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Living in Sin

Living in Sin


by Adrienne Rich

Living in Sin Theme of The Home

By this point you're probably sick of us pointing this out, but once more, all together now: "The studio is a metaphor for the woman's relationship!" Every aspect of the studio in "Living in Sin" can be read in a way that metaphorically also describes the relationship.

Questions About The Home

  1. Do you think the studio is a good metaphor for the couple's relationship? Why or why not?
  2. Does where you live reflect who you are? Is it important to you that your bedroom be set up or decorated a certain way? What would people think about you based on what your room looks like?
  3. On the other hand, do you think where you live creates who you are in any way? The woman in the poem makes small efforts to clean up the studio, but on a literal level, do you think cleaning up the studio could make any difference in how she feels about the way she is living? 
  4. How would this poem be different if the relationship were more plainly described, without using the studio as a metaphor to discuss it?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Dirty dishes, shmirty shmishes. Even if this studio were sparkling clean, that wouldn't change the problems in the relationship at all. It would just cover them up.

A good clean may be all she needs. If the woman wants to fix her situation, she should start by confronting the dirt around her, instead of trying to ignore it.

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