A Foggy Biography Essay

1689 words - 7 pages

When one is in a fog, one can see nothing but an endless amount of grey, covering the area. When one is outside of the fog, one sees a cloud. Fogs and clouds serve as metaphors for many subjects. They could mean the last bit of opportunity before a bitter ending, or lack of clarity, or even lack of boundaries. Many writers use such metaphors in books, and they have become almost cliché. Poets also use such techniques less frequently. Both Sylvia Plath and Carl Sandburg have used those themes at least once. Their poems, "Sheep in Fog” by Sylvia Plath (Ariel) and “Fog” by Carl Sandburg (Chicago) share a similar theme of fog and can tell much about personal experiences they had at the time of writing. Their lives also help illuminate their stances on life, such as realism versus idealism, and depression versus optimism.
From the title of Sylvia Plath’s poem, “Sheep in Fog”, one can imagine a few possible meanings. One may think that the sheep signified a spiritual encounter, or even approaching death, for “Sheep in Fog” was one of Plath’s last poems. Another may think of the Orwellian “sheep” metaphor, where sheep means ignorant people. Yet another could be knowing something is there, but not knowing, or fearing, its existence. Sheep and fog are similarly colored, so it could be a metaphor for not knowing what to do next. Ted Hughes, her former husband, states in On Sylvia Plath, “The last Ariel poem, "Sheep in Fog," came on December 2nd. This was also the last poem she wrote (except for the unfinished "Eavesdropper") until after the novel was published. It was then the first poem she picked up, on January 28th, when she made the correction that revealed it as the elegy and funeral cortege for the Ariel inspiration” (On Plath). Sylvia Plath committed suicide later that year, on February 11, 1963. Plath used elements of whiteness in the poem, signifying this was not necessarily about commoners going through a time of no clear-cut reality, but actually more of purity, or the end of times.
Despite the thought of purity, Plath was very troubled in her life. The biography of Plath in The Norton Anthology of American Literature explains, “Plath’s well-known autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, has nothing of the brilliance of her poems, but it effectively dramatizes the stereotyping of women’s roles in the 1950’s, and the turmoil of a young woman only partly aware that her gifts and ambitions greatly exceed the options available toward her” (2598). In other words, she didn’t talk about how great a poet she was, but she didn’t fail to mention all the turmoil and stereotyping of the 1950’s, as well as her own troubles. A year after she got divorced from Ted Hughes, another poet, she committed suicide (2599). Her tragic life may have been channeled through the poem “Sheep in Fog”, included in the book Ariel, which her former husband published a year after she had died.
The poem “Sheep in fog” may create a different meaning than...

Find Another Essay On A Foggy Biography

Ghostly Residents: The Tower of London

1380 words - 6 pages beheaded (“Catherine Howard”). There have been various sightings of other spirits in the Tower. On one occasion a crown jewel keeper was having dinner in the Martin Tower when his wife saw a moving object that looked like a bubbling tube with blue liquid in it. His wife was terrified and claimed it grabbed her. The crown jewel keeper then threw a chair through the floating blue tube and the chair crashed to the ground. “Foggy figures and squads of

'The English language shows, in miniature, the history of England itself.' Discuss.

2110 words - 8 pages BatheSkill CraftSkin HideOld Norse significantly influenced the English language as Mr J. McWhorter, senior fellow at Manhattan Institute and linguistics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrates."If I tell you that -- 'on a foggy Thursday, a sly dirty-necked, scowling outlaw skulked into the bank with a knife, ransacked it, and crawled out the window seeming happy'-- every word came

Negro leagues

1611 words - 6 pages segregation in baseball then most likely the segregation in the real world would have come to an end much sooner than it actually did. The breaking of the color barrier in baseball cleared up the foggy minds of some of the white people and gave people a new perspective on equality, leading to the equal rights of blacks. When the color barrier was broken, Albert Chandler, a Kentucky senator was asked about the color barrier and he states; "If they

Lewis Carroll

2285 words - 9 pages . <http://landow.stg.brown.edu/victorian/victov.html>. Egoff, Sheila A. "Worlds Within: Children's Fantasy from the Middle Ages to Today. Chicago: American Library Association, 1988. Empson, William. "Alice in Wonderland: The Child as Swain." 1935. World Literature Criticism, 1500 to the Present. Ed. James P. Draper. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1992. 634-35. Sewell, Elizabeth. The Field of Nonsense London: Chatto and Windus LTD., 1952. Smith, Karen “Lewis Carroll.” Dictionary Literary Biography. Ed. Meena Khorana. Rev. ed. 163 vols. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Inc., 1996

