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Depression and Denial in “Death by Landscape” by Wilk

Grief and depression are one of the primary topics of literature, as they are a part of every person’s life at some point in time. Dealing with loss in a healthy manner is a process each individual has to learn, being necessary to live in a fulfilling manner. Five stages of grief can be identified, all of which are a part of the coping process. A healthy person is able to pass through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression in order to find acceptance and peace. However, not every person can the last stage of the process. In this review, Margaret Atwood’s Death By Landscape will be discussed. I will argue that the presentation and the subject matter of the book are too heavy for a 12-grade audience, depicting a person stuck in denial about their friend’s dealt.

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The audience finds their main character in Lois, an older woman living alone after the death of her husband. She seems fixated on the past, being much occupied with reflecting and recalling her past. The major part of the book is spent with Lois recounting her time at a summer camp during her younger years, where she had lost her friend Lucy. The event has shaken Lois’s life from that point on, becoming a defining point for her whole character. After Lucy’s disappearance, the main character never managed to move on, still holding on to the idea of her friend being alive inside the landscape paintings she owns. As noted by the protagonist herself, she was not fully “present” in any of the future events of her life, including her time spent with the children and husband (Atwood). Lois’s whole existence is defined by an inability to let go, by stagnation and depressive feelings associated with a traumatic event. The narrative presented to the audience is heavy and difficult to deal with, leaving the reader with a mix of emotions by the end. The general attitude towards loss as exemplified by the main character is unhealthy, and should not be carelessly brought to light in front of those who might not be able to process it.

Works Cited

Atwood, Margaret. Death by Landscape. Difusión, Centro De Investigación Y Publicaciones De Idiomas, 2015. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, December 14). Depression and Denial in “Death by Landscape” by Wilk. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/depression-and-denial-in-death-by-landscape-by-wilk/

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StudyCorgi. "Depression and Denial in “Death by Landscape” by Wilk." December 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/depression-and-denial-in-death-by-landscape-by-wilk/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Depression and Denial in “Death by Landscape” by Wilk." December 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/depression-and-denial-in-death-by-landscape-by-wilk/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Depression and Denial in “Death by Landscape” by Wilk'. 14 December.

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