The City Planners by Margaret Atwood (ESL) -Template

The City Planners by Margaret Atwood

From the title ‘The City Planners’ we can predict that the poem will be about ____________________________________________________.

The first line ‘cruising these residential Sunday/streets in dry August sunlight’ gives us the impression that _________________________________________________________.

‘Cruising’ suggests ____________________________________ , with the alliterative ‘Sunday streets’ implying ________________________, ‘dry August sunlight’ lulling the reader into _________________. The next line ‘what offends us is the sanities’ comes as a jolt and the rest of the poem is Attwood’s criticism of _____________________________. ‘Pedantic rows’ and ‘sanitary trees’ expresses the poet’s thoughts about suburbia which she describes as __________________________

She then provides a simile by comparing the ‘levelness of surface’ or rather the height of the trees as a ‘rebuke’ to the ‘dent in our car door’. This suggests that ____________________________. She goes on to reinforce the imagery of suburbia by saying that there is ‘no shouting here, or shatter of glass’ which provides us with a positive image of life in a residential area. This line suggests that ____________. However it is juxtaposed in the next line when she describes the abruptness of the ___________________________________________.

Stanza two continues the predicament that challenges suburbia in a way by pointing out flaws. There is a distinct similarity between stanza one and two in that there is list of complaints relating to suburbia. Her description of the monotony of roof tiling –‘all display the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky’-because we are made to think that  _________________. Some images that stand out for Atwood in suburbia are the offensive smell of oil which smells faintly like vomit and a splash of paint is compared to a bruise. She says that the paint is as ‘surprising’ as a bruise because ______________________________. The same tone is repeated when she describes ‘a plastic hose poised in a vicious coil’. This gives us the impression that ____________________ . The hose is followed by a comma to reinforce the list of things she finds offensive about suburbia, mentioning the ‘too-fixed stare of the wide windows.

 In the next few stanzas the tone shifts from a list of suburban ills to what might happen in the future. Attwood’s apocalyptic vision is that __________________________________________. She later says that even the ‘clay seas’ will become contested territories and the City Planners of the future will still map out another city.

 

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8 thoughts on “The City Planners by Margaret Atwood (ESL) -Template

  1. The City Planners by Margaret Atwood
    From the title ‘The City Planners’ we can predict that the poem will be about architects, cities, and that Atwood is also going to describe them and express her opinion. The first line ‘cruising these residential Sunday/streets in dry August sunlight’ gives us the impression that the atmosphere she is describing is really relaxing and calm.‘Cruising’ means travelling around without a certain direction, and, combined with the alliterative ‘Sunday streets’ an image is created of a weekend spent with the family in ‘dry August sunlight’ which lulls the reader into imagining a perfect summer time in the suburbia. The next line ‘what offends us is the sanities’ comes as a jolt and the rest of the poem is Attwood’s criticism of the suburbia. She thinks suburbs are constructed without personality/originality. ‘Pedantic rows’ and ‘sanitary trees’ express the poet’s thoughts about suburbia which she describes as too clean, too tidy/organized, without expression of individuality. She then provides a simile by comparing the ‘levelness of surface’ or rather the height of the trees as a ‘rebuke’ to the ‘dent in our car door’. This suggests that the persona’s car is out of place in these “Sunday residential Streets” because there is a “dent” in the door. The image is also contrasted to the “levelness” and the ordinary aspects of suburbia which seems to argue/pretest against individuality. She goes on to reinforce the imagery of suburbia by saying that there is ‘no shouting here, or shatter of glass’ which provides us with a positive image of life in a residential area. This line suggests that suburbia is tranquil, peaceful and quiet place. However it is juxtaposed in the next line when she describes the abruptness of the “power mower”, which Attwood describes as ‘ the rational whine of power mower cutting a straight saw in the discouraged grass”. This line is contrasted to her earlier idea of peace and calmness, and now she is explaining about the noises in suburbia.

    Stanza two continues the predicament that challenges suburbia in a way by pointing out flaws. There is a distinct similarity between stanza one and two in that there is list of complaints relating to suburbia. Her description of the monotony of roof tiling –‘all display the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky’-because we are made to think that all the houses, all the people, all the cars are all the same, without any individually. Some images that stand out for Attwood in suburbia are the offensive smell of oil which smells faintly like vomit and a splash of paint is compared to a bruise. She says that the paint is as ‘surprising as a bruise’ because it protests against the sameness of everything in suburbia. The same tone is repeated when she describes ‘a plastic hose poised in a vicious coil’. This gives us the impression that the hose isn’t supposed to be there, because not all the other houses in the suburbia have it, therefore it’s a different characteristic. The speaker of the poem also uses personification. Attwood personifies the hose into being something vicious. The hose is followed by a comma to reinforce the list of things she finds offensive about suburbia, mentioning the ‘too-fixed stare of the wide windows’ of the houses. In the next few stanzas the tone shifts from a list of suburban ills to what might happen in the future. Attwood’s apocalyptic vision is that the suburbia is going to be destroyed, it is going to sink and no one will survive but the government/local council and the City Planners . She later says that even the ‘clay seas’ will become contested territories and the City Planners of the future will still map out yet another city.

    1. Well done, Guiliana! I really enjoyed reading it, as not only have you demonstrated that you understand the poem, but you also made an excellent attempt at making this your own response by developing your ideas further. Keep up with the good work!

