© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Diving into the Wreck

Diving into the Wreck

by Adrienne Rich

The Wreck

Symbol Analysis

The wreck is the title image of this poem, and carries a lot of weight here. It refers to an actual object, a sunken ship that the driver is trying to reach. But it also seems to point us toward other kinds of wrecks.

  • Line 52: This wreck is a metaphor for human suffering. In a way, this wreck represents the remains of any disaster or event that has changed our lives. All disasters have some kind of wreckage we can keep coming back to, something we can keep diving into.
  • Line 68: Here the speaker personifies the wreck by referring to its "ribs." These are actual beams that support the ship, but here they can't help but make us think of the drowned bodies that are floating around too. The rib image makes the disaster of the wreck into an echo of the human tragedy.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement