Overview The sense of restriction that women feel, the sense that they are being watched at all times, the sense that their behavior and how they carry themselves are being continually watched and commented upon, mark these experiences of women. Women are generally confined to the four walls of the house and even when they are 'allowed' to go outside, there lies somewhere in them a sense that they are not free to do what they want to and that they have to get back to their homes by a certain time. The poem might also be said to deal with menstruation and its frustration. Also,the education, which women are given, is commented upon. The books themselves seem to encourage women to further their oppression and repression. Not all of these experiences can be said to be "general" and that they are experienced by all women. But many women are indeed subjects to such experiences of confinement and oppression.
Women are, in a sense, caged beings who find it hard to exercise their free will in this patriarchal society. And how this sense of being caged and restricted lead to frustration and madness is depicted in the poem. The poem does deal exaggeratedly with such experiences of women but it is not all exaggeration. It is deliberately being made poignant so as to convey its message effectively.
Strikes the locked door, she sharply strikes the door
Screaming, screeching, kicks it more;
Hearing a voice, frightful eyes look around
A knife stabs the stomach,
Wounded, she falls down...
Pulls her hair out, fall tears from the reddened eyes
No bruise, sees not a knife;
Over and over, her hands hit hard, on the confining walls
Tries to break them,
Come, however, not a crack at all...
Throws the books, brutally away
Violently pushes the desk, against the floor;
Shivering, shaking, runs away from the room
Finds, strangely, herself holding a pillow tight,
On her bed, in the gloom...
No one comes in
Breaks open the door
Finds nothing that does shore;
Her hands, hands hold
Her legs, stand cold...
Breaks anything, everything she finds, in ire
Be it a vase, a clock, a heart burning in fire...
Then comes the sleep
Then come the dreams
Then rises the sun
Then awakens the mind...
Then unlocks the door, with the key
Imprisoned she, walks out,
Not all but most of the women face confinement of various kind in this male-dominated world. The worst part is there are men who do not want to pose any bindings to the ladies of their own world but ultimately end up doing so. It's simply because they are not strong enough to stand against the protests that the rest of the people raise. It's not that the women need help from men to come out of the imposed restrictions but what keeps them suppressed is because of the physical violence inflicted upon them.
The poem is very well written and the trauma of confinement is well expressed. Once and for all when a lady takes the plunge and breaks all the bindings then the very moment of being free is a moment to cherish. And, why not? Every lady deserves to be an independent soul.