A Comparison Between Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" "Ariel" And "Lady Lazerus"

1406 words - 6 pages

Plath's poetry has many distinguishing features that portray the issue of power within the area of gender relations. She has a satirical approach that can be readily seen in poems such as Daddy and Lady Lazarus which are also two poems that are quite confrontational and emotional, they deal with the liberation of one-self through transformation throughout the poems. Ariel focuses more on self-empowerment and freedom, regardless of the limitations of gender.Her purpose in all three poems was to confront, shock and hopefully shake people out of their ignorant complacent worlds and show them the truth.The title of Ariel refers to the spiritual figure in Shakespeare's play The Tempest as well as referring to Plath's past, recalling the name of a horse she once rode. It conveys the idea of feminine magic or of a fairytale creature associated with the mystical bringing happiness. This initially brings about a sense of power and artistry through the joining of the physical and spiritual as described by the poem.The text conveys that empowerment is not necessarily gender related, instead it is important to find inspiration in one-self. In this case it is through creativity in a none-vengeful way that transcends the idea of gender influencing your level of power and ability. Ariel sends the message to everyone, to reclaim power through self-reliance, and rise above by being yourself despite what type of society you live in or what it tells you to be.Plath conveys the role expected of women by patriarchal society, "the child's cry/melts in the wall". Shows that she is freeing herself from distractions as she is ignoring the nurturing stereotype of a mother and instead of letting it tie her down she is freeing herself by unpeeling and getting rid of all restrictions. Whilst the responder is positioned to feel uncomfortable about the persona's neglect of the child.The idea of a strong, powerful, independent, legendary heroine likens the persona to Godiva. Who possessed these qualities, adding a pure, mythical edge to the poem. The persona and Godiva's nudity suggests the exhilarating freedom the person is experiencing, as though flying on horseback as "God's lioness".Plath uses the idea of darkness and shadows, contrasting with her yearning for a sense of purification, emancipation and liberation of self. From the black negativity of the world she is leaving behind.The sun is personified as an eye and is all seeing. It appears to be a natural progression for such an enlivened persona to head towards the red, blazing, fiery orange sun. as though it is the expression of passion after such elation. The sun represents the persona's final transformation of character and is a symbol of regeneration and new life, as it is an enduring, strong image of power.Throughout Ariel Plath has used a string of visual metaphors, short lines, brief images, lack of fillers and the use of three line stanzas all show the speed of the horse thus adding to the pace of the poem. As...

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