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

Sylvia Plath

Extracts from this document...


English Assignment Poem: Lady Lazarus Poet: Sylvia Plath a) Discuss the significance of the Holocaust in the poem 'Lady Lazarus' b) How effective is it in conveying her message? a) The poem 'Lady Lazarus' gives us an insight into the troubled life of the poet Sylvia Plath. She lost her father at an early age. Supported solely by her mother she went through a very rough childhood. In fact, Sylvia Plath escaped a near fatal accident in her childhood and went on to attempt suicide twice in the following years of her life. In the poem, Plath lets her emotions flow and sheds light on her distress. In this poem, Sylvia Plath uses Holocaust imagery extensively. The Holocaust, as is widely known, refers to the inhuman torture and exploitation of the Jews by the Nazis. The first mention of the gruesome Holocaust comes in the form of a comparison between herself and a Nazi lampshade. Unbelievable as it may seem, the Nazis used the skins of the Jews to make lampshades. ...read more.


Their golden teeth were plucked out and melted to make valuables such as wedding rings. Their corpses were then burnt to erase all trace of their existence. The mention of all this in the poem makes us believe that Sylvia Plath considered herself to be stifled, oppressed and exploited, just like the Jews. Finally, a striking similarity is noticed in the manner in which Plath chose to end her life and the methods used to exterminate the Jews. The Jews were killed in gas chambers where poisonous gases devoured their internal organs. Plath committed suicide by putting her head inside an oven, and died as a result of gas poisoning. In my opinion this was perhaps because she felt herself so alike the Jews that she preferred to end her life in the very same manner. Thus, we can safely conclude that Holocaust imagery forms a significant part of Sylvia Plath's poem 'Lady Lazarus'. b) After critically analyzing the poem, the Holocaust imagery which has been used widely, seems fairly effective in conveying the poet's message. ...read more.


Plath on the other hand had attempted suicide twice. This is a glaring difference between Plath's life and the Holocaust, making it quite ineffective in conveying her message. Another important difference is that the Holocaust was a planned genocide which involved the death of approximately six million people. Plath's comparison seems quite irrelevant in this aspect, as she talks about the death of a single person (herself). Finally, one of the most important differences is that Plath considered death to be a performance. At the end of the poem, Plath says that she was about to rise like a phoenix, referring to her own death. To her, attaining death was like being resurrected, as she would be freed from her troubled life. Plath believed death to be a means of attaining victory over life. She clearly mentions that when she survived her second suicide attempt, it was a theatrical comeback. In comparison, the Holocaust was only about forcing people into giving up their lives. Thus, in my opinion, taking these factors and many more subtle differences onto consideration, the Holocaust imagery is fairly effective in conveying Plath's message. Word count: 915 words. Written by, Adwait Mane, IB- 11. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Written Speech on Teen Suicide

    Reverse psychology doesn't work on a suicidal teenager. If a friend says, "I'm going to commit suicide,"don't say "Yeah, right. Go ahead. I dare you." This may push the person over the edge. Offer comfort, but not advice. Suicidal teenagers do not want to hear what you would do In this situation.

  2. Morning Song - Sylvia Plath

    Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square (The baby's mouth is clean, there is no drool.) This stanza uses an angry tone because the character was woken by the crying of the baby. She also tells the audience that she is breast-feeding and when the baby starts crying, she immediately gets out of bed in order to take care of her new-born.

  1. Sylvia Plath - Face Lift

    In fact it contrasts between reality and the expectations of the speaker. By choosing references to Cleopatra and her husband Plath tells us that this woman may have undergone surgery so as to identify with these references, which are representation, at least in this poem, of the life of an ideal woman - beautiful and married.

  2. Obesity - Arabic Assignment

    Generally, surgery is recommended only for extremely obese people (body mass index 40 or greater). The 2 types of bariatric surgery are malabsorptive and restrictive. * Malabsorptive procedures decrease intestinal absorption of food by ignoring part of the digestive system, meaning a greater proportion of food can be passed through the intestines without being absorbed.

  1. Sylvia Plath - Arrival of the Bee Box

    This resonates the bees (and the slaves) want to escape their prison. Later on we also find this same assonance associated to unpleasant noise ("It is the noise that appalls me most of all,/The unintelligible syllables."17-18).

  2. Commentary on 'Daddy' and 'The Arrival of the Bee Box' By Sylvia Plath

    This shows that her father's nature haunted her even after he died, as it left such a profound and negative psychological mark on her.

  1. Examine the role of the imagery of death and decay in Sylvia Plaths novel ...

    [She] felt surprisingly at peace. The bell jar hung, suspended, a few feet above [her] head. [She] was open to the circulating air." Once the bell jar is suspended above her, it is as if she has stopped suffocating and is normal again. In the novel Esther has to make life choices.

  2. The Holocaust

    As mentioned by Elie Wiesel during the Barbie trial, "the killer had not lost his sense of morality, but his sense of reality". Furthermore, a misleading fact is that these people were not given a choice, but truth is that many of them were.

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