"When We Dead Awaken" by Adrienne Rich

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“When We Dead Awaken”
During the early 1900s till now, women have been discriminated against and have been battling for equal rights in the United States. In 1960s America, the feminist movement was growing rapidly, bringing out influential women and protesters who were starting to get noticed by the majority of the population. One of those influential women, author Adrienne Rich, published an essay that talks about how women are treated differently. In the essay, “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as a Re-vision”, Rich argues that a stereotypical and prejudiced male society represses women. She demonstrates these views through the use of literary history, her personal experience towards women’s discrimination, and the potential women have to empower themselves. Rich believes that women endured the unfairness and inequality of life compared to men because they were treated as an aspect of possession. Compared to men Rich interprets the role of women; Rich believes, “… woman has been a luxury for man… as a comforter, nurse, cook, bearer of his seed…” (Rich 8). She declares how the roles between male and female were opposite of each other, and how women had no choice but to fulfill these tasks by the men who told them what to do because the male’s role was supposed to be the bread winners and hard workers of the family. Women couldn’t do what males did, not because they didn’t want to but mostly because they weren’t allowed to, due to the prejudiced society. In the society she lived in there were many women who tried to be independent in order to be free from their dominant spouses. Rich argued that “average women” such as housewives or the non-educated, who tried to make money, whether to be independent or because they were abandoned by their spouses, didn’t have too many options. As Rich noted, “… woman who are washing other people’s dishes and caring for other people’s children, not to mention woman who went on the streets last night in order to feed their...
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