"When We Dead Awaken" by Adrienne Rich

1639 Words Jan 26th, 2011 7 Pages
“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 …show more content…
Rich believes the male dominated society categorizes women as a lower class. She declares “this drive to self-knowledge, for women, is more than a search for identity: it is part of our refusal of the self-destructiveness of male-dominated society” (Rich 7). Rich reasons that women searching for individuality is the start of escaping male supremacy and becoming equal to males. Because Rich believes women are treated differently, it indicates that there is going to be a change in the concept of sexual identity towards the stereotypical gender roles. When women started to hear about Rich they began to explore their own potential that the male civilization ignored.
Later on Rich believed that women who were starting to make a difference towards society were switching their gender roles by surpassing the male. In the essay she claimed that “…middle-class women were making careers of domestic perfection, working to send their husbands through professional school, then retiring to raise large families” (Rich 9). She argued how women are supporting their spouses when the men are dependent and how women later put their dreams on hold when they start a family. But men don’t have the same sympathy towards the women’s careers, when they have children they don’t let them continue ‘their careers of domestic perfection’, instead they make the women become dependent on them. This is ironic towards the male and female roles because now the male is portrayed
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