• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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 .

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sylvia Plath section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sylvia Plath essays

  1. What happens in the story? Superman and Paula Brown's New Snowsuit is a short ...

    At the end, flight is no longer a possibility and the airplanes vanish with Superman's cape. Clothes The story contrasts two costumes - one is Superman's famous blue suit, with the red cape trailing behind; the other is Paula's powder-blue snowsuit.

  2. Critical Commentary on The Arrival of the Bee Box written by Sylvia Plath.

    Sylvia Plath then changes the focus of the poem. She seems to realise that she has "simply ordered a box of maniacs" but that however they "can be sent back" . This reflects the idea that she sees that her thoughts are not normal and thus chooses to suppress them even further.

  1. Sylvia Plath:"Daddy" The poem "Daddy" uses language to a great effect to express the ...

    He is then sketched as a Panzer-man with a bright blue, Aryan eye wearing a swastika in the Luftwaffe. She feels compassionate towards the Polish and Jewish people. Probably because she feels like one of them, herself. Then, when she uses repetition of the word "brute" in stanza 9, she expresses her rage.

  2. Explain how Charles Causley uses literary effects in his poem, 'The Cowboy Song'. How ...

    I cannot decide. Another metaphor I located is 'walk, six inches of the ground'. Obviously he isn't, but because he is dead he is floating around. This gives a nice feeling, and again it is a mega contrast between jolly and sad.

  1. How is Sylvia Plath's life reflected in the poems

    It hints that the nurse ("midwife") slapped the baby's soles to make her cry, thus begin to breathe. The second stanza is "Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue./In a drafty museum, your nakedness/Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls." The first sentence states that when Frieda was born, people around her applauded.

  2. How do Hughes and Hardy both use memory in their poems?

    He is saying he is not capable of settling in this way. Throughout all of his poems, Ted talks about Fate. It's as though he thinks everything he does in his life is decided already. He speaks as though Fate had already thought what was going to happen, and it

  1. Discuss the presentation of death within Plath's poetry, commenting upon how your view compares ...

    all, or as Janice Markey expresses it "Her act a shoddy pretence of an idealistic heroic act" Janice Markey's opinion is, in this instance, one that I agree with and which I feel is supported by the lines: "Her dead Body wears the smile of accomplishment" They suggest that although

  2. In Sylvia Plaths poem Morning Song, the poet expresses a range of fluctuating emotions ...

    In reference to the ?Victorian nightgown,? this emphasises her unattractiveness and loss of sexuality. The metaphor refers to how motherhood has reduced her to her tired, ugly and fragile state which displays the draining effect of motherhood on a woman that she would feel exhausted.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work