Adrienne Rich\'s Revision

The author writes about her personal experience as a woman writer in a male
dominated society. Her essay consists of poems, which she had written throughout
different times in her life, to demonstrate the transformation in her writing.

As a woman writer in a male dominated society, Rich begins writing in the
traditional style, "the man\'s way," but as she continues writing, Rich
breaks from these traditional styles to form her own. Like Freire, Rich believes
people should break from society and be able to think and question things for
themselves. While Freire wants to change the educational system, Rich wants to
change writing. Both Freire and Rich want to break from the traditional ways of
the past. Rich believes that women need to break from the enduring attitudes of
traditions which society has placed upon them. Rich is upset with the
limitations placed on women in society, particularly in marriage. It is for this
reason that the themes of many of Rich\'s poems are advice for women to live life
for themselves, listening only to what their hearts tell them. The three poems
"Aunt Jennifer\'s Tigers," "Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law"
and "Planetarium" are analyzed to demonstrate the changes in Rich\'s
way of writing. Rich wrote "Aunt Jennifer\'s Tigers" in 1951, while she
was a student. At this time in her life she conforms to tradition in her
writing, and tries not to identify herself as a female poet. Rich does not
identify herself as a female poet by detaching herself from her character and
allowing her character to accept the life that man has placed upon woman. Rich\'s
writing is constrained by man because she allows her character to be oppressed
by man and does not make her a conscious being of oppression. In "Aunt

Jennifer\'s Tigers", Rich writes about a woman who does not break from the
accepted roles of society. Aunt Jennifer does not have the freedom to live for
herself because of society\'s expectations on women. The only way for Jennifer to
free herself is by making up a fantasy world. The author writes about the
universal issues involved in the relationship between men and women, in where
woman is a slave to man. Rich writes "the massive weight of Uncles\' wedding
band"; Aunt Jennifer is pinned down, the "band sits heavily in her
hand", the image of the wedding band brings a feeling of slavery and fear
(608). Rich\'s tone in the poem is observant and she makes it clear that she does
not want to live a life like Aunt Jennifer\'s. In the poem Rich makes Aunt

Jennifer distinct from herself by placing Aunt Jennifer into a different
generation, breaking any connection between the author and the character. Rich\'s
writing structure in this poem contains the real life within the fantasy life.

The first stanza of the poem is about the proud tigers. The second stanza is
about terrified Aunt Jennifer. The third stanza refers to the continuation of
the second stanza and then to the tigers. In this way, by starting the poem with
the tigers and ending with the tigers, Rich is containing the real life within
the fantasy, in reverse of Aunt Jennifer, whose inner life is contained within
her outer life. In this poem Rich portrays what can happen to an individual who
accepts the fate prescribed by custom. The overall message is that men suppress
women. "Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law" was written when Rich was
experiencing herself as a woman. During this time, society believed that women
were put on this earth to make a family and take care of them. During this time
in Rich\'s life, she was very occupied with being a wife and a mother; because of
this she did not have time to think or write. She wrote this poem in fragments
of time, while her children were taking naps. "The poem was jotted in
fragments during children\'s naps, brief hours in a library or at 3:00 A.M. after
rising with a wakeful child"(611). "Snapshots of a

Daughter-in-Law" is a poem about a woman who is hearing voices that are
telling her to resist and rebel but can not obey them. The woman wants to rebel
against society but she will not, because society does not accept this kind of
behavior. Rich still writes the poem in the traditional way. The woman in this
poem thinks about rebelling but does not actually rebel; therefore Rich is still
accepting the oppression on women. Until this poem Rich tried not to identify
herself as a female poet. She still