Sylvia Plath Research Paper

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Nothing epitomizes an edgy early teen phase like a healthy obsession with Sylvia Plath. She was one of the first poets to bear personal issues as subject matter, and it continues to touch people of all ages who relate to her struggles and love poetry that digs deep into personal issues. The question is, what were her lasting effects on the culture of American literature? In Plath’s widely revered and often discussed poem, “Daddy,” she grapples with a conflicting view of her father. She frames him in both a resentful way, likening him to a Nazi, and in an affectionate way, wishing desperately to be with him and sad for the loss of her father. She mentions that she, “[has] had to kill you. You died before I had time-” (Plath 1447). From …show more content…

Her short biography in the Norton Anthology draws attention to the struggles that come through in her poetry about her marriage with Ted Hughes. This anthology and David Lester’s “Theories of Suicidal Behavior Applied to Sylvia Plath,” illuminate the warning signs of Plath’s imminent demise. Many of these big ideas can be covered by her feelings of rejection from her husband, who chose another woman over her and left Plath fully responsible for their two children, that is to say, focusing on unbearable pain, experiencing adult trauma, feeling that death can help escape suffering, the person desires the “cessation” of death. She and her children, “. . . moved into an apartment in London. She experienced severe depression and anxiety, and the living conditions exacerbated this,” (Lester 657). The small family developed a persistent flu throughout the winter in the apartment whose plumbing regularly froze. Hughes also made a consistent effort to visit the children which only upset Plath further. Her view of suicide was obviously skewed, as stated in “Daddy” when she thought death would reunite her with Otto, her father, and highlights her ambivalent and contradictory feelings and attitudes. To add insult to injury, “Plath had just published a novel under a pseudonym which had reviewed only lukewarm reviews and had not yet found …show more content…

In an extensive study by James C. Kaufman, it was found that “Female poets were found to be significantly more likely to suffer from mental illness than female fiction writers or male writers of any type,” (Kaufman 1). This phenomenon of creative people (notably female poets). suffering from mental illness is called the Sylvia Plath Effect, as she was the most notable example of those criteria. Plath has been the subject of numerous studies on creativity and mental health. Studies have shown that people who write about their experiences often improve in the state of physical and mental health. The theory of why this effect is the way it is is due to females experiencing more personal tragedy and non-fiction writers often putting a positive spin on those events and fiction writers focusing on the negative. Poets also often attribute successes to a muse and not

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