1. Is the poem “Power” making a comment specifically about the power of women? If so, what is it ?

Ans. Poem making a comment specifically about the power of Marie Curie, her dedication to unfold the truth of science, to serve mankind, to serve for the society. She was well aware by the fact, the harmful effect of radiation, Still she never back footed from his work and patiently Marie Curie did her job without hesitation. Marie Curie was a perfect human being, beside doing her tireless research work she also dedicated to serve mankind.

She during World War I was driving through the battle field at night a medical emergency van to provide medical support the injured one irrespective of his race, nationality. She helped so many in this way to survive. Marie Curie here in this poem an epitome. All the women has the power to serve for the humanity and to serve for the goodness. They are enough powerful by their mind they can do any good work to certain extent even in lieu of their lives.

2. What’s the difference between the perspective on science that we get in the beginning of the poem “Power” and the perspective on science that we get in the rest of the poem (that’s about Curie) ?

Ans. At the beginning readers get in the poem “Power” written by Adriena Rich, the example of perspective of science is the discovery of Amber and its application in Medicine. Calistratus, the famous physician of those times wrote the amber protects from madness, power of amber mixed with honey cures throat , ear and eye diseases, and taken with water cures stomach illness. Amber is fossilized plant resin.

The mother earth provide us that fossil. But in the later part of the poem the perspective of science has been changed. The poet mentioned name of famous scientist Marie Curie. She was ardently worked on discovering different radioactive element for the sake of mankind. She was well aware of the hazards of research with such material still she never stepped back. As a result she was being crippled and day by day losing the limb functions. Still she never withdrew herself from her research.


3. Does the poem “Power” have any moral or ethical take on science If so, where ? And what is that take ?

Ans. In the poem “Power” there is reflection of a great moral that to worship science

and mankind in exchange of own life. Marie Curie the famous scientist of 20th century researched on physical science for a long time. Her research materials was so dangerous to human health. She was working on radioactive elements. Her research has opened a new horizon. Pitchblende is the ore of Uranium. Beforehand after extraction of Uranium the wastes were thrown as garbage. From that garbage Marie Curie along with her husband extracted other radioactive elements.

The constant throwing of that wastes might be the cause of immense hazards to the whole of human race. As those waste contained more radioactive elements and everyone was getting exposed to that wastes for a long time. They absorbed the radiation from those and could be the victim of certain permanent genetic change. Marie Curie’s discovery provided new elements in the periodic table of all elements and also saved mankind from the hazardous effect.

Marie Curie had a great scientific ethics she continued her research with those hazardous wastes to save mankind even after her husband’s death

4. If Marie could do it all again-do you think she would? In other words, was science worth the sacrifice ? Discuss the help of “Power”.

Ans. It was certain the human of such great morality like Marie Curie could do her research again.There are so many sacrifice in the history of scientific discovery. The thirst of knowledge is very strong, and very hard to quench. The unfolding of scientific knowledge is a passion of scientist. They never thought of themselves and try to reach the climax of knowledge with sacrificing anything. Their dedication never thought of their wellbeing. Just they wanted to know the scientific logical explanation of every single incident and every single bit of knowledge is a big thing to them. So there sacrifice have earned immense scientific knowledge to future generation.

5. What is the role of gender in “Power” ? Do you think it even has a role in the poem ? Does it matter to the speaker that Curie was a woman ?How can you tell ?

Ans. The gender has great role in handling the power. Most of the human society is male dominant. So power lies in most of the community in the hand of male. The power is not well distributed in the hand of both gender. Even in woman dominant society of mongoloid people it has also been found the woman dominance is virtual in many field. Male has actually the driving power to run the society.

In poem the power of women not being told directly, but indirectly it meant that through the example of 20th century great scientist Marie Curie.

The speaker does not has the matter that Marie Curie was a woman. Whether it was she or her is not the great point of discussion, the main thing is that she with her immense mental power and dedication to mankind and done her research and enriched us with scientific knowledge. She had to pay a great value for her dangerous research. She got crippled and died in a non-curable anemia. Her blood cell was continuously dying even after the supply.

6. Do you think the poem would be as powerful if it were about a man whose research eventually brought about his death ? Why or why not?

Ans. Of Course the poem would be as powerful if it were about a man whose research eventually brought about his death. The poem is not gender biased. The death for the sake of scientific research or for the benefit of mankind is always glorious not at all being limited by gender. When we born we are being bound by certain debts. Debts to parents, debt to society, debt to religion etc. It is our duty to pay back those debts. The scientist who of any gender sacrifice their lives for the sake of society or sake of earning scientific knowledge is always a glorious one and they certainly pay back their debt to the society.