Dante and Beatrice: His Ultimate Perfection

1952 words - 8 pages ’s ultimate perfection, truly inspired much of The Inferno. Despite the fact that it is Hell, it is constructed perfectly. Hell itself is gray and foggy, and completely void of any hope. The air reeks of decay, excrement, oil, smog, sickness, slaughter-houses and everything hideous- but with a sickly sweet odor to “mask” it. Those in Hell are constantly tormented, and then healed, then tormented once again; it is a vicious cycle

Charles Mingus in the 1950s

3740 words - 15 pages title track, especially, was an indication of what was to come: a programmatic yet flexible style, raw emotion, and blues elements. Another track, A Foggy Day, was controversial because Mingus had sampled sounds of cars and boats and incorporated them into the song. He also tried to play some of the sounds musically, but critics tried to accuse him of being gimmicky. Mingus noted, though, that this was the only song where he used that technique

In the following essay, I will examine the development of Plath's poetry through analysis of major themes and imagery found in her description of landscapes, seascapes, and the natural world.

6579 words - 26 pages psychoanalytically loaded thesis about the emergence of Sylvia Plath the 'bitch goddess.'Since the appearance of these three studies Sylvia Plath's Collected Poems has been published (1981) with a securer and more precise dating of the poems than before, and we are now in a better position to deal with the poems chronologically. The Journals of Sylvia Plath (1982) also add to our knowledge of the composition of the poems. Linda W. Wagner-Martin's recent biography

Reality and Illusion in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Reality, Appearance and Deception

896 words - 4 pages Reality and Illusion in Hamlet   Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet's mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the

Sub-plots in Hamlet

1118 words - 4 pages Sub-plots in Hamlet   There are many things that critics say make Hamlet a "Great Work," one of which is the way that Shakespeare masterfully incorporates so many sub-plots into the story, and ties them all into the main plot of Hamlet’s revenge of his father’s murder. By the end of Act I, not only is the main plot identified, but many other sub-plots are introduced. Among the sub-plots are trust in the Ghost of King Hamlet, Fortinbras

Hamlet as Victim and Hero

1301 words - 5 pages Hamlet as Victim and Hero      Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a Shakespearean tragedy, tells the story of Prince Hamlet, who gained the knowledge of a terrible incident that his kingdom had suffered. Claudius, the king of Denmark and Hamlet's uncle, had killed his own brother, the king, who was also the father of Hamlet, and married his brother's widow. Hamlet suffered these traumas to a severe degree, and his only relief was to defeat his

Essay on Light and Dark in Antigone

1188 words - 5 pages . Throughout Antigone, King Creon is a symbol for nomos, while Antigone stands on the side of physis. To portray these ideas, light and dark images are used as a recurring motif to reinforce the theme. Light is used to show something good that is happening, whereas dark is utilized to show something of which the gods disapprove. Following with tradition, this play uses light to portray what is right in the eyes of the chorus and darkness to reproach the

Similar Essays

Dulce Et Decorum Est By Wilfred Owen Analysis

1310 words - 5 pages English Literature Summer Project - The War Poems by Wilfred Owen (Edited by Jon Stallworthy)Wilfred Owen was born in Oswestry on 18th March 1893. After school, he became a teaching assistant and in 1913 went to France for two years to work as a language tutor. When war broke out, he did not rush back to England immediately because he felt completely disconnected from it. Even when he visited the local hospital with a doctor friend and examined

George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue Essay

1560 words - 6 pages family. George Gershwin had three siblings and they all had musical talents. Ira Gershwin was George Gershwin’s older brother and later he wrote lyrics for George Gershwin’s famous songs, including Strike Up The Band, Shall We Dance and A Foggy Day. Frances Gershwin, his younger sister, also had musical talents. Arthur Gershwin was his younger brother and was also a composer. George Gershwin began formal piano lessons in 1910, when he was 12

The Chrysanthemums Essay

1669 words - 7 pages waiting;” just as a moment in Elisa’s life is about to spark change (Ditsky, John). In conjunction with the symbolic representation of Elisa’s life, the dramatic description of the environment can also be seen as a unique representation of the relationship conflict between husband and wife. Steinbeck’s foggy description demonstrates conflict through the following statement, "a time of quiet and waiting." This description is interesting because the

Classical C Onditioning Essay

1292 words - 5 pages research in a different field (Fredholm, 1999). In 1904, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his pioneering studies of how the digestive system works. Until Pavlov started to scrutinize this field, our knowledge of how food was digested in the stomach, and what mechanisms were responsible for regulating this, were quite foggy. In order to understand the process, Pavlov developed a new way of monitoring what was happening. He