Against the Grain :Celebrating the HegemonicFemininityin the select poems of Adrienne Rich


  • Indu A S Assistant Professor, Department of English, Amrita ViswaVidyapeetham(Deemed University) Amritapuri Campus, Kerala, India


Radical feminism seeks to explore the assumption that women constitute a sex class and recognizes the masculine dominance as a foundation for both social and sexual inequality against women. Adrienne Rich, the most influential American poet and radical feminist has given a great deal of individualism to women in her poems. She mainly concerns with the awakening of female consciousness and her quest for a unified self for women, based on a vision that goes beyond gender and psyche, is seen in her poetry. As a feminist poet Rich fosters the idea of having an “imaginative identification with all women†and devotes herself to the constitution of a female community seeking liberation from the clutches of patriarchal hegemony. Rich is of the view that women of modern age must be considered as an “effective, dynamic and functional part of a culture and a society.†A woman should have command over her body, mind as well as her creative potentials. She should be capable of breaking the taboos and emerge as an autonomous, self-directing ‘being’ of free will, rather than accepting oppression as destiny. Rich’s poetry explores the space in which the feminine concerns of restraint and liberation incorporate and gets transformed to the pervasiveness of a social re-construction of gender.


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