Point of View in the Odyssey and Margaret Atwood’s “Siren Song”

Have you ever heard just one side of a story without hearing the other side? Ever wondered what’s going through the villains mind? The sirens are described as bird like creatures that are beautiful and deceitful. The sirens prey on the most strong and heroic heroes that are also very gullible. Homer in “The Odyssey” and Margaret Atwood in the “Sirens Song” give different portrayals of the sirens through their point of view and tone.

The point of view of this poem is 1st person point of view. The story is told by a great epic hero named Odysseus: “Now with a sharp sword I sliced an ample wheel of beeswax down into pieces”. In this line Odysseus uses the word I, this shows that the story is narrated by Odysseus and it is also in 1st person. The point of view can affect the way someone depicts the sirens. Gender can also affect the story by being biased and stereotypical . If a man were to tell the story this could make it sound more serious and it makes the men sound more proud in the story so they can look powerful. In “The Odyssey” Homer said “Kneaded them in my two strong hands and the wax soon grew soft, worked by my strength and Helios’ burning ray”. In this short story Odysseus sees the sirens as deceitful and a challenge on his journey back home. Through Odysseus’s perspective this makes the story to have a heroic and serious tone.

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The point of view in the poem the “Sirens Song” is first person because the poem is narrated from one of the sirens point of view. This point of view can also affect the tone in the story as well. The point of view in Margaret Atwood’s “Siren Song” is first person and has a feminine point of view: The author stated on line 13: “ I don’t enjoy squating on this island” . Since it is a feminine point of view it makes the tone more humble and sarcastic, another line in the poem Margaret Atwood said “Shall i tell you a secret and if i do, will you get me out of this bird suit”. They think that if they were not there their heros the hero’s would not exist. The sirens pray on the most gullible and heroic of heroes. In the epics any heroic man would not deny a chance to save a damsel in distress and in this case the “damsels” are the sirens who plan to lure the heroes in. This poem makes the point of view of “Sirens Song” creates a sarcastic tone that the sirens portray.

In conclusion, Homer in “The Odyssey” and Margaret Atwood in the “Sirens Song” give different portrayals of the sirens through their point of view and tone. Both stories use different tone and different points of views to explain what the sirens stand for. In the Odyssey they are explained as monsters and a challenge for Odysseus. In the Siren Song atwood explained them as swindlers who lure in their victims and they imitate people like Odysseus because they think if every hero has been lured into their trap why should Odysseus be any different.

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