This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Sylvia Plath's Life And How It Influenced Her Poetry

2334 words - 9 pages

Sylvia Plath’s life was full of disappointment, gloominess and resentment. Her relationship status with her parents was hostile and spiteful, especially with her father. Growing up during World War II did not help the mood of the nation either, which was dark and dreary. At age 8 Plath’s father of German ancestry died of diabetes and even though their relationship was never established nor secure, his death took a toll on her. “For Sylvia, who had been his favorite, it was an emotional holocaust and an experience from which she never fully recovered” (Kehoe 90). Since she was so young she never got to work out her unsettled feelings with him. Even at age eight, she hid when he was around because she was fearful of him. When she was in his presence his strict and authoritarian figure had left an overpowering barrier between their relationship. Sadly enough by age eight Plath instead of making memories with her dad playing in the yard she resented him and wanted nothing to do with him (Kehoe). These deep-seated feelings played a major role in Plath’s poetry writings. Along with his “hilterian figure,” her father’s attitude towards women was egotistical and dismissive, uncondemning. This behavior infuriated Plath; she was enraged about the double standard behavior towards women. Plath felt controlled in male-dominated world (Lant). “Because Plath associates power so exclusively with men, her conviction that femininity is suffocating and inhibiting comes as no surprise” (Lant 631). This idea of a male-dominated world also influenced Plath’s writing. Unfortunately, Plath married a man just like her father Ted Hughes. “Hughes abandonment apparently stirred in her the memories and feelings she had struggled with when her father died” (Kehoe 119). Reoccurring feelings from her father’s treatment resurfaced during her marriage with Hughes. In the end he left her and their two children for another woman. These feelings and events were linked to Plath’s lifetime struggle with depression. By the age of 30 she successfully committed suicide after her third attempt. Her father’s arrogant behavior and authoritarian role harmed Plath at a young age. The hate and resentment left behind influenced her emotional through-out her life, frame working Plath’s poetry. Three literary devices that utilize her background context are imagery, diction and symbolism.
One of the strongest literary devices used in literature is imagery. Imagery allows the readers to visualize and experience the author’s thoughts by creating a mental image. Her negative emotions are reflected in her writings “Daddy,” “Lady Lazarus” and “Metaphors.” In “Daddy,” Plath expresses her dislike and strong antipathy towards her parents, especially her father. The poem begins as, “You do not, do not/ Any more, black shoe/ In which I have lived like a foot” (Plath). Reading the second and third line the first ‘mental image’ might be someone trapped in a confined area, a shoe....

Find Another Essay On Sylvia Plath's Life and How It Influenced Her Poetry

"There is more to poetry than moods and feelings, using Sylvia Plath's poem "Cut" as an example

1615 words - 6 pages settling back into reality after her intense emotional release. This realization of reality is genuine because she refers to the thumb as what it literally is - contrasting with her cryptic, ambiguous descriptions of it. When read aloud, the words come out calmly and slowly, creating a sense of peaceful tiredness to conclude.Poetry is not just about emotions and feelings. Using Sylvia Plath's poem, Cut, as an example, it shows that poems can tell detailed and fascinating life stories in just a few short stanzas, using various forms of poetry devices. Plath's innermost thoughts, darkest desires and psychotic tendencies are all revealed in her poetry.

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 'psychic' landscapes out of concrete places, scenes and objects. I tie this discussion firmly and consistently to actual landscapes Sylvia Plath had seen. With a poetry like Plath's, which is highly subjective and concrete, it is surely a disadvantage to disconnect the poems from the poet's life. My use of biography aims at illuminating the poetic process, and my main interest is in the subtle and gradual shift in the poet's technique: the process by

How Sylvia Plath's Life is Reflected in the Poems Daddy, Morning Song, and Lady Lazarus

3389 words - 14 pages How Sylvia Plath's Life is Reflected in the Poems Daddy, Morning Song, and Lady Lazarus Sylvia Plath has had an "exciting" life, if I can use this word. Her father died from an undiagnosed diabetes when she was eight. At the same time, a short couplet that she wrote was published in the Boston Sunday Herald. Later, she won scholarships to study in Smith, Harvard, and finally Cambridge. There, Plath married Ted Hughes, who

Brave new world and how it influenced my life

647 words - 3 pages A Different World; A Different Person All forms of art have greatly influenced my life and have had an enormous effect on me as a person. Throughout high school, of all the great works of literature, poetry, and other types of art that have given me a feeling of joy, my senior year I discovered one piece of literature that stands out and opens my eyes to the world around me. Art, literature and music not only intrigue and inspire me, but also

