Monday, October 20, 2008

"Half-Hanged Mary" by Margaret Atwood

In class today, we read Margaret Atwood's poem "Half-Hanged Mary" about a woman accused of witchcraft who was later hanged for her crime. She survived the hanging. The poem describes her experience.

Which time period in the poem most appeals to you? Why? What images or lines really work for you in this time period?

Post a comment to this blog.

23 comments:

richye williams said...

i think LATER got me....because it talk about she was let down after people thought she was dead. I really couldn't tell weather or not she was happy or dead inside. She said "...I eat mice and give thanks, blasphemies gleam and burst in my wake like lovely bubbles." It sounded happy...i think. But also sounded a little extreme....that really got me...

jordan montell said...

to me it seems like it 1820 because of the way she persent the are she lived in

Stephanie C 11th Grade said...

9 pm
was my favorite because it talks about how she helped everyone and kept all their secrets ("i cured your baby and i flushed yours out of you...") and now that she's being hung no one is saying anything in fear that they will get hung too.
i feel its a bit ironic.

Ray said...

My favorite time was definitley 6 am. She is coming to sense with what had happened and took something as jolly as the sun and turned it into a harbinger of despair.

nyc7ecua said...

the time period in this poem that really got to me was 8 a.m. it is when the townspeople went to go check if mary was still alive or not. they saw that she had survived being hanged. I like the sentence where she says before, i was not a witch but now i am one. i like it because she is saying how one day she can be just an ordinary person to becoming a supposed witch and was attempted to be executed for something that she is not. It must have been hard for her. I can picture her hanging in the air while the people in the town go to check on her and the town people's faces when they saw that she was still alive.

-Gabii Mora

yanill. said...

The time that appeals the most to me is 9pm. I feel that it described what Mary saw while she was getting hanged well; the people of the town and what they were wearing.
She spoke of how she had done favors for some of the people that were watching her get hanged, and how they did nothing. She draws a good image of how she feels betrayed.

nyplayya4evr said...

The time period that i have chosen was 8 a.m this is the time period that she was cut down from the rope only to be found alive and breathing. She suprised the townspeople with this and fooled them she knew they couldn't try to execute her for the second time and for the same thing, her perspective of herself changed she felt as if she was truly a witch for surviving her execution. She felt like if she cheated death or had a second chance and she took advantage of it.
- Fredrick Lluberes period 3

christinak11 said...

i think the time that most appealed to me was 8 am because its like she shocked the people by surving. making them fear her in a way. it was like she beat the law and skipped death and now she had somewhat of this power over these people. it was as if she was leaving this situation a completly differnt person. this was also the most improtant time she explain the way her body felt physically.

funkii3fr3sh101 said...

The time period that really got to me was, 3am. 3am got to me because she used such a language, to me it seemed she was closer to death, but anyways it was really sad when she said that the biggest crime was her being alive in the first place, that was really cold it touched me there.


-Coralis Gorritz

JOVAN said...

THE TIME PERIOD THAT APPEALS MOST TO ME IS " LATER". IT WAS INTERESTING TO SEE THE AFTERMATH OF WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THEY TRIED TO HANG HER AND SHE SURVIVED. LINES LLIKE " HAVING BEEN HANGED FOR SOMETHING I NEVER SAID, I CAN NOW SAY ANYTHING I CAN SAY. AND " MY AUDIENCE, IS GOD, BECAUSE WHO THE HELL ELSE COULD UNDERSTAND ME? WHO ELSE HAS BEEN DEAD TWICE? THIS PASSAGE SHOWS ME THAT SHE HAD A LOT OF ENDURANCE TO SURVIVE THAT. OR MAYBE SHE REALLY WAS A WITCH!

penny. said...

I like the 2 a.m. verse because, we never thought about having two kinds of prayers, and I thought it was interesting because it did make sense now having to know that people base prayers of two kinds.

paula901 said...

the time that really got to me was, 9pm because of all the good she has done, and people she thought were her friends and people who she helped and expected a little back from them, were now in the riot against her as if they could not see the good in her when she had helped them.
when she writes " in a gathering like this one, the safe place is the background, pretending you cant dance, the safe stance is pointing a finger."
she to me means, its safe and better to stand there and agree that she is a witch rather than have people against you for believing she is good.

metaRL said...

my fav is 9pm because its the most meaningful to me and its like everyday life and how everyone behaves even now...

Gerardo Vargas said...

2am got to me because it began to show her desperation; she began to pray and beg for mercy. she believed she had died and was begging for it to end. it was interesting to see how she compared her prayer to the traditional by-the-bed prayer.

Chris Marks said...

my favorite time was when she was describing her being tied up because to me thats when the story was getting interesting and thats what can catch a readers eye. it also can make wanna people see what happens after.

katlyn everett said...

The time period in the poem that most appeals to me is 8am. This time period really caught my attention because it was when the town people witnessed her survival. I liked it the most because as she was hanging there looking down at all who had been looking up she must have felt awful but at the same time proud/powerfull. She had defeated their ways and lived.

-Katlyn Everett

Alex R. said...

This passage is her transformation and her triumpt. the people had judge her for something she wasn't but thier judgement had created wha they had feared. her triumpt over them was her survivle. she was a witch because she survived not because she lived. she gained power throught fear.

Alex R. said...

This passage is her transformation and her triumpt. the people had judge her for something she wasn't but thier judgement had created wha they had feared. her triumpt over them was her survivle. she was a witch because she survived not because she lived. she gained power throught fear.

Anqiee! said...

I think that 6am hit me the most. Because i had a strong feeling towards the last stanza. When swhe said "At the end of my rope. I testify to silence. Don't say I'm not grateful. She expressed that so deeply. And i feel her pain. She helps you with understanding how she feels.

-angie

ViCKY RiOS x3 said...

One of the time periods in this poem that appeals to me the most is 3am. The way the words flow together and are written make me feel and vision what is going on like i was there or in her place. It really hit me when she was saying that the biggest crime was her birth , for someone to say that them being alive is a crime is a really sad thing. I thought she was so close to death but she ends up living. I really liked it.

--Vicky Rios.

thealshznt said...

i thought the time when she was 'talking' but most thinking to god about how she was the one being hung. why did she have to have her life stopped at this time. she was questioning faith at that moment in the text.

CEE D`AGUilAR.! said...

12 am was the time peri0d that interested me.that was the time she started t0 feel the pain & feel herself ab0ut t0 die.she
d0es have strength & she tells herself that she w0n`t die
t0night.i persnally c0uldn`t see/feel myself ab0ut t0 die.it`s like havng the s0luti0n right at
y0ur finger tips but y0u can`t
t0uch it.

omar said...

The time that really got me was 8 am when she was cut down from the tree. By acting dead she avoided getting killed a second time if the Indians saw her alive. But due to this she felt guilt and actually was starting to believe she was a witch.