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The Defense of Passivity in Louise Glück’s The Wild Iris
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In her poetry collection, The Wild Iris, Louise Glück constructs her own version of the divine garden of Eden with its own modern issues. The essay explores how passivity is portrayed and defended in the collection, both through her female speaker and in the way the garden has been constructed. The speaker latches on to different forms of passivity, such as devotion, perseverance and prayer, and refuses to adapt to her surroundings and contribute to the garden. The speaker distances herself from her physical surroundings, building walls as opposed to accommodating to her environment as she is encouraged to from her god and family; in this way she avoids visible progress and development. This isolation and refusal to adapt is a choice and an exhibition of the speaker's power; there is self-awareness present in the reader's refusal to adapt as she attempts to maintain the status quo. As a result, the speaker’s passivity allows her to elevate herself above the other humans in the collection; embracing passivity allows her to transcend progress. Other ways in which progress is avoided are also explored; Glück presents many voices in the collection that all seek contact and fail to achieve it. The reader is also involved, becoming yet another character that fails to interfere and communicate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 20 p.
Keyword [en]
Glück, Gluck, poetry, passivity
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-28524OAI: diva2:224991

Available from: 2009-08-11 Created: 2009-06-23 Last updated: 2009-08-11Bibliographically approved

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