To this day, Sylvia Plath is one of the most dynamic and esteemed poets of the 20th century. As a poet, Sylvia Plath has been renowned by multitudes of readers for her style of writing and the power she evokes from the concepts of discussion in her poems. However, most people do not realize that her all of her works are intensely autobiographical. Sylvia Plath’s own painful life experiences greatly contribute to her style of writing with themes of death and the patriarchy in poems such as “Full Fathom Five”, “Tulips”, and “Lady Lazarus”. Before one can understand Plath’s style, one must take a look at her brief, tragic life.
Sylvia Plath was born on October 27th, 1932 in Boston Massachusetts to her mother, Aurelia Schober and father, Otto Plath. …show more content…
In the title itself, Plath makes an allusion to Lazarus, a bible character who was brought back to life after three days in the tomb, indicating that there will be references to death in this poem. Plath begins by confessing her attempts at suicide once in every decade of her life. She uses vivid imagery to help explain the reason behind these attempts and the suffering she faces. In line 5, she compares her skin to a Nazi lampshade. During the Holocaust, Nazi people used to skin Jewish people, using it to make lampshades. In her use of this horrifying metaphor, Plath compares her emotional suffering to the physical suffering of those Jewish people in concentration camps. She highlights the heaviness of her heart in her comparison of her right foot to a paper weight. This vivid imagery serves to help the reader understand the reality and burden of Plath’s pain. She continues with the imagery of a featureless face revealing her belief that she lacks any identity. She feels she has no purpose and nothing to set her apart from those that surround her. Plath addresses her audience directly demanding them, “Peel off the napkin” (line 12). This is Plath’s way of challenging to reader to look at her for who she really is. She does not believe that anyone would actually want to get to know her because they will view her soul as dead, the reason for her use of imagery of death and decomposition to describe herself. This is the point at which the reader can become aware that Plath identifies with the dead Lazarus not the one brought back to life . Plath uses imagery of a decaying body such as prominent “nose” cavity, “eye pits”, “teeth, and “sour breath” to explain she feels that her soul is decomposing. She thinks of herself as a rotting corpse, not a “smiling woman... only thirty” She reveals her disappointment
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The second source is a poem by Sylvia Plath entitled “I am Vertical”. Both sources provide scenarios in which death is a key emotional factor. Through diction and syntax, the works of Mark Twain and Sylvia Plath reveal that the concept of death is a way to portray character development and a realization that
She compares these people to the “peanut crunching crowd,” much like in an audience watching circus performers defy death through amazing stunts. The audience “shoves in to see” Plath’s retaliation against life and towards death, as if it's amusement for them (Levine et al. 634-636). She is able to compare her mental health and its struggle to a performance that the audience is watching, as if they consider these aspects of her personality to be part of a performance of a tortured artist. Furthermore, Plath recognizes the fetishization of her mental health others place on her through these comparisons, as if her suicidality is merely a quality of her character that adds dimension and draws to men, ignoring its implications for her well-being.
Plath was more of a free verse kind of poet. Though the syntax of her poetry often did not rhyme, her words crashed together in a rhythmic flow. The lines of her poems danced together creating beautiful art. She had a confessional style to her poetry; her poems spoke the words of her soul. Her poetry was often about her father, her depression, death, and motherhood.
As one reads Emily Dickinson’s poems, often times his or her first thought is “Wow! I have no idea what this means!” After reading a variety of her poems, it is clear that various ideas, people, and styles played into her works. Emily Dickinson was a woman of many complex personas—which is most prevalent in the letters she wrote to her sister, Susan. Throughout Dickinson’s works, she speaks of numerous subjects not to identify their meaning, but instead to explore the way these ideas impact life.
1. Introduction Published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas, The Bell Jar has aroused the interest of scholars all over the world. One of the most often discussed characteristics of The Bell Jar is its use of similes, metaphors, and symbols. Throughout The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath employs rhetorical devices to paint a vivid picture of its protagonist Esther. This essay will discuss how Sylvia Plath uses figurative language to represent Esther’s feelings of insanity, anxiety, and freedom.
