Patriarchy Rejected: A Feminist Reading in Some Selected Poems by Adrienne Rich and Fatima Naoot

  •  Usama Raslan    


The present paper offers a comparative feminist reading of the American poet Adrienne Rich and the Egyptian poet Fatima Naoot. It aims at analyzing both Rich’s and Naoot’s poetry in terms of feminist criticism demonstrated particularly in Beauvoir and Millett’s theory of patriarchy. The collections from which the poems under study are selected are Rich’s The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems Selected and New, 1950-1984 (2002), and Naoot’s A Bottle of Glue (2007). The selected poems are Rich’s “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”, “An Unsaid Word”, and “Power”, and Naoot’s “The Cock’s Crest”, “A Goose”, and “Isis”. The analysis of these poems motivates one to infer three essential points regarding the poetic achievement of both poets. First, patriarchy is a male programming engineered by the male to subdue and decentralize the female by treating the latter as if she were a sexed being, or rather the inessential other. Second, this inferior position of woman motivates Rich and Naoot to incorporate Beauvoir and Millett’s theory of patriarchy into their verse. In order to achieve this objective, both poets set up a poetic vision in terms of which they portray how patriarch marginalizes and subordinates woman. Lastly, the close reading to the selected pieces denotes that they rotate around the systematized oppression of women. Such is the common theme of Rich and Naoot’s verse.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1925-4768
  • Issn(Onlne): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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