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A WOMAN IS NOT A POTTED PLANT

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by

Leanne Singh

on 18 January 2015

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Transcript of A WOMAN IS NOT A POTTED PLANT

A woman is discussed in comparison to a potted plant.
The repetition of the comparison makes the entire poem a
sustained metaphor
.
Who is Alice Walker?
1944-
American author & poet
Won Pulitzer Prize for "The Color Purple"
Human Rights Activist (Civil Right Mvmnt. of 1960s)
A WOMAN IS NOT A POTTED PLANT
by Alice Walker

“A woman is not a potted plant”
by Alice Walker
A woman is not a potted plant
her roots bound
to the confines
of her house

a woman is not
a potted plant
her leaves trimmed
to the contours
of her sex

a woman is not
a potted plant
her branches
espaliered
against the fences
of her race
her country
her mother
her man
her trained blossom
turning this way
and
that
to follow
the sun
of whoever feeds
and waters
her

a woman
is wilderness
unbounded
holding the future
between each breath
walking the earth
only because
she is free
and not creeper vine
or tree
Nor even honeysuckle
or bee.


Consider a
potted plant...
What do you
associate with it?

restricted
confined
dependant
A woman is not a potted plant
her roots bound
to the confines
of her house
bound=tied
confines = boundaries

A woman is not like a potted plant which is stationary / which cannot move away from the pot in which it is housed.

The implication: A woman is free
a woman is not
a potted plant
her leaves trimmed
to the contours
of her sex
contours=outline

A plant's leaves can be trimmed and shaped to give it the appearance desired by the owner. its shape defines it
Implication: While a woman may have no control over the parts of her body that define her as a women, she does have control over her body, thoughts, actions etc. she does not need to be moulded into someone else's idea of how she should appear.
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