Anne Sexton Her Kind

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In Anne Sexton’s poem “Her Kind,” Sexton uses the idea of witchcraft to explain the stereotype of women who do not follow the common standard society has inflicted upon them. “Her Kind” is the narrative of a woman who leaves her house at night and talks about the events that transpire by using terminology commonly associated with that of witches. She sympathizes with women who do not follow the straight path laid out for them. Sexton uses allusions to the Salem Witch Trials, contemporary feminist themes, and vivid imagery to break away from the rules that women are expected to follow. The common occurrences of witchcraft and the attributes aligned to it in “Her Kind” allude to practices of the Salem Witch Trials. Throughout the poem, Sexton …show more content…

In the first stanza, the speaker describes herself with terminology. She is “possessed,” painting an eerie picture for the reader, as a gripping first introduction to the poem and character (1). She describes herself as being “twelve-fingered,” a gross image that one would arguably like to look away from, but in this instance it is poignant as an introduction (5). She goes on to describe the cave, giving it a lair feeling, with how she talks about the pots and pans that are within it. It is similar to that of what a witch would make potions with, and is a subtle hint at the witch images that are throughout the entire poem. The final stanza carries frightening imagery, alluding to the burning of witches. She talks about feeling the fire on her skin, but she also graphically describes her ribs being cracked by the cart driver smashing them with the wheels of his car. She painfully says that her “ribs crack where your wheels wind” (19). Describing her arms as naked shows the boldness of her actions, as she is not covering up what she is doing. She is proud to stand and most importantly, she is proud to die as a woman who fought against the standards that were pressed upon

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