As one of the most multitalented writers of the twentieth century, Sylvia Plath was highly esteemed by fans and fellow writers alike. Sylvia Plath’s parents, Aurelia Schober and Otto Plath, had met when Aurelia became Otto’s student at Boston University. Otto was a biology professor with an infatuation with bees; he had even published a book titled Bumblebees and their ways. Otto and Aurelia married in January of 1932, and by October of the same year Aurelia gave birth in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts to a daughter, Sylvia.
Sylvia spent her childhood in Winthrop, but after Plath’s father died of diabetes, her mother moved her and her brother, Warren, to Wellesley, Massachusetts which was closer to Plath’s grandmother. Aurelia had acquired a teaching job at Boston University in the medical-secretarial training program. Wellesley was a family focused and education centered community that influenced Plath’s lifestyle and moral values (Sylvia Plath Biography).
Plath had kick started her career as a poetess. Plath wrote her first poem, at age eight; “A Summer Will Not Come Again” was published in Seventeen while she was in high school, and sold “Bitter Strawberries” to the Christian Science Monitor while in college (Sylvia Plath Biography). One of Plath’s most notable works was her poem, “Daddy”, which was inspired by the death of her father, Otto. Plath then expanded her career by becoming an author of The Bell Jar, a fictionalized retelling of her lifelong battle with depression. Aside from writing Sylvia also worked as a volunteer art teacher, a guest editor at Mademoiselle Magazine, and an English teacher (Sylvia Plath-Poetry).
Plath attended Smith College in 1950 on a scholarship. She received her scholarship from the Wellesley Smith Club, which was sponsored by Olive Higgins Prouty. Prouty, the author of Stella Dallas, later became Plath’s benefactor and acquaintance. While in college Plath was part of the editorial board for The Smith Review, the school newspaper (Ames 204).
In 1951 Plath entered an essay writing contest for Mademoiselle Magazine, her fiction story, “Sunday at the Mintons”, won her a guest editing post in June of the following year. In 1952 Plath won two Smith poetry prizes and joined the honors society Phi Beta Kappa. That summer Plath was paid her first professional earnings for three poems from Harper’s Magazine. While in New York for her new editing job, Plath found her experiences less than stellar. Plath’s unhappy time in New York deepened her depression (Sylvia Plath Biography).
Although she was an exceptional student, Plath struggled with her depression. Plath attempted a suicide in 1953. Plath had swallowed nearly a whole bottle of sleeping pills, fortunately her mother, Aurelia, had found her and she was transported to a hospital. Plath then received electroshock therapy for her depression (Sylvia Plath-Poetry).
Shortly after leaving the mental hospital where she received treatment, Plath returned to college. Plath...