1. Is the only type of suffering in the poem physical suffering ? Or do you see other evidence of suffering ?

Ans. The suffering in the poem which has been described is not only the physical sufferings, rather mental suffering. A scientist could not held properly the mere test tube. It obviously brought a mental trauma and agony. The fear of course gets deep rooted in mind that she would be crippled for rest of her life and could not able to progress her research. To Marie Curie doing research was like worshiping of science. If crippled condition resist her to do work in the laboratory then her focus of life would not be fulfilled. She could not continue her worshiping any more. Marie Curie had immense mental power in her most disadvantageous condition she carried her research and also provided her service for mankind.

2. Does Marie Curie think that suffering for the sake of science is worth it ? How can you tell ?


Ans. Yes. She was well aware the devastating effect of radiation and also knew the hazard of handling radioactive elements, but still she did not resist herself to progress her searching. She presumed that her suffering in later life would be worthy for the sake of science. When they first started working on pitchblende the ore of Uranium they were not well aware about the after effect. Though the discovery of alpha, beta and gamma ray already had taken place in 1896.

But gradually research on effect of radiation had been started in different corner of the world and the scientist world came to know its hazardous effects. Still Marie Curie carried on her research after the sad demise of her husband in 1906. In 1910 she awarded the Nobel Prize for second time for the discovery of another radioactive element Radium.

3. Imagine that you had no idea who Marie Curie was. Would the poem still make an emotional impact ? Or do you need to understand her statusas a female scientist to be affected by the poem ?


Ans. If the reader has no idea about Marie Curie, then also the poem still able to make an emotional impact on reader’s mind. Readers could easily visualize the crippled condition of a scientist for the sake of her dangerous research. Reader does not need to understand the status of Marie Curie as a scientist or moreover as a female scientist. Scientist has no gender, the thirst of knowledge also have no gender, the only thing here is sacrifice ownself for the sake of mankind and knowledge.

4. What is the significance of backhoe?

Ans. In the poem “Power” there is an attempt to compare Marie Curie to a backhoe.Marie Curie is the discoverer of radium . The backhoe is a large machine that scoops up heavy stuff like dirt or anything on a construction site, and brings it back to the cab that is operating it. Rich is saying that Curie’s radium was being brought back to her thus causing her to be ill. Rich is arguing that with woman, all of the things they create which give them power will eventually bring their demise, no matter how wilful they are in denying it.

5. State your view about Marie Curie’s success.

Ans. Marie Curie was the woman who created the pavement for success in making atomic bombs with atoms, the poem is of Marie’s success, though how her obsession with it became the death of her. Contrasting Marie Curies wounds an way of life to be obsessed with her ambition/professional success also personal aggrandizement and the consequences.

6. What is being stated in different part of the poem ‘Power’ by Adrienne Rich?

Ans. Radium was considered a cure for “insanity” or melancholy in the past. That being said, the first part addresses the unco covering of something from the past that we now know as dangerous (radium) in modern times. Marie Curie discovered radium which was used as a cure. Instead of admitting that her discovery, her source of power and public acknowledgment in the scientific world, might have been something causing damage .

The author speculates that she refused to admit the dangers of her discovery since it was her source of power . Her need to cling to her source of power was greater than her need to warn of the wounds that came from radium poisoning… as intelligent as she was, she must have known. She passed away at the hands of her own struggle for power.


1. What’s the relationship between power and intelligence in the poem ?

Ans. The power of the intelligence is so stronger that Marie Curie never thought of her demise or suffering from radioactivity. Her aim was set like bird’s eye watcher and she was determined to serve for the mankind. 2. Can you be powerful if your body is weak ? Ans. Power lies within the mind. Body power has very secondary role there. If the mind is strong anyone can do anything if he or she is determined.

2. What glorification of Marie Curie is reflected in the poem “Power” ?

Ans. The glorification of Marie Curie is that a smart and successful woman who died because of her experimentations with radiology.

3. What irony present in the poem “Power” ?

Ans. Denying her wounds: denying her wounds that came from the same source of power: Marie Curie’s brilliance and her experiments are her best success but also the reason for her death irony present in the poem

4. What is the relation of amber and Marie Curie present in the poem “Power”?

Ans. Amber describes a tonic that cures fever and poetess goes into realistic cure in Marie Curie whose body deteriorated until she finally died from the experiments she did.

5. Write about the poem “Power” by Adrienne Rich.

Ans. This poem is about how power destroys us while we enjoy it. Marie curie discovered radium and handled it daily. She was a semi-respected scientist (simply because she was a woman in the time period) but she died of radiation poisoning, denying the fact that it was her greatest discovery that killed her. The beginning is simply about how easily the past is recalled, preserved, and how that is a power also, but obsession with that past is dangerous.




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