An evaluation of Sylvia Plath`s poetry concerning pregnancy and motherhood

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In evaluating Sylvia Plath`s poetry concerning pregnancy and motherhood to what extent do you believe the attitudes and feelings expressed in her imagery are representative of mothers generally.

Plath`s poems regarding pregnancy and motherhood vary hugely in terms of the sentiment expressed, ranging from maternal love to resentment. This could be explained as a symptom of her bipolar disorder, but equally could also be a natural reaction to a daunting process.

          In Morning Song Plath appears to show mixed emotions regarding her child, with the ambiguous title being a homonym as well as a metaphor, possibly referring to the morning as the bright beginning of her child`s life or to the process Plath is undergoing, mourning the loss of her freedom. The first stanza appears to show Plath`s love for the child, ‘Love set you going,’ and also how she views the child as something precious and her giving birth as a natural and inevitable process, ‘fat gold watch...took its place among the elements.’ She may be unsure of this love however, as the poetic synaesthesia of, ‘your bald cry’ shows the confusion of audible and visual senses, and this could represent Plath`s sense of love for the child interacting with the fear she showed before the birth in The Manor Garden, ‘a difficult borning.’ This confusion is probably rather typical of a new mother, as the birth of a child would signify an inescapable life altering change, something difficult to prepare for.

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          In the second stanza the deictic pronouns used create a distance between Plath and the baby, ‘Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival,’ and this is amplified through her analogy of the baby as a statue in a museum, ‘New statue. In a drafty museum,’ as in a museum things are generally looked at and not touched. Plath`s resentment towards the baby is also shown in this stanza, with the sinister sibilance found in, ‘shadows our safety,’ suggesting that Plath is insecure about her own life as it is now revolves around the child, ‘We stand ...

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