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In Death by Landscape Margaret Atwood's character development of Lois follows a pattern found in many of her stories, the wilderness vs human existence. Lois is isolated by choice. Right at the beginning we learn that her children are grown and her husband has died. The story tells us about Lois and her going to a camp as a child. She didn't really want to go but eventually she makes friends with Lucy. One day when Lois and Lucy separate from the group Lucy disappears in the woods never to be found again.
The losses in her life seem to have created a self impose isolation. Lois chooses to move into a condominium so she will not have to take care of the yard, or deal with nature in any way. She is frightened by the concept of the wilderness and the fact that they never found her friend. She is afraid of the world. She is even made to feel uneasy by her own paintings.
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