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Feminism And Postmodernism Used To Describe Female Characters: Adrienne Rich’s “Snapshot Of A Daughter In Law” And Don De Lillo’s “End Zone”

1267 words - 5 pages

Adrienne Rich’s “Snapshot of a Daughter-in-law” and Don DeLillo’s “End Zone” use negative diction and imagery to relate their thoughts on feminism and postmodernism. Rich uses negative diction and imagery to describe a woman who has adapted to the world’s opinion of what a woman should be. DeLillo uses negative diction to describe Myna after she conforms to social expectations of beauty. Rich brings in ideas of how domestic chores create a burden on women physically and emotionally, and DeLillo also uses Myna to portray what he thinks about the world’s view on beauty and notions for women.
Rich states that the daughter-in-law had “henna colored hair, skin like peach bud”(Rich 568 line 2), and shaves her legs until they “gleam like petrified mammoth-tusk”(570 line 50-51). Rich illustrates the “beauty” of these women in an unattractive way. Women can use henna dye their hair, and Rich’s use of that phrase suggests some of the unnatural things a woman will do to keep her appearance the way people expect it to be. Peach buds are hairy and are not a great way to describe a woman, and shaving your legs to make them gleam like mammoth tusks does not sound attractive. People tend to put too much stock in beauty; it is often portrayed as one of the most important thing about a woman. Almost all the fictional stories have a beautiful woman who is saved by a strong man, and it influences people from a young age through their entire lives. From fairytales since childhood that make girls want a prince charming to generic romantic movies that makes adult women want a perfectly sculpted body for that unrealistically picture-perfect man, society gives us a picture of an ideal life. We are supposed to be absolutely gorgeous as we ride off to a sunset with no problems to live in a perfectly clean adorable house with 2.5 children. But Rich looks down on this since it is society’s idea. If that’s not what the woman wants and needs, she should not have to do it. People need to be willing to ask questions and do what they want, even if it seems to be too hard or uncomfortable to ask or to do.
Women often dread housework and refer to cleaning as a tedious job, but they are almost always the ones who are expected to clean and cook. Rich said “nothing hurts her anymore, except each morning’s grit blowing into her eyes”(569 line 24 and 25). Some women love being a mother and working at home, but not every woman is happy with that lifestyle. Some women want careers and to be able to do what they want when they desire to. However, self-expression can be stripped away from a person who has a job to that takes away their identity, or in this case makes them conform to a larger group. Physical pain is easier for this woman to bear than the thought of never being able to be who she wants to be. She gets up everyday to do the same thing, and she hates it. The daughter-in-law is basically described as hating her life and is probably depressed. Depression is an awful and even...

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