The Woman Born : Motherhood As Experience And Institution Essay example

The Woman Born : Motherhood As Experience And Institution Essay example

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In Adrienne Rich’s book “Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution,” where Rich illustrates her own life experience as a woman, a poet, a feminist, and a mother she states, “We need to imagine a world in which every woman is the presiding genius of her own body. In such a world women will truly create new life, bringing forth not only children if and as we choose but the visions, and the thinking, necessary to sustain, console and alter human existence-a new relationship to the universe” (Rich, Adrienne). Rich’s feminist perspective of a woman’s role in a relationship is influenced through the time period she is married in and the life experiences she endures. Born in 1929, Adrienne Rich was raised in an educated household where reading and writing was heavily enforced. By the time she graduated high school, Rich was writing concise poetry and was Chosen by W.H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Award, along with various other awards in years to follow. Being praised for meeting traditional standards gave Adrienne Rich the courage to break the rules in her more mature work, which is where her feminist views start to arise. Adrienne Rich expresses her displeasures of the stereotypical role of a repressed and restricted woman in relationships through the symbols and imagery written throughout her poems “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers,” “From A Survivor,” “Trying To Talk With A Man,” and “Living in Sin.”
Marrying in 1953, Adrienne Rich was unwillingly held to the social standards of the time period, which she expresses her disapproval of through her poetry. During this time there was a general uprising for the idea that women deserved the same rights as men instead of viewing women solely as their husband’s property. Women w...


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... Rich then discusses the difficulties she experienced in marriage opposed to her life after her husband died. This section of the poem highlights some of the difficulties that affected the seventeen years of Rich’s marriage. Rich found marriage troublesome because in the fifties and sixties a woman was expected to respect and obey her husband and be guided by him in all things. To Rich, as a feminist, this was extremely difficult to take. Society, she felt, regarded her husband as a kind of ‘god…with power over my life’. He no longer has any control over her now that he is gone and she has made the leap to a new life. The poem heavily focuses on feminist views and how disapproving Rich is to the 1950’s stereotypical housewife image. Like in many of her poems, in “From a Survivor” Rich hints at the idea that only by breaking free of marriage can women truly feel free.

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