Sylvia Plath; The Imperfect Perfectionist Sylvia Plath's poetry is an expression of "a personal and despairing grief". She had the gift of recreating her own past experiences in a complex form, so as to remove them from her present, that it started to seem like an obsession. Within this obsession her poems show a regular pattern of self-centeredness. It was this characteristic that lead her far from any "self-discovery" and "self-definition", and drove her to her death, "an art" as she words it. Plath readily exploits her emotions through the personified language to build a sinister and super-natural atmosphere, in attempt of creating a "valiantly unremitting campaign against the black hole of depression and suicide". However, her attempts went to waste when she committed suicide in the February of 1963. Plath's poetry enables the reader to unravel and look deep into her victimised mind. It was for this talent that she had received much praise, but much more criticism. Plath's poetry mirrors the life of Plath, and to make sense of her poetry it is important to try and have an understanding of Plath, to see things through her perspective. This is what most critics' lack, and so I have taken a step to try and understand her. It is for this reason I will take into consideration the perspective of psychoanalysts to aid me in my understanding of her, in particular the theories
I Wanna Be Special : Plath and Nazi Germany E. Michele Bradley (200106335) Sylvia Plath is a poet who writes in a confessional style. Her poetry shows her strong opinions towards patriarchy. By examining her works and researching her past, one can see that the two prominent male figures in her past are her father and Ted Hughes, her husband. In her poetry Plath uses Nazi Germany as a metaphor for the oppressive system of patriarchy women live under, while she portrays the victim as Jews. Two examples of poems where this appears are "Lady Lazarus" and "Daddy". Because the Holocaust is such a sensitive subject, there are two schools of thought to Plath's metaphor. One belief is that she belittles the Holocaust. The other belief is that a metaphor is simply a metaphor. Obviously, Plath has no first hand knowledge if she uses the metaphor so trivially. There are aspects of Plath's works that people may find hard to understand if they don't know about her history. To understand Plath's poetry, one has to understand Plath. Sylvia Plath writes confessional poetry. Because she writes in this confessional style, those who study her work must become familiar with her past. Confessional poetry is when poets write about their own experiences; thoughts, feelings, and experiences become the basis of the poetry. Thus the poems become an expression of poet's innermost
How does Plath use intricate patterning of sounds, words, images and rhythm to create an impact on the reader?
How does Plath use intricate patterning of sounds, words, images and rhythm to create an impact on the reader? Almost all of Plath's poems are so deep and full of emotions that it would be impossible to be impacted by them. However, her intricate use of linguistic and literary devices help the reader to understand the true meaning of her poems therefore adding to the impact. For this essay I will look mainly at the linguistic and literary features Plath uses in her poem 'Daddy'. This poem, like many of her others, uses an intricate patterning of sounds to create a certain moods at points in the poem. For instance the first three stanzas of the poem uses assonance; the soothing sound 'oo'; "you do not do", "I have had to kill you" and, "Where it pours bean green over blue". This sound draws out the words resulting in a longer, protracted sound. This slows the flow of these stanzas and creates a calm mood. This patterning of sounds can also be seen in her other poems. For example in Miss Drake Proceeds to Supper, in which she patterns the 'd' harsh sound to create a faster pace and cutting mood. Plath creates imagery in many of her poems with the use of colour. In Daddy she patterns the use of colour from black and white in the first stanza to black and red in the eleventh and twelfth stanza. The colours black and white are antithetical and when placed in close proximity
How powerful is The Bell Jar as a feminist text? Feminism = a movement that advocates equal rights for women. The Bell Jar is an attempt by Sylvia Plath to write about growing up as a woman, in America during the forties and fifties. It was first published in January 1963, before the fights for equal rights were debated in the late sixties and seventies. This was one of only a few novels, at its time, in which the main character and narrator was a woman. The novel may also show Esther's search for her identity, she thinks she knows what she wants but she becomes more and more uncertain as the novel unfolds. The struggle for women in those days is something which would we could not possibly understand. A lady could not even get a loan from the bank without her husband or father co-signing it. Unmarried women were denied birth control, and girls should not attend college. If they did it was expected that they were looking for a husband. The other girls in Esther's dormitory in college told her she was wasting her "golden college years". Throughout the book, there are many possible role models for Esther, not all of who have a positive influence on her. Jay Cee is an experienced, successful editor at the magazine where Esther has won an internship. Plath writes of Jay Cee as being somewhat masculine. This may have been because at the time only men were successful so she felt
The Applicant by Sylvia Plath places both men and women as victims in a society which disallows them any sense of free-will. To what extent to you agree with this view?
‘The Applicant’ places both men and women as victims in a society which disallows them any sense of free-will.’ To what extent to you agree with this view? ‘The Applicant’ by Sylvia Plath is a poem centred on the idea that relationships between humans are only a regime to fill a physical need, and marriage is the only way to be free of a crippling lifestyle, and women are seen as being a set of appendages and functions, men as the consumer and worker, key to the success of the Marxist viewpoints ideal. It suggests a close connection between the capitalist economic system, the patriarchal family structure, and the general depersonalisation of human relations. The man and woman in the poem are portrayed as having limited to no free will in the society they live in and are victims of the social order. A constant theme of the poem is the inadequacy of a person; they have no personalities or major roles in society. The people in the poem are de-humanised, especially the woman, and their bodies being portrayed as just mechanisms. The voice asks the man if he has “a brace or a hook” as if he needs to be held up like a puppet, and even questions his sexual identity by asking if he has “a rubber crotch”. Suggesting his crotch may be rubber implies that it is only there for a mechanical function; to procreate, and has no other purpose. The voice of the poem has a
Comparison of loneliness in the poems mirror and spinster" by Sylvia Plath. The poems mirror and spinster by Sylvia Plath are unique in the presentation of a theme of loneliness engulfing the protagonists. The poem mirror is written in free verse with no set pattern of rhythm and rhyme. The poem probes into the corners of human nature, Beauty, life and death and deals at large with the eternal truth of human life. The mirror is isolated and alienated from humanity. It likes to be associated with the wall and through the wall it has plenty of opportunities to reflect on human life-its joys and fears. And it despises anyone that comes between it and the wall, thereby disturbing its meditation in isolation. The wall is a part and parcel of its existence. The mirror serves as an emblem of objective truth. But it is not cruel. The mirror is a metaphor that teaches humanity that appearances are secondary. It is like the eye of god that reflects the truth. The mirror is objective about everything it observes, and gives a vent to its feelings without any bias, prejudice or discrimination. It takes pride in its honesty. The mirror also deplores the sad fate of humanity where man is not ready to reconcile to the hard facts of life. By becoming a lake the poetess further dwells on the theme of loneliness. But the lessons that the mirror and the lake give us are rendered futile. The