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Living in Sin

Living in Sin


by Adrienne Rich

Living in Sin Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why do you think Rich chooses to make the couple's home a metaphor for their relationship? 
  2. How does the fact that the woman's thoughts and experiences are relayed by an omniscient narrator (an all-knowing voice that doesn't actually belong to any of the characters in the poem) affect the way we read the poem? If the woman told her own story, would that change the poem, or the way we understand the woman's situation? 
  3. Have you ever wanted something so badly, and then when you got it, realized that it wasn't such a great thing? Did you try to make it into the great thing you originally imagined it would be, or did you just let go and move on? Do you think it's possible to change situations like the one the speaker finds herself in, or do you think it's better to just let them go and move on?
  4. Have you ever made a big decision you regretted? Did you have trouble admitting you made the wrong decision? Do you think that's what the woman is struggling with in this poem? If so, how can you tell?

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