Study Guide

Her Kind Society and Class

By Anne Sexton

Society and Class

Even those people who think that they're all on their own have to reckon with the rest of the world someday. Come to think of it, that's exactly the dynamic that this poem enacts: from swooping over rooftops to being carted to the stake, our speaker moves from solitude into forced society. We can't say that she'd choose either one, but we're guessing that loneliness is a good deal better than the society that condemns her for being herself. Although "Her Kind" presents itself as the life story of a single person, it's also about the social forces which have shaped that person into the angry outcast she now is.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. How would you describe the society in which our speaker lives? Can you tell what makes it repressive?
  2. With whom does our speaker identify?
  3. Why do you think that the only other person in this poem is the driver? What role does he/she play?
  4. Who is the "you" in the third stanza? What is their role in the poem?

Chew on This

Our speaker identifies with those who are like “a possessed witch.”

The world in which our speaker lives is a brutal, violent one where others’ “flames” bite her “thigh.”