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A New Beginning for Women

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Essay title: A New Beginning for Women

A New Beginning for Women

Cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, sweeping, and watching over the children; all tasks of the woman figure. Never really having a voice of their own, women are left in the shadows of the Man and aren’t really allowed to become equals with them, no matter what ideas or new directions they may have. The challenge of women becoming aware that they are being left in the dark is a subject that Adrienne Rich calls “The Awakening of the Dead or sleeping consciousness” (540). Women have to become aware of themselves and the things they are open to; allowing them to awaken through a form a re-vision which Rich describes as “the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction” (540).When revising what a women is capable of, this means that in order for the act and actions of a woman to be looked at by the male figure, it is only right that she goes back and looks at what she has done; redoing and making things fit to her own expectations rather than that of a male. Through re-vision any woman like Rich, can come to better understand themselves as women and realize that the roles they cast for themselves are those of significance.

Through re-vision, Adrienne Rich was able to better understand herself and use the act of re-vision through the writings of her poems. Her way of writing evolved from being very distant to her ideal way of writing; a way of writing not only for men, but for herself and others.

Re-vision is where Rich seems to put her own views into play and can herself awaken from the dead. In the beginning Rich wrote on unconscious things that were in fact nonfemale. Like in her poem, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”, she writes about the suffering of a woman rather than the imagination of the woman; as a way to put down the woman rather than bringing the woman into the reality of how things really are. Rich focuses on the concept of the woman being held back by the Man, not being able to be herself, unlike the tigers that don’t fear men. In writing this poem, Rich writes precisely as the Man wants her to write. In a way it’s as if she couldn’t really explain her true thoughts and self, because of what was expected of her as a woman poet. As she comments about herself and other female writers she admits that if a woman was writing in a tone that seemed to have a touch of anger, she as the writer was determined not to appear angry because of the force of the Man. The Man doesn’t expect the woman to write about anger because it seems destructive and simply because that isn’t the way the men of the culture thought a writer should sound. So with the writing techniques of what was expected of her, Rich wrote in a way that followed the rules. She wrote in the style that a poem was supposed to be written, with the rhymes, and schemes. This poem was very distant and really didn’t show who Rich really was. Within it Rich creates a woman that didn’t really have a mind of her own, she was just a wife; There to serve for her husband. It hid Richs’ ideas and thoughts of herself as a woman and her role to a man. She really didn’t allow herself the opportunity to come out within the poem. It left her true self dormant and didn’t allow readers of the poem to get a sense of what her true feelings and thoughts were of certain situations. Situations such as the way she

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felt woman should be treated and what things in life they should take part in other than that of catering to men.

Through this poem (“Aunt Jennifer’s Tiger’s”), Rich’s way of writing would be described by author Paulo Freire as the way of banking information. Freire the author of the Banking Concept of Education says, “That when a person takes in information without really questioning or thinking about what is being given to them, this is only banking information. By Rich just taking what men give to her as a female writer and following the rules without putting her say in it, it can be said that she is banking in the concept of writing. Rich herself says that

Through this poem, she thought she was creating an imaginary woman and a woman that was as distinct from herself as possible (544). When she distanced herself from the woman in the poem she put the woman in a different generation, and was distanced by the formalism of the poem (544). The formalism, the male’s way of writing.

Over time as Rich, as a woman began to go and become more of a woman than a girl around the time she married she begin to re-vise her way of writing. When she wrote around this time she was able to write with a common consciousness and common theme of what was really going around her because of her willingness to re-vise the way women were viewed. Rich had grown to see that by her becoming

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