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

How does Plath use imagery and symbolism to discuss the themes of life and death?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Plath use imagery and symbolism to discuss the themes of life and death? Ms.F.Pow Rebecca Lau In the poems Tulips and The Stones, Plath uses symbols, metaphors and imagery to discuss her point of views of life and death. She thinks white is color of peace and death, while red it a color of life and excitement. White symbolizes winter, which is also death and the state of Plath's mind. The imagery "look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in" sketches the picture of winter where every thing is still, quiet, and calm. This picture reflects the state of Plath's mind, stagnant. This is also one of the main reasons that Plath dislike the tulips, because the "tulips are too red"; they symbolize spring, and intrudes the "winter" of her mind. The tulips strive for their best to bloom, and that makes Plath feels shameful, since she has already given up trying. This shows that she doesn't want to change her perspectives of desiring death more than life. ...read more.

Middle

Her life has no meanings; everything is pain to her, which is why she desires death, since to her, it is the only way to get out of this pain and obtain eternal peacefulness. Although Plath is physically alive, she is mentally dead. In both poems The Stones and Tulips, she described herself as "a pebble", a non-living object. Even though her "rust-red engine" is still running, she has already become a "flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow" or "nobody". The imagery of the pebble suggests that it will be very hard to cure, to heal her since she is "dead" or was never alive. But the pebble imagery can also be saying that the anesthetist", "surgeons and "nurses" are refining her, polishing her into a more round and smooth, changing her to a more adorable person. She illustrates that there is never clear boundaries between things, even things that look so obvious, like life and death. Plath feels that she is tiny compared to this world. ...read more.

Conclusion

Plath thinks she still has the chance of recovery even though it seems very far and very hard to obtain. Referring back to the metaphor of the cargo boat "the water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea", she ends Tulips with "and comes from a country far away as health". She still can "taste" means she is still living, the imagery of the "sea" means that she is quite lost in a vast area for now, but there are millions of courses she can choose from, and soon one day, she will touch the land "health". This suggests that she still wants to recover and that she is just lost in the area between life and death, but will soon be back to the life side again. Both the poems Tulips and The Stones contain the message that she prefers death over life. Plath's poems are depressing, but her experiences can act as a memento for us, so we can strike a better balance between the views on life and death and make a better decision on things without hurting the people around us. ?? ?? ?? ?? English Coursework final draft 1/2 ...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 ...

    * The narrator wins a prize for drawing the best Civil Defence signs. As well as the references to the war, there are other details, which tell the reader the historical context. It is early enough for flying to be seen as exciting and mysterious.

  2. Examining Tone, Choice of words and Imagery in the Poem "Tulips" by Sylvia Plath.

    The red tulips are a sad and painful reminder that the speaker will certainly return to the burdens of everyday life. These red flowers are disturbing to the speaker because "they are too red in the first place, they hurt me."(36)

  1. How does Plath's use of extended metaphors and other literary features effect the reader's ...

    again " Our hammers, our rams" which makes them even stronger as they are all working together to achieve the one common goal. They are silent but deadly they get exactly what they want. This sense of unity and strength by numbers is brought up later in the poem by the exclamation "So many of us!

  2. Frozen Eyes -Explore and analyse the use of imagery of death and violence in ...

    In 'Wuthering Heights' Hughes reinforces his sense of authority and love towards Plath, using 'two trees' as personifications of guardianship and protection. He also explores how the nature of the landscape changes: 'decomposing starlight', 'blackening smoulder' and touches on the aspect of darkness that the landscape inflicts upon her.

  1. "Discuss the usefulness and limitations of employing metaphors as a means of analysing organisations. ...

    When looking at organisation we know, we can see that the culture of a large, for-profit corporation is very different from that of a hospital which is in turn different from that of a university. Corporate culture can be looked at as a system.

  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. Compare the ways in which Plath uses imagery and description in Mirror and Blackberrying, ...

    so now she has no faith in love and only in herself "I see her back and reflect her faithfully." This is the pronoun muddling I talked about, for she is still standing by herself trustfully and does not need others, which is why the mirror is said to reflect her back faithfully.

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

    He mentions that her hair "would appear blond", and he talks about her smile - "Your exaggerated American grin for the camera's, the judges, the strangers, the frighteners". He is saying that she would smile for anyone, "the frighteners" being all the people around her She is grinning, almost grimacing,

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