Adrienne Rich was known for her bold words regarding oppression, women’s rights, and social injustice. She let her moral values shine through her work, demonstrating the strength and importance they held in her life. These values were clearly instilled in her very early on, provoking questions of how she learned them. A believable answer is that Adrienne Rich was homeschooled until fourth grade. This meant that many of her fundamental values came from her parents and her home environment, rather than from her peers and teachers. It has been proven that children learn most of their fundamental values throughout their early childhood, and the environment that they learn them in plays a huge role in the formation of said beliefs. Being homeschool until she was old enough to differentiate her own values from others, implies that the values that Rich carried with her throughout her life were most likely some that she learned at home when she was growing up. Being homeschooled meant that Rich was not influenced by her peers contrasting opinions, but rather the opposite as she learned to share the same views as her parents and her surrounding home environment. This also implies that her parent’s views on oppression, women’s rights, and social injustice were most likely as strong as her own, if not stronger. Rich went on to use the values that she developed at home to make her work meaningful and powerful. This further goes to show why Adrienne Rich felt comfortable breaking down boundaries and discussing controversial and sensitive topics in her works. While being homeschooled does not appear as fundamental in the creation of personal values for some, it is clear that because of Rich’s age throughout her time being homeschooled, the way she saw the world and the issues it contained were truly impacted. The impact that her homeschooling had on her writing is evident in many of her poems, including “North American Time”, “Translations”, and “Power”. All of these poems were works that I included in my research paper to demonstrate the incredible influence and confidence Rich had in her words.
Adrienne Rich was recorded reading both “North American Time” and “Power”, and I have included a reading of “Translations” as well, although it is not read by Rich.
“North American Time” Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi_N3UPAD5E
“Power” Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtX3sDbBqJg
“Translations” Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F8nl9KwUg4&t=10s
Biographical Source: http://english.fju.edu.tw/lctd/asp/authors/00140/introduction.htm