Claiming an Education

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“1. What Am I Doing Here, and How Does Reading Adrienne Rich Help Me Begin to Answer My Own Question?”
Adrienne Rich wrote a chapter on becoming a better person by claiming an education instead of being passive and simply receiving one. Rich takes an aggressive approach with her diction and advises people to change their mindset and be above average by being breaking old habits and stereotypes. Since she is a well known feminist, her essay is directed primarily towards women, but I feel that any person, male or female, could draw knowledge from her essay to claim an education.

Rich makes it clear that to claim an education you must “take (your education) as the rightful owner (71).” She goes on to explain how she feels about education between the sexes. In her opinion, learning is based on the western experience of white men and their decisions on what is significant. Unfortunately, she believes that only the male population was represented in early educational discoveries. She lists a number of popular books on page 72 with the word “man” in the title. Most people assume that “man” is referring to mankind but Rich feels as if women are being ignored. I think her feelings toward education and early learning are very interesting because she looks at women as a minority. Rich shows what kind of person she is with the way she responds to her feelings. She could have complained and asked for recognition and pity from society, but she states that “despite backlash and budget cuts, women’s studies are still growing (72).” It leads me to think that Rich is implying that other women in the past were being passive about the early learning. She is making a point that she is not the type of person to hold her tongue. This shows Rich’s leadership and maturity because being silent suggests that women are satisfied with the way things unfold even if they are unfair.

I think the middle of Adrienne Rich’s essay is the most important. She begins to address the women...
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