The Life and Poetry of Sylvia Plath

1762 words - 7 pages ; instead she wants to write about how people should control their own experiences even at the worst downfall. From her opinion, she mentions that experiences should be taken essentially, but she certainly thinks that it should not be focus to one-self but “[she] believe it should be relevant, and relevant to the larger things, the bigger things such as Hiroshima and Dachau and so on” says at her interview with Orr. She also mentions in her interview

How Harper Lee's life and childhood influenced her writing of "To Kill A Mockingbird"

2399 words - 10 pages film itself won eight academy awards. The book is an outstanding piece of literature, and this is shown through all of the honors it has received. All through out the books publicity and the making of the movie, Harper Lee only participated in one interview. Lee has kept to herself most of her life, and continues her quiet life in Monroeville where she is extremely happy in her church community but avoids the media as much as possible. Although Lee

Sylvia Plath's Lady Lazarus and Stings

530 words - 2 pages Lady Lazarus and Stings Sylvia Plath's works are known for their extremes. Much of the influence of her poems came from the males in her life that had the most effect on her; her father, Otto Plath and Ted Hughes, who she married and later it fell apart when Ted began having an affair. The effects of these men on her were mostly negative, making her poems to have loathing and suffering. Otto Plath published a book about bees early in

The Dark Life and Confessional Poetry of Sylvia Plath

2272 words - 9 pages poetry was Sylvia Plath, who employed personal aspects of her life into her style of confessional poetry. Plath suffered from a deep depression that influenced her to often write in a dark, melancholy style. This depression included two suicide attempts of which she wrote before succeeding in suicide at the age of 30. An important facet of Plath's poetry was the distinctive development of the speaker, who, in her poem "Gigolo," for example

Sylvia Plath: A Novelist and her Brief Life

846 words - 4 pages The highly recognized female novelist and poet, Sylvia Plath, lived a hard and tragic life. Plath was diagnosed with depression, a mood disorder that causes consistent feelings of sadness, at a very young age that made her life complicated in many ways. The battle continued on when she was diagnosed with severe depression later on in life which contributed to her death. Sylvia Plath was a very successful novelist and poet in the thirty short

Revenge and Hatred in Sylvia Plath's Daddy

607 words - 2 pages Revenge and Hatred in Plath's Daddy The power of Plath's Daddy to threaten, shock and move the reader remains undiminished, years after it was written. To the unsuspecting reader, the experience of first reading "Daddy" is a confusion of discomfort, excitement and guilty pleasure, for the pleasures of revenge are said to be sweet, and this is a revenge poem of the first rank. Revenge upon whom? Father? Perhaps, more likely, upon her

Sylvia Plath's Mirror and D.H. Lawrence's Piano

1427 words - 6 pages desire for their youth to return. To develop their common theme, D.H. Lawrence and Sylvia Plath use the tone of the poem to describe their memories of their past. As Poetry for Dummies explains, “…Tone of voice suggests your attitude. In fact, it suggests two attitudes: one concerning the people youre addressing (your audience) and one concerning the thing you’re talking about (your subject.)” In poetry, the tone explains the writer’s feelings

Similar Essays

Sylvia Plath's Death Gave Insight Into Her Poetry

763 words - 3 pages Sylvia Plath, an American poet, confessional writer, an intelligent, though emotional sufferer of depression, and ultimately, a bipolar suicidal, is more famous and recognized in death, than ever in life. Her death brought new and deeper meaning to her poetry, which provided an extremely profound and emotional insight into Plath’s innermost feelings and thoughts. Plath used her poetry to explore and to figure out her own life, but she was

Sylvia Plath And Her Poetry Essay

1690 words - 7 pages dealt her pretty words like blades—“, she talks about bullies and how they affect a person’s life—another domineering figure. Despite being born in different centuries, Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath are parallel in a multitude of ways, such as their choice in story, their choice for themes, and their choice of and as a narrator. Emily Dickinson is regarded as “America’s most original poet” and was born on December 10th, 1830 (CITATION1

Death, Personal Experience And The Supernatural In Sylvia Plath's Poetry

1997 words - 8 pages child, she desires to escape this life. Where the child sees the magical world and, in his inexperience, destroys it, Plath desires to destroy herself in order to reach that land. Plath's poetry can be connected in many different ways, but on the theme of death, experiences of self-loathing, and the element of historical and fantastical concepts. The death of her father and her own desires to be dead is seen in each of her poems through direct

The Effects Of Death, Personal Experience And The Supernatural Element In Sylvia Plath's Poetry

1568 words - 6 pages about trying to understand him in life, but it is in this poem that we get the first mention of how terribly it effects her. She says, “I was ten when they buried you. / At twenty I tried to die / And get back, back, back to you. / I thought even bones would do.”(Plath 52-53) This is a reference to Plath's first attempted suicide; her confusion about her feelings for her father, her desire to be with him again, is so strong that she tries to kill