Essay On Anne Sexton

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Context: Anne Sexton was an American poet born on November 9th, 1928 in Newton, Massachusetts and raised in Weston. Her family was successful economically wise and Sexton was raised in a middle-class environment; however, Sexton’s relationship with her parents were extremely strained and perhaps abusive; her father was an alcoholic. It was suggested that Sexton may have been sexually abused by her parents and felt that they were hostile to her. As such, Sexton sought refuge in her close relationship with Anne Dingley, her maiden great-aunt, as an escape from her broken family, which further lead to Sexton’s traumatization after Dingley’s mental collapse and subsequent hospitalization. After the birth of her first child in 1953, Sexton …show more content…

For example, in the first stanza of the poem, Sexton invokes the objects that women are classified into, such as “my mouth and my breasts … [and] the cosmetics and the silks” (3-4). Sexton furthers this with how she was “tired of being a woman” (1) and “tired of the gender things” (10). As the poem progresses into the second stanza, Sexton’s dream sequence, the theme of gender roles remains prevalent. The poem delves into the injustice that women face in a world controlled by man, citing the martyr and Catholic Saint, Joan of Arc, who was put to death with one of the charges being wearing men’s clothes. In addition, Sexton’s will to rid herself of gender is also clear in the third stanza, which she writes “I lost my common gender and my final aspect. / Adam was on the left of me / and Eve was on the right of me” (28-30). This may be interpreted as a metaphor, as Adam was the first male and Eve the first female human created by God as told by Christians, by placing Sexton between them, it could be said that Sexton is neither male nor female, but one who is freed from gender. The entire poem and many of its literary devices resonates strongly with the poet’s message; her hate of gender roles and identities. As such, Sexton effectively sent her central argument to her reader.

Tone & Mood:
Consorting With Angels begins with a frustrated and angry tone, with Sexton describing the stereotypical gender roles that she is forced

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