An Adventure of “Diving into the Wreck”
Adrienne Rich, according to the editors of The Norton Anthology of American Literature, is a poet who “addresses with particular power the experiences of women, experiences often omitted from history and misrepresented in literature” (1444). It is known that Rich is a political poet, and often connected her work with her feelings. In 1972 when Diving into the Wreck was written, the United States was facing many issues such as the Vietnam War, the struggle for women's rights, and the Civil Rights Movement. Rich’s personal life experiences were also a possible impact, starting with her marriage collapsing and ex-husband committing suicide shortly after. Although these political issues and personal tragedies don’t explain everything, they make evident connections in her journey to a different world.
The title lays out the basic idea that the speaker is a diver who is looking for a wrecked ship. At first glance, Diving into the Wreck seems like an exciting, spooky underwater adventure through a pirate ship. As you dive deep into the poem you realize there’s an entirely different meaning. Diving Into the Wreck explores the struggles of a woman in a male-controlled society. This poem tells the story of a woman's voyage into the male dominated workforce. Rich’s creative way of using an extended metaphor, symbols, and descriptive language makes the poem understanding and emotional to readers.
In the first stanza of Diving into the Wreck, the diver is getting prepared for her journey. As her body gets prepared for the dive, her mind already has by “First having read the book of myths” (1). The “book of myths” contains the traditional views of gender roles; it influences the view of men having a place in the professional world, while a woman's place is at home. Specified that the diver read the book, she isn’t interested in what it has to say. Judith McDaniel’s opinion states “the diver has read the book of myths just so that she...