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

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

Extracts from this document...


Stephanie Duarte 13D Critical Commentary on The Arrival of the Bee Box The arrival of the Bee Box, is a poem written by Sylvia Plath where she the extended metaphor of a bee box to reflect her state of mind and her appearance. We can see that throughout the poem she does not feel at peace with herself. Her inner turmoil, illustrated by the bees, contrasts with what she shows herself to be, the box. However, to reveal her real feelings and thoughts, and to therefore open the box, means that there is a possibility of attack by its contents, a warning she seems anxious to ignore. We are immediately introduced to the bee box in the first stanza of the poem. She takes responsibility for the presence of the box as she says that "I ordered this". If we take this bee box to be her appearance, we can see how she has made a conscious effort to hide what she is really feeling. To demonstrate the unequivocal reality of the box she describes it is as being "square as a chair and almost too heavy to lift". ...read more.


In contrast to the previous stanza where she focused mainly on what she could see, in this stanza she starts to focus on what she can hear. The "noise" appalls" her for they are "unintelligible syllables". This again suggests that she does like this constant torment in her head specially since she cannot understand it. It is illustrated very well as the buzzing of bees usually annoys people and we cannot understand it. She then compares her situation to a "Roman mob". The bees are "small, taken one by one" but however they are always found "together". This is like the conflicts in her mind. They are not of great importance when looked at individually, but when looked at "together", they create great confusion which causes her to stop making sense out of them. In continuation from stanza four, stanza five starts by saying that she "lay [her] ear to furious Latin". This again implies that she cannot understand what is inside the box, or in other words, her mind. The word "furious" suggests once again that the bees, or her thoughts, are agitated and longing to come out but that at the same time they are dangerous. ...read more.


This point is conveyed through the verbal play on "honey" and "sweet". Ironically, by being "sweet" and by thus setting them free, she will be like "honey" which is what the bees are after. The last line of the poem is isolated from the rest of it. This brings great emphasis of this line. It states that "the box is only temporary". This is like a conclusion to the poem and to the great dilemmas which have taken place through it. The speaker has finally made a decision and asserts that she will release the bees, or in other words, reveal her feelings and the content will exceed the form. All in all, this is a very complex poem which allows us to have great insight into the poet's personal life. We can see how she feels bound to lose whether she chooses to open the been box, and to thus release her emotions, or whether she chooses to keep it closed, and to therefore never be able to be her real self. She takes us through a series of reasoning steps and eventually lead us to her conclusion. This conclusion however is only reached at the very end of the poem and thus keeps us in suspense all the way through. ...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. "Discuss the usefulness and limitations of employing metaphors as a means of analysing organisations. ...

    a partial and unbalanced view and therefore the use of metaphors could produce narrow or misleading outlooks. This is because the metaphor highlights certain aspects while backgrounding or ignoring others. It is also important to remember that as metaphors stretches the imagination by using suggestive images to draw similarities, distortions

  2. The three poems I have chosen to compare are 'A Parental Ode To My ...

    In the last stanza of 'Catrin' the mother says 'still I am fighting you off'. To me this sounds like a negative thing to say? Why would you be fighting your own daughter off, and more to the point, 'still' fighting her off?

  1. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath.

    That kind of trauma would upset any family. Esther's frequent reminiscing shows her need for her father and her feelings about him dying. Sylvia Plath's father also died when she was just a girl. This made the writing all the more believable because the author had actually experienced what she was writing about.

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

    How sure are we that the narrator is right in giving this measure of Paula's unpopularity? * How good, in your view, are adults at knowing which children are truthful and which ones are more dishonest? Fantasy and reality Superman first became popular in comic strips and radio broadcasts.

  1. A Trapped Life: The Autobiographical Elements of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar.

    The events in Plath's life are parallel to the events that Esther faces in the novel. Plath wrote from her own life experiences and understood the descent into madness because she her self eventually went mad. In writing about Plath's falling out, Wagner stated, "This depression that was endemic in

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

    by Plath" This view is further supported by Plath's use of 'sterile' visual images such as the "white serpent" and "hood of bone"; and also by the chilling metaphors used to describe the children, reminiscent of the death of Cleopatra, killed by an asp.

  1. 'Metaphors' by Sylvia Plath - critical review.

    At this stage she feels used and resents it. "Cow in a calf" suggests that she feels uncomfortable and embarrassed. She feels as though she is on a theatre stage where everyone is looking at her and knows about her 'bun in the oven'. Line six, the forth month of pregnancy, "Money's new minted in this fat purse" suggests bright life inside the dull, fat exterior.

  2. In the Arrival of the Bee Box and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, ...

    Also, maybe the ice was a symbol of the dangers that come with life, and once they are dealt with, you can move along safely. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is written in loose, short ballad stanzas usually either four or six lines long but, occasionally, as many as nine lines long.

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