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Word Count: 984
Margaret Atwoods theme in The Landlady is about the speakers prison-like living situation in what can be assumed to be a dorm The landlady has made home the place where we can feel free and comfortable to a suffering sentence The landlady is sin control and the speaker a young university student cannot escape from the landlady physically nor mentally The Landlady is effectively written in free verse and is a run-on style of poetry allowing the readers emotions and thoughts to carry to the next line all the way to the end of the poem The poem runs for 9 stanzas all of which vary in the number of lines The shorter stanzas are in the beginning and in the end where as the larger stanzas are in the middle The poem begins and ends with a one line stanza the first one being a full sentence where as the last line finishing off the sentence of the 8th stanza The first line compares the landlady to an animal a mean dangerous one as the landlady is said to have a lair and the last line makes reference to animal as well as Atwood uses the word bacon After the first stanza or line there is one three-line stanza followed by a four-line stanza then a five-line stanza but then cuts back down to a four-line stanza jumping to a six-line stanza repeating a six-line stanza then a four-line stanza and finishing off with a one-line stanza There really seems to be no pattern except for chaos and no sense of order However in stanza six it has senses which are in order first sounds raw voice slamsdoors then smells intrusive as the smells that bulge in under my doorsill and then sight a bulk blocking my way By doing this Margaret Atwood increases the tension from the sounds of the lair below the speakers room to her actual physical presence Line lengths
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