and sadness of Lucy’s disappearance has been an aspect of her reality that she has never been able to properly display to the outside world. The effect that frightful day had on her psyche, where she lost one of her closest friends and was indirectly blamed by Cappie for Lucy’s disappearance on the cliff side. The experience of a 13 year old girl who would define her life based on a senseless mystery. Only Loise knew what knew how it felt, she had tucked it deep inside her not sharing with the world about the tragedy of Lucy’s disappearance and the burden she took on for letting everyone down by not staying by Lucy side that dreadful day. As the story comes to an end one can see that it is only through those painting that she could bring closure to Lucy’s disappearance. Lois needed the painting to give Lucy a place in life. The painting almost were a sort of memorial to Lucy, where Loise was able to find closure to unknown.
Atwood, Margaret. Death by Landscape. 1990.
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