In the first quatrain, the speaker brings about herself as a witch by saying, "I have gone out, a possessed witch" (1). The speaker represents herself as “twelve-fingered" (5), she makes great implications of her disfigurement and that women with twelve fingers are considered witches. In addition to describing what the actions of a witch are the speaker makes a point in saying that; “dreaming evil” and “I’ve done my hitch over plain houses” (2-3), you are “not a woman, quite” (6), but a modern woman who is not the self-confident, and willingness to obey female. In addition, she is a "lonely thing" (5), “out of mind” (5) because she has been outcast. Furthermore, the speaker in the seventh line tries to make the reader understand that she is not a witch; but the witch is merely the fictional presentation used to illustrate the role of women in the society of Boston, Massachusetts.
In the next stanza, the speaker being of a modern "witch" woman, the speaker takes shelter in "warm caves in the woods" (8), being an outcast she lives a part from society. I speculate that by her distancing herself from society; she is displaying how she is not like the others, possibly society has pushed her away becau...
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...s voice duels with the speaker's personal voice until the speaker's opinion emerges successful and determined to survive in the end. Instead of supporting that witches are evil, Anne Sexton's poem reveals that witches are wonderful. The poem's speaker welcomes the stereotype of the witch and uses dueling voices to show that the stereotype is actually a positive, strong image for the modern woman and that it does not serve the deteriorating, degrading purpose society meant for it to have. Society must accept change and stop casting out women if it is to live in peace. The public fights a losing battle; in the end, the modern woman will triumph. Only then will outcasts such as Anne Sexton be accepted for who they truly are, and the modem woman, or "witch", will be rewarded for her determination at last. Like Anne Sexton, the speaker in this poem is an outcast woman.
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