This Is a Photograph of Me Analysis

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Women’s rights have come a long way in the past 100 years; nonetheless, it is no secret that women are still subject to gender prejudice in society. Women are equal in intelligence to men; however, women are still shockingly paid less than men, and are often victims of physical and mental abuse from cruel men. Margaret Atwood is a well-known feminist author who often writes about the oppression of women in society. In her mysterious poem “This is a Photograph of Me,” Atwood utilizes several aspects of nature observed in a photograph to symbolize the dominance of men over women in our oppressive society. She demands society as a whole to see through the stereotypes placed on women and observe the true importance and significance women have in history and our present lives. Atwood employs a great deal of symbolism in her poem to express the theme of female oppression. This symbolism is perceived in the blurriness of the photograph, the tree branch, the slope, the house, the lake, and the reflected light off of the lake. The distortion of the images in the photograph represents the negative labels put on women. We have to look past this distortion to see what the images are, or to observe the real essence and importance of women. Everything in the picture, literally and symbolically, is affected by the photograph’s distortion. The small hill that “ought to be a gentle/ slope” (11-12), represents the challenges women have in overcoming female prejudice. This challenge should be effortless, but it is instead an tiring climb. The small frame house symbolizes women as a whole and women’s place in society. Generally, women are physically smaller than men, and they are often viewed as the weaker gender. Also, the home is commonly observed as a woman’s place in society instead of solving problems in the workforce. The woman in the poem is hidden beneath the water of the
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