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

AS and A Level: Sylvia Plath

Browse by
Rating:
4 star+ (3)
3 star+ (5)
Word count:
fewer than 1000 (7)
1000-1999 (13)
3000+ (3)
Submitted within:
last 12 months (1)

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

Common errors when writing about Sylvia Plath

  1. 1 When writing about both the poetry and the prose, remember to write about technique as well as content.
  2. 2 Avoid sweeping generalisations about social attitudes, conventions and gender relationships in the 1950s and 1960s.
  3. 3 Avoid giving the impression that Plath’s work is entirely autobiographical. It may well be based on actual events in her life, but the process of creative writing always involves an element of transformation.
  4. 4 Check your quotations carefully. Misquotations or quotations which make only partial sense never impress the marker.
  5. 5 The author should be referred to as Plath or Sylvia Plath, not Sylvia.

Writing about Plath's poetry

  1. 1 Plath’s poetry is often densely metaphorical and sometimes obscure. It is acceptable to acknowledge this, and offer tentative or alternative interpretations.
  2. 2 Most students comment on Plath’s arresting use of simile and metaphor.
  3. 3 You should also consider alliteration, assonance and repetition in addition to looking at regular and irregular rhyme schemes, rhythmic variation and variety of verse forms.

Writing about 'The Bell Jar'

  1. 1 ‘The Bell Jar’ is best described as semi-fictionalised. Do not assume it is a fully autobiographical account of Plath’s experiences.
  2. 2 Consider the tone of the novel as well as its content. Useful words to describe the variety of tone in the novel include: conversational, humorous, detached, ironic, fragmented, bleak, and introspective.
  3. 3 Consider paragraph length and how Plath uses it to reflect the content and mood.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Analysis of "The Applicant" by Sylvia Plath

    Another way to read this poem is that the applicant is a man applying to receive a wife as if a wife is some kind of a product-and it almost seems as if the voice of the poem is trying to talk this man into accepting a defective product; trying to convince him that a defective wife/product is better than no wife/product, especially in the second to last line of the piece, in which it is flat out stated to be a 'last resort'.

    • Word count: 687

Marked by a teacher

This document has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the document.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the document page.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student document reviewing squad. Read the full review under the document preview on this page.