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Rich breaks down duality in describing her persona’s descent into the dark sea of the damaged sexuality within herself and within society to demonstrate that by blending gender dichotomies, one can achieve a truer and more complete sense of one’s humanity. She uses two traditionally opposing forces in juxtaposition and blends them to show that they are neither mutually exclusive nor entirely opposite, breaks down the dichotomies Western society values, and eases the reader into the dark, watery depths of the subconscious, countering the stark separation between worlds which is implied in the poem’s title. The solid features of the narrator’s instruments in contrast with the formless sea, as well as the blurred lines between masculine and feminine, suggest that as we bravely delve into our subconscious sexual identities, we because less what society has made us and more what we require of ourselves. The freely flowing poem helps readers question which parts of our own identities have been “wrecked” and how we might go about redeeming ourselves in a way that challenges social norms and expectations.


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18 Jul 2022
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  • Subject
    • History, Anthropology, & Philosophy

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Library Third Floor, Open Area

  • Event date
    • 2 April 2014

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Tanya Bennett