Study Guide

Her Kind Society and Class

By Anne Sexton

Society and Class

dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light: (3-4)

There's something about the "plain houses" which makes our speaker think mean, mean thoughts. We're guessing that that means society as a whole hasn't been particularly kind to her. Plus, the fact that she's going over the houses indicates that she might think she's above them. Get it?

I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods; (8-10)

"Goods" are things that other people provide for us. (After all, it doesn't seem like our speaker is making her own skillets or weaving her own silks.) Could that mean that she depends on society, even as she's choosing to reject it?

I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by, (15-16)

Notice how our speaker's never really in a community? She's always outside (or above) them. But she's also always moving – flying or driving – while the rest of the world is standing still.

survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind. (17-19)

The driver becomes a universalized "you" here, a stand-in for everyone and everything in society who persecutes her.

I have been her kind. (21)

Not everyone in the world is part of the world of "plain houses" and hostile "villages." Sexton creates an alternate community with these lines, an entire "kind" of women.

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