Plath Poetry Analysis

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‘Plath perceives the domestic life as restrictive and a complete obliteration of her own self-worth’. Using ideas of feminist theory from the critical anthology to inform your argument, to what extent do you agree with this view? As a female poet subject to 1960’s patriarchy, Plath’s domestic and professional claustrophobia were inevitable. Married to the successful poet, Ted Hughes, she was incessantly reminded of the artistic restraints assigned to equally talented females. Plath’s poetry, looking particularly at her ‘Collected Poems’, illustrates the consequential disorientation and loss of identity caused by such patriarchal dominance, demonstrating sentiments of disgust as she is forced to adopt certain gender stereotypes in ‘Morning Song’ (1961). She treats female characteristics as manufactured in ‘The Applicant’ (1962), drawing upon the socially constructed role of the housewife, refusing to accept the popular contemporary notion that women are naturally inferior. Although such beliefs appear to lead Plath into a state of individual futility, her satirical approach to stereotypes as naïve social constructions suggests her more complex understanding of the human condition. This unique outlook upon her domestication allows Plath to establish an individual poetic perspective, ascertaining herself to later become an advocate for the second feminist movement. Plath’s description of 1960’s women as domesticized “living [dolls]” in ‘The Applicant’ iterates both her

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