Suicide captures many American each year. Sylvia Plath was very fascinated with death. Her morbid mind and thoughts led to a despised self-hatred. She lost her father at a very young age and captures parts of her life in her novel The Bell Jar. Her death has attracted many Women’s Studies.
"Lady Lazarus" is a confounded, dim, and merciless poem. Plath formed the poem amid her the most gainful and fertile imaginative period. It is generally deciphered as stating Plath's suicide endeavors and driving forces. Its tone veers amongst threatening and blistering, and it has drawn consideration for its use of Holocaust symbolism. The title is a reference to the Bibles ' Lazarus, whom Jesus brought back to life.
The Descent to a Schizophrenic Hell The Bell Jar was originally published in 1963 but Sylvia Plath released the novel under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas in order to protect those whom she discusses in her story in fictionalized terms. It is the only novel written by Plath and is semi-autobiographical in nature where the protagonists’ mental illness is a parallel to the novelists’ own experiences with clinical depression. Sylvia Plath’s depression can be recounted back to the death of her father. During the summer of her junior year at Smith College, having returned from a stay at new York City where she had been a student guest “editor” Sylvia nearly succeeded in killing herself by swallowing sleeping pills.
Emily Dickenson “519” poem depicts the process of a decaying body by using specific words and phrases. The poem gives a description of different stages a body goes through as it dies. The use of syntax helps create distance between the speaker and the dead body, the specific words and phrases also help in creating an eery, cold tone. She becomes curious with death, she does not see the body as a person who she is grieving for, and instead the body just becomes a decaying frozen river bank.
Sylvia Plath is considered to be one of the most significant female poets known not only to Americans but also to the whole world. Her death in 1963, followed by an unfortunate and short life did not end her input and influence inliterature, she became an icon to the female literary society. Sylvia's outstanding style of writing and themes which she portrayed in her works such as death, seeking for an identity or oppression on women in a patriarchal society began the feminist movementin America and changed the role of women. This topic is of a great importance because they way that Sylvia Plath was expressing her feelings and showing her negative view on a patriarchal society and oppression on women was a giant leap in the world of a women's liberation movement.
However, for Poe, death is poetical. And not just any death, but rather the death of a beautiful woman— by beautiful we will assume he refers to the women he admires, the women he found beautiful on the inside, because death is also the end of all external appearances. In any case, if one is familiar with Poe’s style, we will know that the death motif was nothing new in his stories, neither was the death of his female characters. Nevertheless, to understand why he had the audacity of presenting the death of a woman as something poetical, it is necessary to know more about his personal life.
Even when she realized the reality of her father, she still tries to go back to him. In lines 58-61 “At twenty I tried to die…………… /And they stuck me together with glue” Plath uses imagery to show that even as bad as Hitler, she will always look up to her
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is a semi-autobiographical novel in which Plath relays her own experiences through protagonist Esther Greenwood by highlighting the struggles she faced in navigating societal expectations, depression, and her own desires. Having spent time in college and later in multiple mental health institutions, Plath tells her story through Esther in a way that blends fiction and reality. Through Esther, we see Plath’s own interpretations of her triumphs, failures, values, and the slow but seemingly inevitable diminishment of her mental health. The story starts with Esther Greenwood in New York City, where she is spending a month working at a magazine because she won a scholarship to a special summer program for female writers.
From the age of eight until her death, Sylvia Plath struggled with mental illness. Along with frequent therapy visits, she wrote poetry to reflect the many events in her life. She wrote about everything, from the things that brought her great joy to the things that drove her to attempt suicide. One recurring topic of her poems is her father, Otto Plath, who she adored until he died of undiagnosed diabetes when she was eight. This event sparked a lifetime of depression and anger towards her father.