Melanie Wood

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School



In this chapter, I will discuss how Sharon Olds' clear and powerful representation of the healthy female psyche, in the context of both linear history, as well as in the dimension of consciousness, reveals an important occurrence in the process of retrieving female history and a natural female psychology. To begin the discussion, I will relate the essential tenets of Clarissa Pinkola Estes' exceptional study, Women Who Run With the Wolves, which describes the existence of a timeless female "mother" archetype who contains within her the true knowledge and experience of women. I will use Estes' portrayal of this archetype as a metaphor to indicate awareness of a female consciousness, as it appears in poetry written by women in the twentieth century. I will then use a story from her collection as an additional metaphor to discuss the linear relationship between Sharon Olds' works and women's poetry in the 20th century, focusing on the works of Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, and Sylvia Plath in particular.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Olds, Sharon -- Criticism and interpretation
Feminism and literature




South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright