Explore how Margaret Atwood's "The City Planners" critically presents the image of nature. 

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Margaret Atwood's writings tend to speak to science fiction, nature, or feminism (as a whole, but not limited to). Her works which include images of nature tend to elevate the importance of nature within the world. 

Her poem "The City Planners" speaks against the planning which has gone into the sanitary structure of the residential streets described in the poem. This is illuminated by the fact that her word choice illustrates the negativity she holds against the city planers (based upon the decisions they have made). 

For example, Atwood's narrator uses the words "offends," "pedantic," and "sanitary" to help readers to "see" the rows of streets laid out before them. The sun is shunned by the slanted roofs. The man-made objects (paint, plastic hoses, and "too-fixed" windows) cover the natural beauty of the world with ugly artificial things. 

Atwood's narrator seems to desire nature's place to be far more prominent, yet the city planners do everything they can to obliterate nature from their plans. Nature is ignored, removed, and covered by all things mankind has created. 

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