She was also known to receive a variety of awards on her poems. Through the years, Adrienne Rich focused seemingly on “fairytale” theme poetry writings (Academy of American Poets). However, through the years and within the course of her marriage, Adrienne Rich transitioned into a different focus on her life and poetry. The year 1973 and onwards were Adrienne’s significant years for which she transformed her poetry. These years were known for fighting on Women and Civil rights. She focused on writing poems that implied hatred on how women are treated, and she eventually became a feminist (Academy of American Poets). This paper aims to examine the unique elements of Adrienne Rich’s poem “Rape” and provide the meaning and effect of each. Adrienne Rich’s “Rape” Adrienne’s transition to writings and poems focused on feminism, and she had made them pieces of art works in the literary world. “Rape” was one of the known poems of Adrienne Rich pertaining to fight for women’s rights. Collins stated that “Rape” was made known in 1972, and this was an “example of the silencing nature of pain.” This was related to violence with regard to men’s predominance. The poem “Rape” was said to be one of Adrienne’s drive to women’s rights with regard to their abuse, and other crimes that made women victims. Sielke also stated that the poem was the armour to provide anger on “patriarchal oppression” and “compulsory heterosexuality” (152). Adrienne Rich used her capabilities to come up with her own ways and means to promote the rights of women. Examining Elements The significant elements of Adrienne Rich’s poem are the unusual use of a second person and the multiple connotations portrayed through her use of diction. The poem is all about a woman who seeks justice after being raped and relays the story to a police officer. The poem is said to portray the complications of reporting such case in a “criminal justice system” that is operated by men (“Violence against Women,” n. pag.). Second person usage in the poem meant that there is a “presence of a stereotyping consciousness” (Templeton 48). On the other hand, the use of a second person implies her emphasis on a woman who underwent a dreadful experience of violence such as rape, and the need to seek justice with uncertainty. The use of a second person also serves a motivation and awakening of women to come out in the open and demand justice. These were all clearly identified in almost all of the lines in the poem. One of the lines that clearly describe the main idea of the poem stated “You have to confess to him, you are guilty of the crime of having been forced” (Rich lines 11-15). The effect of this second person usage would be more personal for the reader. The readers can easily imagine the real complications and the need to fight for their right if this was to happen to them in real life. The multiple connotations that were portrayed through her diction implied her interpretation as to how she sees and describes the justice system when a woman is the victim of such crime. It is said that Adrienne Rich used straightforward messages for complicated meanings (Atwood 1-2, qtd. in “Adrienne Rich”). This poem did not use poetic verses or style that would be hard to understand, but rather direct, internal, and simple words that can typically relate to any ordinary life. Adrienne Rich was able to state thoughts about a specific scenario that a reader usually has an idea already of what is expected to happen. However, as the reader progresses into the next lines of the poem, it provides more definite meaning other than the one stated. It gives more emphasis on the agony of a ...
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