Topic : The poem “Death of a Young Son by Drowning” is from Atwood’s book The Journals of Susanna Moodie(1970), which is written as if spoken by Susanna Moodie, a real person (1805–85) who emigrated from England to upper Canada and wrote several books about her experiences. In these poems, Atwood fictionalizes Moodie’s life considerably but works from actual incidents recounted by Moodie. “Death of a Young Son by Drowning” is from section II of the book, which recounts incidents in Moodie’s life between 1840 and 1871.
In your discussion, respond to all of the following:
• Does Atwood’s poem provide any internal evidence to suggest it is not a personal, confessional poem?• How might the reader discover that Atwood based the poem on another person’s experience?• Does the knowledge that Atwood based her poem on incidents in the life of Susanna Moodie change your reaction to the work?
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