4 pages personification adds human traits to

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[4] Page’s personification addshuman traits to inanimate objects the same way that the landlady creates an image of people she does not personally know. Line 3 allows the silence to swallow, giving humanistic traits to something that is empty and unfulfilled a lack of sound. This parallels the landlady’s application of ‘exciting’ sounds to the unexciting silences and reservations of strangers. She, in effect, applies traits and stories to the “impersonal” (line 2) boarders. These parallels between the landlady and Page’s use of personification help define the complex nature of what the landlady is trying to do for self-fulfillment. [5] The futility of the landlady’s condition impedes her life in a way that also violates others’, leading to a complicated response from the audience. By examining Page’s charged active verbs, abruptpunctuation and line structure, and personification, the landlady’s actions and motives become clearer, establishing an emptiness inside herself without those around her. Whether or not this is the cause of the landlady’s ill wishes in the final line of the poem, the audience is left with a mix of complex emotions between anger and empathy.
AP English Literature and Composition Question 1: Poetry Analysis (2019) Sample Student Responses 3 Sample OO [1] In every person’s life there consists a rarely thought of group of accquaintances who despite interacting little in person with an individual, know intimate details of their life. The garbageman, the postal service worker, the landlady These people enjoy a unique perspective of the populations they serve; they process the things we deem useless and discard, handle the personal messages and financial information we send and receive, they own the homes we foolishly call our own. In P.K. Page’s 1943 poem, “The Landlady” he portrays one such woman with intimate knowledge of the lives of others, despite her boarders’ attempts to maintain their privacy. Page portrays the landlady as a curious and inquisitive prescence who may just have dark motives, using the elements of imagery and tone to convey her complexity. [2] Page’s use of imagery highlights specific body parts with which the landlady conducts her observations, giving her a nearly un-human like prescence by isolating each act of invasion. Page compares the landlady’s eye to a camera, giving the impression that she attempts to remember and immortalize the things she sees. He describes her as having “tickling ears,” implying that she is always listening, ready to overhear whatever private information she can glean. He describes her flesh itself as “curious,” as if she not only perceives information, but somehow absorbs it through her skin as well. Page’s use of imagery which isolates the Landlady’s senses make her feel like she is a machine, designed and engineered for ultimate invasion of privacy and gives her an almost ominous and omnipresent feeling. Additionally, Page describes the actions of the boarders as very cautious and private.

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