Adrienne Rich's "Diving Into the Wreck" Essay

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Adrienne Rich uses many poetic resources in her poem "Diving into the Wreck." In this poem a diver goes on a trip to investigate a shipwreck in the socially accepted schema. Rich shifts the role of the hero and the strategy for success in her second schema. In the second schema the hero goes on a journey where she discovers her true identity, both female and male.
The hero prepares for the journey into the sea by reading the book of myths, collecting a camera and knife, and putting on a diving suit. The diver is alone, unlike Jacques Cousteau, who had a team to accompany him on his dives. She brings a camera because she will find things on her dive that she does not want to forget. The persona wears "absurd flippers" and an "awkward mask"
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This could simply been seen as an endorsement of androgyny, but if you read deeper it could be seen as implying that all people contain both masculine and feminine attributes. She is a woman with beauty, but she is also a man with strength.
The persona finds that the figures of the man and woman have been left to rot and that "we are then half-destroyed instruments" (Vendler, 505). The half-destroyed instruments could be seen as a metaphor for what happens when a man denies his feminine qualities, or what happens when a woman denies her masculine qualities. People lose a part of themselves when they deny their true identity. The persona discovers the truth at the bottom of the wreck, which is that women's names not appear in the book of myths.
In the first schema the hero's role is to explore the wreck, the hero's purpose is changed in the second schema. The new purpose is to find out the truth about the relationship between the masculine and the feminine. The poem uses metaphors to shift the role of the hero; the wreck takes on new meaning in the second schema. The obstacle in the first schema is learning to adapt to the new environment, the diver must learn to breath underwater and use her awkward diving gear. The obstacle changes in the second schema, the diver must adapt to the different world of the sea, she must become a different person. Success in the first schema comes when the diver has found the treasures of the wreck. In the second schema the