Adrienne Rich - Diving Into the Wreck Essay

819 Words Aug 18th, 2012 4 Pages
Adrienne Rich’s “Diving into the Wreck” sends one into a deep cultural descent. We look a one ones exploration into the rift in society between sexes, and the journey to rewrite that. The three parts that symbolize this are: the book of myths, the camera and the knife, the diver’s relationship with the wreck and the cargo found below.
The journey starts on a boat; the diver is alone and there not by choice but the need. The dive feels an obligation to free women from these myths, to “…heal the rift”. This is truly a brave woman, to stand up to the world she knows and cry: there is a different way! “First having read the book of myths, and loaded the camera, and checked the edge of the knife-blade”, the diver must know society and its
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The imagery here is one of sadness. Those lost in the mythical abyss of society still look towards the sun, perhaps seeing the hope, but they’re drowned bodies are despair. Women forced into a patriarchal society not of their choosing it seems there is no way out (McDaniel). The diver tells us; “And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair streams black, the merman in his armored body” This imagery alludes to the maritime myth of mer people but also emphasizes the concept of androgyny, and the need, once again, to break down that barrier between the sexes, to dismantle the patriarchal society, to all be equals.
In addition to the lost souls that float in the wreck, the diver mentions the cargo she sees. “Silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies obscurely inside barrels half-wedged and left to rot, we are the half-destroyed instruments that once held to a course, the water-eaten log, the fouled compass.” Rich was a prominent advocate for anti-Semitism and the New Jewish Agenda. To me, calling us half destroyed instruments that once held a course and fouled compasses is a metaphor that we have veered away from God’s intent for us to live with love and compassion for each other. As humans we were all created equal and the sexual and sexist discrimination is a crime against God. Society had once held to a steadfast course and the arrogant and unjust patriarchal society was not meant to be. The world was not meant to be ruled by man, oppression

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