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The hesitancy of a “Middle-Aged witch”: Anne Sexton’s “Transformations”


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Título alternativo: La vacilación de una 'bruja de mediana edad': "Transformations", de Anne Sexton
Author: Fukuda, Shiho
Date: 2008
Published in: Revista de Estudios Norteamericanos, 13, 31-47
Document type: Article
Abstract: In “Transformations”, a work innovatively based on the stories of the Brothers Grimm, Anne Sexton assumes the sarcastic persona of a “middle-aged witch,” a guise taken on to spotlight and criticize the relentless patriarchal themes that permeate the Grimms’ fairy tales. Since the poet’s most creative period paralleled the emergence of the feminist movement in the USA, the appearance of a feminist interpretation of well-known, male oriented folklore can be considered to be a logical occurrence. However, Sexton’s poems concurrently exhibit hesitancy on the part of the “middle-aged witch” in her attempt to revise the prevailing male-centered conception of the world. Her hesitancy suggests a personal reluctance to commit to gender issues and thereby reveals a woman who could not fully free herself from submissiveness to the masculine power. This paper reveals such ambivalent feelings on the part of the poet towards the female status. En “Transformations”, una obra innovadoramente basada en los cuentos de los hermanos Grimm, Anne Sexton asume la “persona” sarcástica de una “bruja de mediana edad,” un disfraz adoptado para destacar y criticar la incesante temática patriarcal que i...
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