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Morning Song - Analysis

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Introduction

Sylvia Plath - Morning Song Ryan Sugrue Mrs Pride A morning song usually is an expression of love - a baby's voice to it's mother - but in Sylvia Plath's "Morning Song" she ironically twists the meaning, suggesting that the baby song is not altogether pleasant to the mother. In Plath's poem she seeks to reconstruct the loss of connection the mother feels when finally giving birth to the newborn child. The poem portrays an interesting equilibrium between a mother's affection for her baby and the sinister thoughts and feelings the birth of her child arouses and the effects it has on her. The imagery, tone and narrative of the poem help Plath illustrate the ambiguous yet strange descriptions of the baby and the mother's insecurity to her child. The poem's first line powerfully captures the speaker's hesitant tone by contrasting the baby to a "fat gold watch". The use of this simile in the opening line depicts the child as something distant and not quite human, something beautiful yet repulsive at the same time - it is attractive and emotionless, however treasured. ...read more.

Middle

However at the beginning of stanza four the tone of the speaker changes, a sense of caring and delicacy is introduced. It is here where the imagery now softens "moth breath" - the first comparison the speaker makes of baby to a living creature, but it still only "flickers amongst the flat pink roses". And through the fricative sounds "flicking" that Plath uses, the speaker is able to depict the mother's changing attitude, providing an unvoiced friction within the mother. This is also evident by the short sentence "I wake to listen". The mother is showing care for the child and listens so intently that she thinks she can even hear a "far sea" in her ear. The child's tiny breaths comes across the mother's mind like a huge isolated sea. This emphasises the ambiguity of the newborn as well as the familiarity she and her child have with each other as it further portrays the lack of understanding the mother has for her child through the misunderstand and unfamiliarity in their relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

whitens" showing that the mother has been awake all night, as she struggles to grapple with her conscience and feelings in regards to her new child. But when balloons rise you cannot grasp them. And so, the final two stanzas confirm the ambivalent feelings the mother has towards their child as she feel the need to act in a maternal manner, but yet does not view the child in a positive and lovable manner. This indicates that the mother still does not have clear understandings of her relationship with her newborn child. "Morning Song" by Silva Plath explores the thought process of a mother's search to strengthen her bond with her infant after a feeling of loss of connection after giving birth to it. Whilst trying to portray that she has an ambiguous association to this new life, the connection becomes more positive as the poem progresses and the baby relates to her with it's "clear vowels". The "handful of notes" that the baby can make is all that is necessary to scatter all feelings of apathy towards the newborn. As the baby's cry "rise like balloons" the reader comes to understand that the child's morning song is 'clear' but at the same time vulnerable. WORD COUNT: 1136 WORDS ...read more.

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