“When We Dead Awaken”: Inner Split and the Possibility of Healing in the Works of Adrienne Rich Cover Image

„Kada se mi mrtve probudimo”: unutrašnji rascep i mogućnost zaceljenja u stvaralaštvu Adrijen Rič
“When We Dead Awaken”: Inner Split and the Possibility of Healing in the Works of Adrienne Rich

Author(s): Milena Kostić, Nataša Tučev
Subject(s): Gender Studies
Published by: Centar za ženske studije & Centar za studije roda i politike, Fakultet političkih nauka, Beograd
Keywords: Adrienne Rich; gender roles; patriarchy; act of resistance; energy of creation; Healing

Summary/Abstract: In her essay “When We Dead Awaken”, Adrienne Rich argues that the patriarchal society imposes false alternatives upon a female artist, thus causing her to experience inner split. Th is does not refer only to the diff erent gender roles imposed on men and women in a family or society in general, but also to the split between two kinds of energy which ought to be essentially connected: the energy of creation and the energy of relation. Th e paper focuses on Rich’s contention that it may be possible to heal the inner split through the creative act itself, which the poet simultaneously views as an act of resistance against the patriarchy and a way of struggling for her very survival. Th e authors explore how this motif was further developed in some of the key poems in Rich’s oeuvre (“Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”, “Orion”, “Diving into the Wreck”), as well as through the insights pertaining to her essays, including her theories on lesbianism. Even though Rich’s poetic attitude underwent various transformations, it may be argued that the poet’s rebellion against the imposed gender roles and divisions was always accompanied by her need to offer visions of unity and healing.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 16
  • Page Range: 105-115
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Serbian