Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' This Woman '

Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' This Woman '

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Although the suffrage movement in 1920 gave women more legal power poet Joy Davidman’s poem, This Woman, highlights the idea that women were still held to certain constraints that she hoped more women would reject in efforts to attain an equal standing within society. With the date of the poem marked as 1938 many facts about an average woman’s life and role in society can be suggested. The country had recently come out of the Great Depression when this poem was written. During this time women proved that they were just as resilient, if not more, than their male counterparts. Yet, women had a clear defined role, given by society, on how they should be even through a depression. So, despite the country having experienced the roaring 20’s which was a time of luxury, easy living, and women having autonomy over their sexuality there were still many restrictive beliefs of how women should look and conduct themselves. Davidman expresses her full awareness of these beliefs by using a woman’s voice in this poem to show how women are naturally created as strong beings who should castoff these “insult[ing]” predetermined rules imposed upon them.
The speaker wastes no time displaying her point of view when she explicitly commands women to “…not put a ribbon in [their] hair” in the opening line of the poem. Right from the beginning the speaker shows that she wishes for her fellow women to turn away from and reject this symbol of what society feels womanhood is. One may wonder what is so wrong with sporting a ribbon in one’s hair since a ribbon is simply a piece of fashion. Well, in this case a ribbon is another way society tells woman what they should do and how they should operate. Dawning a delicate ribbon suggests to like-minded thinkers of...


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...e says that she can tell the lost skeleton within women is “Like sharp roots pointing downward…” trying to get out. The speaker sympathizes with women who she knows what to come to that place of equality within society.
Davidman’s speaker does a great job of being a feminist voice for other women to look up to and empathize with in order to know that they are more than society’s inaccurate view of women. The speaker was able to point out what makes women great and encourage her woman audience to break through the barriers set before them. While reading the poem readers begin to understand that the speaker, although harsh at times, wants fellow women to believe that they too are capable of making more changes than the right to vote. Through this poem Davidman was hopefully able to inspire women to change their position in society into one more desirable and deserved.

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