Revision Rich

Better Essays
In Adrienne Rich's essay "When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-vision", the author writes about her personal experience as a woman writer in a male dominated society. Her essay consists of poems, which she had written throughout different times in her life, to demonstrate the transformation in her writing. As a woman writer in a male dominated society, Rich begins writing in the traditional style, "the man's way," but as she continues writing, Rich breaks from these traditional styles to form her own. Like Freire, Rich believes people should break from society and be able to think and question things for themselves. While Freire wants to change the educational system, Rich wants to change writing. Both Freire and Rich want to break from the traditional ways of the past. Rich believes that women need to break from the enduring attitudes of traditions which society has placed upon them. Rich is upset with the limitations placed on women in society, particularly in marriage. It is for this reason that the themes of many of Rich's poems are advice for women to live life for themselves, listening only to what their hearts tell them. The three poems "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers," "Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law" and "Planetarium" are analyzed to demonstrate the changes in Rich's way of writing.
Rich wrote "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" in 1951, while she was a student. At this time in her life she conforms to tradition in her writing, and tries not to identify herself as a female poet. Rich does not identify herself as a female poet by detaching herself from her character and allowing her character to accept the life that man has placed upon woman. Rich's writing is constrained by man because she allows her character to be oppressed by man and does not make her a conscious being of oppression. In "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers", Rich writes about a woman who does not break from the accepted roles of society. Aunt Jennifer does not have the freedom to live for herself because of society's expectations on women. The only way for Jennifer to free herself is by making up a fantasy world. The author writes about the universal issues involved in the relationship between men and women, in where woman is a slave to man. Rich writes "the massive w...

... middle of paper ...

...s the writer of the essay. Rich criticizes and critiques her own poems to demonstrate the differences in her writing. She transformed language by breaking the traditional views and by writing about man's power over women. At first it prevented her from writing the way she wanted just because she was a woman. Society did not expect a women to have a job as a writer instead writing was considered as a hobby for women. Rich had been taught that society considered poetry to be "universal" meaning non-female. Because Rich had been taught that poetry was "universal" it was very hard for her to write the things that she wanted too. Rich lost herself to society, becoming a mother and a wife and not being able to write as much as she liked. After a couple of years she divorced her husband and found herself again. As a result, Rich is her own teacher. She taught herself to have the courage to rebel against society and become a conscious being.

Works Cited
Rich, Adrienne. "When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision". Ways of Reading.
Ed. John Sullivan. Boston: Bedford, 1999. 601-615.
Get Access