The Voice of a Feminist: Rhetorical Analysis Essay

1311 Words Aug 2nd, 2014 6 Pages
The Voice of a Feminist: Rhetorical Analysis of “Claiming an Education”
“All I have, is a voice.” –W.H. Auden. These are five words that could leave a thoughtful philosopher speechless. But perhaps found within the lack of “finding a better word” moments, are when revolution seeds are planted in the hearts and tongues of the passionate. And if this is a truth, then Adrienne Rich was absolutely no exception. The radical feminist and poet opened her speech, “Claiming an Education” to the girls of Douglass College, in the most straightforward way as possible. In skimming the text, only the reader can imagine what was really communicated in the zeal and urgency behind her rehearsed words that day in 1977. Therefore, in light of under
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(220). Rich conveys that honoring the respecting roles in education for females is as necessary as reciting what a nation stands on.
Mothers have a way of sharing life lessons to their children in such an unintentional way, that it can often confuse wisdom as nagging. In the initial read of “Claiming an Education” one might think of Rich as an eye-rolling teenager would. “What if I don’t want to ‘claim an education’, become ‘responsible to myself” or ‘demand that others take me seriously?’” What’s the point? But when taking a second look, one would realize that a clauses of bossiness and instruction, is combined with the secrets of emotion and fervidness for what Rich believed in. It’s a big picture perspective when you realize that she is not self-righteous, but a concerned mother figure, informing the daughters of the next generation, that there needs to be a change in how women respect themselves. Rich instructs the women to not receive education but to claim it, and defines it in such a way that allows you to reevaluate how you view the value of an education. She says, “One of the dictionary definitions of the verb ’to claim’ is: to take as a rightful owner; to assert in the face of possible contradiction” (221). Secondly, Rich explains how college is not merely for oneself, but

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