World By Sappho Summary

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Throughout time, women have had different rights and powers. In 630 BCE- around the time of Sappho’s life- women were treated very differently than today. Though little is known about Sappho’s life, it seems that Sappho married and had a daughter, Cleis (Poetry Foundation). In Sappho’s fragment of “World,” she speaks of the struggles she faces as a married women. She suggests that pursuing responsibilities in society outside of what is expected for a woman is impossible for females of that time. By starting the poem with the word “I,” Sappho begins by identifying herself as the character, instantly placing her image in a reader’s head (Sappho line 1). As a mother in 630 BCE, one might picture a woman raising her child. Alongside caring for their children, women would also sew and perform household duties, which a reader might picture Sappho doing as well. This was expected of women, and was their main responsibility. For this reason, pursuing other responsibilities was very uncommon for…show more content…
With the statement “could not hope” she explains the inability women have with pursuing new responsibilities in society (Sappho line 1). By using “hope,” Sappho suggests the idea of dreaming, yearning for something to happen (Sappho line 1). Though the idea may be improbable, the amount of desire for the idea to happen keeps it alive. By hoping “to touch the sky,” Sappho shows that as a woman, she dreams she will one day be able to pursue more than just household duties and raising her children (Sappho line 2). It also shows the level of intensity that she wishes for it to happen. By pairing “hope” with “could not,” Sappho describes the inability to possess hope (Sappho line 1). Not only will she never be able to pursue more in life, she will never be allowed to even dream of doing so. This shows the restrictions that a woman of that time has, and how impossible it is to even dream of a

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