* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Siren Song

Siren Song

by Margaret Atwood

Lies and Deceit Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls (4-6)

You know we're being deceived if we're warned early on that men can't resist this song and will leap overboard right onto an island of beached skulls. And since they're "forced" to do so, we get the feeling that the speaker is alluding to something that's inherent in all men (and women too?) that prevents them from exercising self-control when hearing the song.

Quote #2

Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit? (10-12)

Here's where we get our first taste of flattery and inflation of our egos. By offering us a "secret," the Siren makes us feel special and better equipped than all the rest of the men. So our speaker's flattery is really an ultimate tool for deception.

Quote #3

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique (22-24)

An even better way to deceive is to "cry for help." We can't help but play the hero here, especially since our speaker tells us we are "unique" and are the only ones who can save her. So the predator-prey duality is completely turned on its head as we become the prey in assuming we are the heroes with "unique" power. Fat chance, gang.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement