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Living in Sin


Adrienne Rich was born 16th of May 1929 in Baltimore, Maryland.  In 1951, Rich graduated from Radcliff.  In 1953 Rich married Alfred Conrad, an all-natural economist, and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Rich poetry has clearly recorded, imagined, and forecast her personal and political journeys with power.  In “Living in Sin” the speaker is torn between the reality of her relationship and what her mind creates.  Her life in the poem has completely transformed just by her imagination.


“Living in Sin” is a poem about a woman’s fairy tale dream of marriage versus the reality of the sin.  In the poem the women was starting a life of hope and happiness in a perfect relationship.  She would soon learn the true reality of the relationship.  Her life can be described as sad and boring.  This can be depicted throughout the poem. Marriage she expected and the actual relationship was to different things. Every girl growing up dreams of a perfect marriage with a nice pretty house and a wonderful husband and kids.  In the poem it is felt throughout that this is what she wanted, the perfect fairy tale life. 


At the beginning of the relationship she pictured a fairy tale marriage. “She had thought the studio would keep itself”. (Rich 625)   There would be no chores, no dusting, everything would be perfect.  Here she is using her imagination. She paints a pretty picture of her home with fruit, happiness on the table, a piano with an expensive show, and a cast of nice pets.   She then comes to the present and talks about leaking faucet, noise and dirty windows. 


The poem then goes into dinner the night before.  “Not that at five”. (Rich 625) Shows the image of a romantic dinner that never happened.  This was ruined by the milkman waking her up. Soon the cold morning dawns only to ruin her fantasy dream from the frustration of cleaning from the night before. The woman feels as if she has died inside. Finally her man is introduced.  It is evident that he is in and out of the life and she is angry at him.  She describes him as yawning, and ignoring her.  It just goes on to discuss details of him being absorbed with himself.  She described the piano being played by him out of tune.  She realizes the minor demons, her inner thoughts of the fantasy verse reality. 


Adrienne Rich poem does an interesting job of describing the miserable life of a woman looking for love.  There is a lot of dark, unhappy life of this woman too.  Emotion and feeling can be felt throughout this poem.  “Living in Sin” paints a picture of a woman finally realizing that her marriage will not have a fairy tale ending.  The sin is in the guilt from not living in the present and not being in love with her husband who’s not in love with her.   


Works Cited



Rich, Adrienne.  “ Living In Sin.” Delbanco, Nicholas and Alan Cheuse.  Literature Craft and Voice.  Second Edition.  New York City.  McGraw Hill, 2012. 625. Print.


www.adriennerich.com

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