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Analysis of "Stillborn" by Sylvia Plath

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Introduction

Ayush Gupta Grd 12, English SL STILLBORN People who create something always add their emotions to it. Their creations are alive for their creators because it expresses their feelings. However when a creation does not fulfil its purpose and fails to satisfy the creator, then it is very tough for the creator because he has spent his hard work on it. Such a situation is portrayed in ?Stillborn? by Sylvia Plath. The purpose of this poem is to convey Plath?s dissatisfaction with her poems to the readers. She achieves this using extended metaphor by comparing her poems with stillborn babies. She also shows her confusion towards her dead poems by the use of diction, figurative language and structure. Throughout the poem, Plath has used extended metaphor to emphasize on her disappointment and sadness by comparing poems which are non-living with stillborn babies who are expected to be alive but are not. ...read more.

Middle

By comparing non-living things to living things, the poet effectively displays her affections to her poems. Furthermore one feels huge disappointment when a baby is born dead. Plath also displays her magnitude of disappointment in her poems using this comparison. Moving on, Plath also uses a specific choice of words and figurative language to convey her emotions. Firstly Plath uses a lot of body related words such as toes, fingers, heart, and lungs. These words aid in imagery of human anatomy and help in making the extended metaphor more effective. Secondly she also uses some grotesque words such as ?pickling fluid? and ?piggy and fishy air? to make the readers feel the disgust towards small babies, hence leading to sadness. Moreover instead of using ?pig like and fish like air?, she uses the words ?piggy? and ?fishy? to emphasize on the ?babies? and that they are in such a horrible manner. ...read more.

Conclusion

And still the lungs won?t fill and heart won?t start.? By doing so, Plath expresses her confusion as to why the babies are not alive despite having all bodily features correct. Furthermore the poet also uses explanation marks such as, ?O I cannot explain what happened to them!? and ?They sit so nicely in the pickling fluid!? Even the title of the poem has a very important role because throughout the poem, she never directly mentions that the babies are stillborn, instead she just alludes to it, but the title clearly shows it. In the end we can conclude that Plath uses this poem as a medium to express her disappointment in her other poems. There is also an irony present here because she is using a poem to do this job. She uses extended metaphor to show the extent of her sadness and disappointment in those poems while diction, figurative language and structure to express it. While reading the poem, the reader can?t help but empathize with the poet. In the poem she incorporates the theme of disappointment and expectations. ...read more.

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