Sylvia Plath The Poet Essay

2449 words - 10 pages

Through her use of stylistic devices such as imagery, diction, and tone Sylvia Plath can be referred to as a confessional poet. A confessional poet is someone who literally confesses their innermost feelings and their deepest thoughts through their writing. Sylvia Plath was considered a confessional poet because of how she took every aspect of her traumatic life and formed them into words. Two of Plath's poems that are often considered extremely confessional are "Daddy" and "Lady Lazarus," which are both found in the book of poems, Ariel.Sylvia Plath's life needs to be studied in order to understand why her poetry conveys such a traumatic tone. Plath lived by the sea during her early childhood years. Her father, with whom she was very close to, studied bees as a hobby. He died from diabetes mellitus in 1940, when Plath was just eight years old. This disturbing event affected Plath and her writing, which often includes many references to father figures, sea imagery, and bees. In the summer of her junior year of college, Plath suffered a severe mental collapse. She attempted to commit suicide and was institutionalized. Plath's life seemed to be improving when she married Ted Hughes in 1956. They had two children together, and seemed happy. However, Plath was becoming severely depressed. She had hospital stays for a miscarriage and an appendectomy. The final blow came when she and Hughes divorced a few years later. Plath became even more depressed, and her moods began to fluctuate. She felt vulnerable to male domination. She also began to feel helpless about death. All of these dark feelings and thoughts eventually led to her suicide in February of 1963, when she was only thirty-one years old. All of the events she experienced were formed into words on paper, as she confessed every horrible aspect of her short life.Plath showed her feelings and thoughts through her poetry. She incorporated individual suffering, despair, personal identity, oppression, and the certainty of death into her poems. During her life, Plath tried to put forth a strong female identity. She also struggled to balance her marital, familial, and career aspirations. She tried to be the perfect wife, mother, and poet all at once. This led to much stress and also depression later on when she realized she could not do it all. Plath wrote poetry to capture everything she felt, and to illustrate the path that led her to her final destruction. According to A. L. Alvarez, "the very source of Sylvia Plath's creative energy was her self-destructiveness"(415).Although Plath wrote many poems, only some were published during her lifetime. These poems were in a book called The Colossus. They were from the mid to late 1950's. Ariel was a selection of poems published by Ted Hughes after her death. The poems were from the final moths before her suicide. The showed the pain she was experiencing every day in public and in private, and also domestic oppression she had gone through. Winter Trees...

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