Poem By Sylvia Plath Analysis

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Script for IOP Rationale I chose to do my IOP as a TV show because I think that it is a good way of explaining the ideas in the poetry written by Sylvia Plath. My inspiration came from YouTube channels such as CrashCourse and tv shows such as Voices from the Air. I strongly believe that a creative presentation like this will help in the process of explaining the poem “Totem” than doing a purely analytical presentation. Thank you! Introduction Thank you for tuning into Channel 9. You are about to view the first episode of an all new TV show. This TV show is called “The Great Poet” and it will explore the meaning in literature pieces from selected poets and philosophers. The poet in discussion will change every episode and since this is the…show more content…
In the first line of the first paragraph “The engine is killing the track, the track is silver”, Plath uses the train as the metaphor for death. The track is a metaphor for life. Plath implies that life stretches on for a distance that cannot be named but death inevitably eats all of life. Death is personified as an inevitability and natural. As natural as a train running on tracks. In the fifth paragraph of the poem, Plath mentions “There is no mercy in the glitter of the cleavers, The butcher’s guillotine that whispers: ‘Hows’ this, how’s this?’, Plath refers to an executioner and how he asks the person to be executed if they are comfortable in the position in which they die. However, they may never ask not to die. Death is personified here as an executioner, giving the person a chance to decide their death but never letting them escape it. Additionally, death is contrasted by dawn. The first line in the third paragraph of the poem, “Dawn gilds the famers like pigs,” shows that dawn is natural and so is life. In line two in the twelfth paragraph Plath mentions “There is no terminus, only suitcases”, terminus can mean the end of something. Suitcases are then referred to as containing yourself which unfolds like a suit. The suit is a baby and the unfolding is the growth of the baby into a grown adult. This idea continues through paragraph 13 as Plath describes the baby as bald and shiny, with pockets of wishes, she is…show more content…
Sylvia Plath uses the words “Christ” and “Plato” in the seventh and eighth paragraphs. These are prominent historical figures and by mentioning them she could possibly be suggesting the idea of male dominance throughout history. It could also mean that the persona in the poem feels like she is being entrapped and victimised by males in our society. In the second paragraph, the theme of entrapment is obvious when Plath mentions “its running is useless”. This acts as a form of irony because running is usually perceived as an act committed to gain freedom. If running is said to be useless it suggests that the persona in the poem is feeling an immense sense of entrapment. Additionally, entrapment is displayed again in the sixteenth paragraph where “nets of the infinite” and in the seventeenth paragraph where the persona is “roped in at the end”. The intensity of the persona’s feelings are amplified here because the feeling of entrapment in the poem is very intense. Thus, the identity of the persona in the poem is created with the limitations felt by the persona. Once again, the themes: surveillance, entrapment and gender representations are a common characteristic in Plath’s poetry such as Munich Mannequins and
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