The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath Analysis

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Sylvia Plath, born October 27, 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts, was a poet, and short-story writer (Hobsbaum, 2003). As part of the Confessionalist movement, she commonly wrote about topics such as death, depression and victimization. She has published a series of poems and a semi-autobiographical memoir that depicts her life, with the names of people and places changed. Her semi-autobiographical memoir, The Bell Jar, depicts Esther Greenwood’s slow downward spiral to madness. Plath was deeply affected by the premature death of her father, her mental instability being worsened by the absence of her mother. The lacking of two parental figures served as a serious detriment to Plath’s overall health and made an impact on her writing. Her personal…show more content…
Villanelles are a type of fixed verse poetry with a strict and demanding structure. It is a six stanza poem, the first five stanzas containing three lines, a tercet (Michno, 2000). The concluding stanza, contains four lines, also called a quatrain. The first and third lines of the first tercet are repeated in the last lines of the remaining stanzas. The quatrain at the end of the poem contains both lines repeated. These repeated lines are referred to as the refrain. The refrains and fourth line in the last stanza all rhyme with each other. The key aspect of repetition in villanelles is very important to the overall meaning and interpretation of the…show more content…
Thunderbirds are from Native American mythology, they are powerful spirits in the form of birds (Britannica). They are described to die in the winter but return return during the spring. Plath’s choice of this mythological creature introduces idea of love that she so desires, one that comes back rather than being fleeting. This in essence, captures her desire for consistency. Plath titles her poem “Mad Girl’s Love Song,” which can be interpreted as her referring to herself as mentally unstable. Typically, love songs are usually about romantic love, and the experiences that love and heartbreak bring. Rather than this love song being about a sexual relationship, Plath writes about her deceased father. The death of Plath’s father when she was only 8 years old made a significant impact on her. The structural form of the villanelle and its overall rhyme scheme also contributes to Plath’s presentation of her feelings as a love
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