It started out with an important line; “first having read the book of myths” (Rich line 1, 3333). What Rich was referencing was the patriarchal myths that primarily focus on men, for a very specific reason. Imagine a scuba diver doing research before going down in the ocean to analyze whatever she may be after. In her situation, she first learned of all of the myths that a patriarchal society had created throughout her life and then she tried to actually change society for the better by sharing her feminist poetry with others. Later in the poem, she talked about the ‘ladder’;“The ladder is always there hanging innocently close to the side of the schooner. We know what it is used for, we who have used it. Otherwise it’s a piece of maritime floss, some sundry equipment” ( lines 14-21, 3334). It’s important to note what exactly she was trying to show the readers; this ‘ladder’ was symbolic of the struggle many women went through to follow their dreams, especially as working women. Some people with a patriarchal mindset had dismayed this struggle as nothing more than nonsense, which is mentioned in the last sentence of this quote. Disillusionment is easily seen in these two quotes as they both brought out very bleak and negative sides of 1970’s …show more content…
Rich showed how hard it was to be a nondomestic woman in the 1970s, bringing the struggles of Marie Curie to show her point. Her poems were often politically charged, to help, perhaps, create a movement empowering women to chase after their dreams. In contrast, Barthelme showed the common downfalls of marriages, which often led to divorce, like Mrs. Davis and Thomas. These issues have improved since the 1970s, but there is still far to go. As times goes on, these issues will surely diminish, and soon one day, won’t even exist.
Barthelme, Donald. “At the End of the Mechanical Age”. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter. 7th ed. Vol. E. Boston: Wadsworth, 2014. 3366-3371. Print.
Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. 7th ed. Vol. E. Boston: Wadsworth, 2014. 3011-3013. Print.
Martin, Wendy. “Adrienne Rich”. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter. 7th ed. Vol. E. Boston: Wadsworth, 2014. 3332-3333. Print.
Molesworth, Charles. “Donald Barthelme”. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter. 7th ed. Vol. E. Boston: Wadsworth, 2014. 3365-3366.