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An Understanding Of "Living In Sin"

1024 words - 5 pages

In the poem “Living in Sin” by Adrienne Rich, Adrienne begins the piece with the lines, “She had thought the studio would keep itself; no dust upon the furniture of love,” (lines 1-2). She had left me to be intrigued that she was referring to her idea of a perfect relationship. She believed that in a perfect relationship she would not have to work for anything in the relationship and that everything would just fall into place. Her idea of the perfect relationship is explained to be where nothing is earned or worked for so it just happens perfectly without effort in the perfect home. This led me to believe that she is feeling somewhat sad and unsatisfactory with her life at the point she is at.
In the next line, “Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal, the panes relieved of grime,” (lines3-4) she brings the reader to the present time in her life. She lists a couple of her many chores she is dreading for the near future. She hates the idea of reality that there is indeed work and unpleasant things in any relationship. She continues to change the tone of the poem yet again with the line, “A plate of pears, a piano with a Persian shawl, a cat stalking the picturesque amusing mouse had risen at his urging,”(lines 4-8) I feel that she is now expressing that she has a sense of pride in her possessions. . It also seems like she doesn’t want to be that typical house-wife that any man would want her to be, like picking up the dishes and tending to the animals. She explains that she has a plate of fruit, which many times is used for decoration. Also she states that the piano is decorated with an expensive shawl. Additionally, she mentions having a cat, which in many cultures can be considered a pet of high class and can help one to keep company.
She later begins to use personification in the piece when stating, “Not that at five each separate stair would writhe under the milkman's tramp,” (lines 9-10) leading one to believe that she is in agonizing pain. From this point in the poem I am beginning to notice her moods change quickly and drastically throughout the piece. She continues with the line, “that morning light so coldly would delineate the scraps of last night's cheese and three sepulchral bottles,” (lines 10-12) implying that the relationship is no good, just like last night’s scraps of cheese. She uses the bottles to show the depressed drinking that had been going on in the house.
At this point in the story, one may begin noticing the lack of discussion about her significant other in the piece. This may lead one to believe that she is frustrated and excluding him from thoughts. One can examine and understand that the given relationship is not exactly kosher at the moment and that both partners are unpleasant about the whole situation....

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