  2. The City Planners by Margaret Atwood
    From the title ‘The City Planners’ we can predict that the poem will be about the life in suburbia. The poem expresses the negative thing about suburbia. The first line ‘cruising these residential Sunday/streets in dry August sunlight’ gives us the impression that at the weekend the person is traveling around the area where people live, she looks at the activity of the people spending their time with family. ‘Cruising’ suggests about to traveling around, with the alliterative ‘Sunday streets’ implying a weekend spent with family or having picnic, ‘dry August sunlight’ lulling the reader into sort of relaxing. The next line ‘what offends us is the sanities’ comes as a jolt and the rest of the poem is Attwood’s criticism of the suburbia. ‘Pedantic rows’ and ‘sanitary trees’ expresses the poet’s thoughts about suburbia which she describes as too tidy and organized area. She then provides a simile by comparing the ‘levelness of surface’ or rather the height of the trees as a ‘rebuke’ to the ‘dent in our car door’. This suggests that the person’s car is out of place because of the dent. This image is contrasted to the ‘levelness’ and the ordinary aspect of suburbia which seem to argue against individuality. She goes on to reinforce the imagery of suburbia by saying that there is ‘no shouting here, or shatter of glass’ which provides us with a positive image of life in a residential area. This line suggests that their daily activity is quite or like the people having no problem. However it is juxtaposed in the next line when she describes the abruptness of the lawn mower which reminds us of the negative effect of suburbia.

    Stanza two continues the predicament that challenges suburbia in a way by pointing out flaws. There is a distinct similarity between stanza one and two in that there is list of complaints relating to suburbia. Her description of the monotony of roof tiling –‘all display the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky’-because we are made to think that everything is looks the same, even just the roof is arranged in the same slant and direction. Some images that stand out for Atwood in suburbia are the offensive smell of oil which smells faintly like vomit and a splash of paint is compared to a bruise. She says that the paint is as ‘surprising’ as a bruise because it makes something different in the suburbia. It against the sameness in suburbia. The same tone is repeated when she describes ‘a plastic hose poised in a vicious coil’. This gives us the impression that the hose is personified into being something vicious or nasty. The hose is followed by a comma to reinforce the list of things she finds offensive about suburbia, mentioning the ‘too-fixed stare of the wide windows. In the next few stanzas the tone shifts from a list of suburban ills to what might happen in the future. Attwood’s apocalyptic vision is that no more suburbia, it would be destroyed but just the city planners who still be there. She later says that even the ‘clay seas’ will become contested territories and the City Planners of the future will still map out another city.

    1. Excellent work Intan, you have demonstrated a fabulous understanding of the poem! I like how you are including your own ideas! Keep up with the good work,

  3. The City Planners
    By Margaret Atwood

    The poet Margaret Eleanor Atwood who happens to be a prolific novelist and
    A literary critic has written this poem about The City Planners. They are not just
    Any city planners they are the one who are brain washing human and are attempting
    To create a world so perfect by removing the imperfection of nature and by doing
    This they do not know they are bringing doom to themselves. The name itself is suggesting, the poem is about architects and a city and other aspects related to it.

    The first line of the poem “cruising these residential Sunday streets in dry August sunlight” this line gives us the impression that the atmosphere the poet is describing is very relaxing and calming. The word ‘cruising’ means traveling around without any particular direction and is combined with the alliterative ‘Sunday Streets’ and this starts to create an image in our mind of a weekend vacation and ‘dry August sunlight’ pauses the reader into further imagination of a perfect summer time in the suburbia.

    The next line ‘what offends us is the sanities’ comes as a jolt and the rest of the poem is Atwood’s criticism of the suburbia. She thinks suburbs are constructed without personality or originality. ‘Pedantic rows’ and ‘sanitary trees’ express the poet’s thoughts about suburbia which she describes as too clean, too tidy and organized, without expression of individuality and are about total perfection.

    The second stanza continues the idea of a predicament in suburbia and the apparent resemblance between stanza 1 and 2 is about the writer complaining about suburbian
    life and culture. This also suggests the change in idea in continuation with the 3rd stanza.
    The poet, Margaret Atwood’s the hot sky’ and this makes us think that all houses, people and cars are all the very same and do not have any we disposition of any kind. Some images that stand out for Attwood in suburbia are the offensive smell of oil which smells faintly like vomit and a splash of paint is compared to a bruise.

    The next part of the poem ends the complaints and then shows us the consequences of being so greed and flawless. And the writer tells us that by being flawless and by damaging and killing nature, nature itself will destroy us. This we see in the lines
    ”when the houses, capsized, will slide obliquely into the clay seas, gradual as glaciers
    that right now nobody notices”. In these lines the poetic techniques portray that no one in the suburbia sees the larger picture of their estates.

    The fourth stanza establishes new idea of the City planners and portrays the real estate agents to have power and or authority of the city. As they control the buying and selling of houses and they work to keep everyone happy including themselves.
    We see all this from the line 29-32, the ‘city planner’ who we presume to be are the real estate agents and this line tell us where they work and tells us where the agents work and how each house will be worked on in that area.

    The fifth stanza has more abstract ideas on blizzards (literal or metaphorical meaning, both can be used for interpretation) which contrast with the first 3 stanza’s in which there are more concrete ideas and are closed to only one interpretations of one single meaning.
    In line 34 the diction used describes a flourishing market and refers back to the real estate agents. Line 35 then abstractly describes the wooden boards “rigid as wooden boards”.
    Lines 37 uses diction to indicate future problems and chaos in the real estate industry, and in continuation to the 37th line 38 talks about a long term economical downfall in the real estate agency.

    The themes in the poems are nature vs man, blizzards and snows are used as extended metaphors for the blindness and confusions of a city to the tasteless customs the city itself comprises off.

    By- Jaden Silverstein

  4. its to hard to analyse 😦 Its a cul poem tho 🙂 **** i wish internt would provide bettr annalysation(: love ya margarette.. lol keep rocking babe** u write damn welllllllllll…..

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