When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision – Themes

The Reawakening

The essay talks at great length about the awakening of consciousness; this reawakening is an urge for women writers and readers to write and read with a difference, to find the slippages in the repeated narratives they have been given about self, to deconstruct and reconstruct their understanding of womanhood, to find a voice that is their very own. The essay also lays out difficulties that women authors would come across in the process of the getting back their consciousness, but those can only be overcome with expression of self, unabashed and fearless.

The Personal and Political Dichotomy

Women are supposed to take charge of the domestic space, whereas men are responsible for the public space. The divide between these two is so strongly etched that these are seen as completely separate. Rich in the essay talks about a moment in her life where she understands that politics is not just that which is outside but also that which is inside. A woman in her interactions in the house, in her relationships with her partner and her children, in her negotiations with her filial responsibilities is maneuvering through complex political ideologies that must be understood to break down the subordination.

A Room of One’s Own

Virginia Woolf wrote in her famous essay, A Room of One’s Own that for a woman to be a writer she should have some inheritance and a room of her own. This room is not just a physical space of quiet writing but also a mental acceptance of women as writers, an acknowledgement not by the male world but by the author herself. It is this acceptance of self, by the self, that is the ultimate sign of awakening of consciousness.

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