Analysis Of Diving Into The Wreck

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Adrienne Rich once said, “The sleepwalkers are coming awake, and for the first time this awakening has a collective reality; it is no longer such a lonely thing to open one’s eyes.” This quote holds true for her poem “Diving into the Wreck”, which at a first glance seems to be talking about a scuba diving journey. These three stanzas are isolated in terms of the language they use and how they are structured in relation to the rest of the poem, from the changing subjectivity, to the enjambment used between the third to last and the second to last stanza, which is the only place that this happens throughout the whole poem, and the broken grammar rules. As opposed to a more intellectually based perception of the wreck, the wreck …show more content…
In these lines, the speaker uses language such as “loaded” and “checked the edge of the knife blade”, which are both very angled and directed phrases that connote the violence associated with loading a gun, or checking the edge of a knife blade to make sure that one is protected from whatever may be down there, and evoke a sense of anticipation and danger in the reader. In these first couple of lines, Rich is mostly using adjectives to do the awkward work, whereas the verbs are doing a more violent kind of work. Moreover, the speaker emphasizes how the gear that they must wear to scuba dive with is crippling and awkward, which is a feeling later expressed in the third stanza when the speaker says, “My flippers cripple me, / I crawl like an insect down the ladder” (29-30). In this moment, the speaker is comparing themselves to an insect to emphasize the awkwardness of their transition to the underwater world. Firstly, Rich makes it clear that there exists a divide between the world with air and the world without air underwater. However, when that divide starts is unclear as expressed when the diver says, “And there is no one/ to tell me …show more content…
Even though one cannot assert this for sure, it seems likely, through the metaphor of this poem, which is the vehicle, regarding the intellectual and emotional journey of arriving at the wreck, Rich is portraying her own arrival, her own intellectual and emotional shift into feminist thinking. How, overall, she likely thought that it would be lonely and dangerous in this new wave of feminist thinking that emerged, hence the checking of the blade of the knife before descending underwater from the air dominated male powerful world, but after equipping herself with the tools she needed to succeed, she could successfully adapt and realized how it was no longer a lonely thing to open one’s

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