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Beauty and Horror - Sylvia Plath writing uses a plethora of images of horror combined with images built around beauty to incite contradictory emotions within the reader .

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Introduction

Beauty and Horror Sylvia Plath writing uses a plethora of images of horror combined with images built around beauty to incite contradictory emotions within the reader .She uses strong, thought-provoking images to etch her messages deeply on the reader's mind. Most of her poems are essentially about her father and her thoughts and emotions enveloping her his memories. Sylvia Plath's father died when she as 8. It is believed that, at that stage Sylvia Plath was developing an Electra Complex. So when her father died, she felt betrayed by him because she felt that he did not care enough for her to try to live (Otto Plath had disease and he refused to be diagnosed. The disease proved to be fatal). To Plath, her father's death seemed like a act of suicide, and this generated a great deal of anger, hatred and sadness in her and these emotions, together with her obvious love for her father form the fundamental elements for her poems. ...read more.

Middle

She creates two parallel atmospheres, and there is a definite friction between these two settings. And it is through this conflict, this tension between beauty and repugnance and horror, that she conveys her feelings to the reader. After evoking contradicting feelings within the readers mind with the dual environments in her poetry, she uses conflicting images to heighten the sense of dissension in the reader. In the poem "Daddy", in the third stanza, she produces an image of a blue, beautiful sea. A calm and tranquil image which she relates to her father, (In the water of the beautiful Nauset, I used to pray to recover you). However in the 7th paragraph, she converts her relationship with her father into a Nazi-Jew relationship, and she projects an image of german trains transporting Jews to concentration camps in Poland, the place of her fathers origin. Through this incompatible images, she communicates her differing emotions to audience quite successfully. ...read more.

Conclusion

In paragraph four of the poem, she says "Her wing torn shawls, her long body Rubbed of its plush" She makes the bee unattractive by stripping it of its attributes which would have made bee beautiful. Here she is transforming herself into the queen bee, in that the only task of the queen bee is to reproduce and that is the way, she feels, she is viewed by the society. Plath converts a beautiful creature and converts it into an ugly one, its beauty diminishing with time. She feels that this will be her fate and that she is unable to avert that fate. Her beauty is directly metamorphosed into ugliness. Plaths use of contradictory images reaches its peak she speaks her suicide attempts. Sylvia Plath was greatly hurt by her fathers dead. She attempted to commit suicide 4 times and succeeded in doing so on the 4th time. In the poem "Electra on Azalea Path" Plath she asserts that her suicide attempts was caused by her father's death. "I am the ghost of an infamous suicide............It was my love that did us both to death". ...read more.

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