Rhetorical Features and Feminism in Adrienne Rich’s poem Snapshots of a Daughter-In-Law,

1013 Words Feb 22nd, 2018 4 Pages
History has often considered women to be second-class citizens compared to their male counterparts. In Adrienne Rich’s poem “Snapshots of a Daughter-In-Law,” Rich seeks to display the mistreatment of women in a male dominated society. The title of the poem represents different aspects of a woman’s life and her role in society. In addition, Rich chooses to portray a daughter-in-law who enters into a family of an oppressive husband and a critical mother-in-law. Because the daughter-in-law is aware of the attributions that burden her and others, Rich creates a gradual change in tone from defeat and despair, to hope for a better future. Through the use of irony, hyperbole, and metaphor, Rich uses rhetorical features to support her claim that women must be willing to act against traditional social customs in order to seek freedom and equality. Rich’s use of irony serves to connect the reader to the text and emphasizes the issue of gender equality. For example, in the third scene of the poem Rich explains, “A thinking woman sleeps with her monsters” (26). Despite the daughter-in-law knowing that her husband is domineering and abusive, she willingly abides by his sexual desires because according to social customs, a woman is…
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