Subaltern Bodies in Fluid Space of a Female Body: A Feminist Existential Study of Adrienne Rich’s Poems ‘Diving in the Wreck’& ‘Planetarium’


  • Huma Saeed Ph. D Scholar, Lecturer at National University of Modern Languages. (Lahore) 5400
  • Huma Ahmad Ph. D Scholar Lincoln University College. Malaysia


Subaltern, Body, Patriarchy, Homosexual, Recognition, Self


This research explores the subaltern bodies occupying a fluid space in a female body in Adrian Rich’s poems ‘Diving in the Wreck’ and ‘Planetarium’. Rich opines that the space of ‘female’ body is a natural home to both ‘she’ and ‘he’ simultaneously and is capable to excel in all walks of life, without being dependent on men for recognition. A search for relocation of female space in the patriarchal myth and the affirmation of the presence of both male and female sex within a single female body, as a source of power and strength is sought after in this study. The objective is to debunk the role of patriarchal myth in the construction and commodification of ‘female’ body. Moreover, our impetus for writing this research paper is to address the gap in the present scholarship regarding the recognition of the contribution made by people with diverse tendencies either homosexual, LGBTQ community and by ‘lesbian continuum’ in the postmodern era. Recognizing their talents and achievements can win them over to an equal status of efficient and responsible citizens of society. The study will incorporate the theoretical framework of Simon de Beauvoir’s feminist existentialism. It will facilitate future researchers in excavating the potentials and abilities of women, who have been downsized by hierarchal order of society.


. Simone de Beauvoir. “The Second Sex” Vintage Books, 1989, c1952.

. Kate Millett. “Sexual Politics”. 1st Ballantine Books ed. Ballantine, 1978

. Joseph Campbell, and Bill D. Moyers. “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers”. New York, NY: Mystic Fire Video, 2005.

. Wendy Martin. “An American Triptych: Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich.” Chapel Hill UP, 1984.

. Cooper, Jane Roberta. Reading Adrienne Rich: Reviews and Revisions, 1951-Michigan UP, 1984.

. Adrienne Rich. “Collected Early Poems: 1950-1970” Norton, 1995.

---. “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Revision.” College English 34.1(1972):18-30. JSTOR. Web. 4 October 2015.

. Adrienne Rich. “Of Woman Bom: Motherhood as Experience and Institution”. New York: W.W. Norton, 1976.

. Betty Friedan. “The Feminine Mystique” New York: Norton, 1963.

Margret Atwood. “Surfacing”. Toronto: M & S, 1999 print.

Maria Tistoura. “Redefining Female Identity in Adrienne Rich's “Planetarium” and “Diving in to the Wreck”. Poeticanet




How to Cite

Huma Saeed, & Huma Ahmad. (2022). Subaltern Bodies in Fluid Space of a Female Body: A Feminist Existential Study of Adrienne Rich’s Poems ‘Diving in the Wreck’& ‘Planetarium’. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, 85(1), 14–22. Retrieved from