Response to paper Essay Sample

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Response to Adrienne Rich Argument When I first looked over this book, I was hesitant at the point Rich was trying to prove. After reading the book a second time and looking deeper into the text, I realized how factual her points were. What really pushed me towards her side of the argument was the way she used her outside sources, and how closely they related to her arguments. For example when she used Jane Harrison’s source about how differently men and women wrote and thought, it linked very well with what she was trying to prove.

This and the use of her personal experiences, helped reach and persuade me as an audience member. As a male, it was hard for me to relate to some of the stuff she was trying to express. When Rich explained in the beginning that literature was dominated by a male’s point of view, I immediately questioned this statement. I thought of all the accredited female authors we have today, and wondered why she could say this. However, I started to think about the time period she was living in.

One outside source she used was Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929). In this she describes how women writers are always scared about what men are going think of their literature, even though they are not the audience. As Adrienne Rich stated “Virginia Woolf is addressing an audience of women, but she is acutely conscious—as she always was—of being overheard by men…” (Rich 345). This persuaded me

to look at the big picture and realize what Rich was trying to get at. Another way that Rich

was able to pull me to her side was the use of her personal experiences and sources. When she talked about her home life, and what she experienced, it made me think about what women authors must go through. When Adrienne Rich explained how women’s poetry is like a blues song, it made me understand what she was trying to prove the whole time. She was trying to say that women were crying out, demanding there voice be heard. This experience by her, along with her examples of her own poetry were able to persuade me to her side of the argument.

Nowadays Rich said women’s poetry and literature is charged with anger and resentment. This is where I did not fully go along with her argument. To me she did not really show many sources to get me on her side for this statement. If I look at when she wrote this, I can’t help to think of women writers in the seventies. Being a male this may be a biased opinion, but I think she over exaggerates how bad women writers wrote towards a male audience. Rich also says that women had no choice other to confine to the men that run the literary world.

At this point I questioned why Adrienne Rich would say women are angry and resentful in their literature. When I look at today’s world and how women are involved in literature, it is not as far away from the past as people think. If you look at movies, poems and even books, you can easily see some male influence in theses writings. Women certainly have more rights and are more respected in today’s world than they were in the 60’s and 70’s. But in the overall picture, you can see why Rich was so forceful at proving her point.

Women are still degraded and Rich wants to make this know so that we can move towards the right path. This is one of these books that you have to read more than once. After looking deep into the outside sources, you clearly understand where Rich is coming from, and why she wants to change the way people look at women literature. Also the use of her personal poems and writings gave it a look into where she was coming from, and why she felt the way she did. Overall Rich did persuade me into taking her side of the argument. She

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Emma Taylor


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