Theme of Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich, short analysis on imagery and metaphors used

Essay by Serena_DangCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2009

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Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich, in my opinion, is written about the journey of a woman going deep inside her soul to find out her true identity and her role in life. With numerous multi meaning metaphors, the poem could be interpreted in various ways; however I believe Rich was experiencing herself changing through this challenging adventure.

The depth of vivid metaphors gives credit to Rich's message in this poem, through such symbols like "the wreck", "the book of myths", "camera" and "knife." The journey to discover one's identity is like a dive to discover a shipwreck, dangerous, mysterious but fascinating. So many threats await down the deep level of the sea, yet the charming adventure raises the irresistible invitation into the unknown world where the woman may find her hidden self. She is afraid, she is uncertain about what lays ahead, therefore she prepares and arm herself, with knowledge, with weapons, with the brave expectation of new, great change she may go through:"First having read the book of myths,and loaded the camera,and checked the edge of the knife-blade…" (line 1-3)The wreck she is diving into is the patriarchal society where she is living in, her community, her family, her belief.

To arm herself in this risky trip, she first read "the book of myths", mastering the knowledge of the world around her, and questioning the truth behind those unrevealed myths. This "book of myths" also comes from her life experiences, having encountered with situations where she cannot find the answer to matters in life, wonders no one could ever tell her, why her name among certain others "do not appear" in the book (line 93). Bringing all these questions on the way down the bottom of the sea where "the wreck" is, the woman equipped a...