Adrienne Rich's Of Woman Born – The End of Motherhood

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Of Woman Born – The End of Motherhood

In Of Woman Born, Adrienne Rich effectively weaves her own story into a convincing account of what it means to become a mother within the bonds of patriarchal culture. Her conclusion that the institution of motherhood, which she distinguishes from motherhood, must be destroyed in order to release the creation and sustenance of life into the same realm of decision, struggle, surprise, imagination, and conscious intelligence, as any other difficult, but freely chosen work is substantiated by her courageous confession that contradicts culturally normative notions of motherhood.

Allowing readers to glimpse her own story as she painfully evaluates her role as mother side by side with historical accounts of other women's experiences provides an avenue for understanding that leads to compassion. By the final chapter, instead of falling into the expected trap of revulsion toward Joanne Michulski's heinous crime, Rich's empathy provides the reader with the insight to realize both the complexity of Michulski's situation and to feel comp...

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