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

The Broken Heart Of Sylvia Plath

2204 words - 9 pages

The Broken Heart of Sylvia Plath

"Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well."

Sylvia Plath has long been recognized as a poetic icon. After committing suicide in her thirties, many of her previously unrecognized works gained notoriety and praise. Throughout her life, she struggled to be accepted into the literary world. After writing many poems, short stories and "The Bell Jar," she remained unsatisfied with the success and momentum she gained with each, and took her own life. It is through her words we see a woman that used her writing as a means of expression, many times expressing grief, sadness and anger. Plath began writing a series of poems shortly before her death that provide is with an opportunity to see the internal conflicts she felt. Many of these poems focus on death and suffering. Plath uses death imagery in poems found in Ariel to represent her need to escape reality and therefore dissociate herself from emotional and physical existence. I will show how Plath's life experiences and more importantly, her reactions to them, have contributed to her depressive, death-obsessed state. I will also provide examples from several of her poems demonstrating Plath's use of death imagery and analyze why it is used in the way that it is. Lastly, I will show how many of her poems from Ariel demonstrate Plath's self-loathing, and her need to feel a sense of success-even if that success comes from an accomplished suicide.

Although Sylvia Plath had many opportunities throughout her life, and accomplished what many only dream of, we see how the few tragedies she did endure, affected her. At age eight her father died from complications related to diabetes. Plath had been very close to her father, and while not much is mentioned of him in "The Bell Jar," the book that is thought to be Plath's autobiography, we see the internal struggles she felt over his death in her poems found in Ariel.One of her highly acclaimed poems "Daddy," shows her sadness and anger surface. This poem is written in an angry tone, as if she is struggling to understand something that is unclear to her- primarily the death of her father. Plath attempted suicide twice prior to writing the poems found in Ariel, and we see her expressing a need to die so that she can be with her father again. "I was ten when they buried you/At twenty I tried to die/And get back, back, back to you/I thought even the bones would do" (51). We see in these lines how the loss of her father has affected her life. When she says, "I thought even the bones would do" she is lacking realistic thought. She feels that just having some small portion of her father back would provide her with a sense of happiness, although it is highly evident this is not possible. This shows Plath's confusion over her father's death and her need to feel close to him. Later we see her speaking of a relationship that resembles more a marital one than that of...

Find Another Essay On The Broken Heart of Sylvia Plath

Biography of Sylvia Plath Essay

1245 words - 5 pages 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

Biography of Sylvia Plath Essay

1678 words - 7 pages her and her mother. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams and Other Prose Writings (1977) are filled with short stories and excerpts from Plath’s diaries, though Plath changed the way things happened. The Journals of Sylvia Plath (1982) included extensive diary entries throughout her life and also got plenty of critical attention (Draper 2735). The Bell Jar discusses the role of the characters and the episodes. The rising point of the action is the

Confessions of Sylvia Plath

1143 words - 5 pages sort. Living with Ted Hughes, Plath would use a Ouija board to ask questions such as the title of their next poem or the name of their children. She would constantly refer to the spirit within the board as Pan whose “family god was named ‘Kolossus’” which shared a name with her later written poem “The Colossus” (Sylvia Plath's Spirit Guide). The use of the board was never seen as out of the norm in her daily life as Ted Hughes and visitors would

Biography of Sylvia Plath

692 words - 3 pages Sylvia Plath lived in a time where once a woman got married, she was expected to drop all of her career ambitions and become a housewife for her husband. A young woman was expected to marry a rich and successful man, even if she did not really love him. Everything a woman did was for status in society. Plath, often regarded now as a feminist, had faced these problems in her own life and they had even caused her to become clinically depressed

Sylvia Plath The Poet

2449 words - 10 pages 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

Dying is an Art: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath

4299 words - 17 pages "Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call."Sylvia Plath wrote these lines, from her poem "Lady Lazarus," in the winter of 1962 (Barnard 75), only months before taking her own life at the age of thirty (Barnard 23). It is an oft quoted line, containing in it much of the ironic and morbid outlook for which she has become famous

Death and Rebirth In the Poetry Of Sylvia Plath

2145 words - 9 pages now force her to commit herself to the inevitability of life despite the fact that is unwelcome and unbidden by her. By the end of the poem the tulips have transformed even the room that the speaker loved and longed to remain in. It is no longer the winter of the speaker's years; it is spring. The walls have warmed and she feels the beating of her heart "out of sheer love for me" (Plath, Sylvia 6) just like the flowers. (Hardy, Barbara 3) She is

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- Feminine Side of the Feminist Icon"

2123 words - 8 pages Sylvia Plath was a typical example of her generation, inpatient and greedy for life but this description has a bit different meaning. Plath indeed desired artistic fulfilment but she wanted to be an ideal wife and mother at the same time. When Ted Hughes published his first poetry volume "The Hawk in the Rain" she was very happy that she will follow his footsteps. Throughout their marriage she was in the shadow of her husband and we can

The Paralelle lives of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath

1320 words - 5 pages than they, consuming them entirely. Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton are perfect examples of this type of tragedy. Looking now, at their lives and especially their writings, it should be no surprise that both of these women's lives ended at the mercy of their own hands.Sylvia Plath was born in Jamaica Plan, Massachusetts to Otto and Aurelia Plath. Her childhood was a blissful one, until the age of eight when the death of her father occurred. This

The Broken Heart

565 words - 2 pages Imagery in "The Broken Heart" John Donnes' poem "The Broken Heart" is full of imagery, used to portray his broken heart. Donne uses the imagery so we can get a visual picture of what love means to him. He uses the imagery because it's necessary to see a picture of the pain he lives with. Donne uses several aspects of imagery, including death to show his grief and Donne also does uses despair to display his pain.The image of death was used

Similar Essays

The Tragic Life Of Sylvia Plath

1585 words - 6 pages Sylvia Plath Sylvia Plath, an open minded, free spirited author and poet of a variety of many pieces. All of Plath’s poems are inspired by her personal life and how she viewed it. According to Plath, “It is a feeling that no matter what the ideas or conduct of others, there is a unique rightness and beauty to life which can be shared in openness, in wind and sunlight, with a fellow human being who believes in the same basic principles

The Life And Poetry Of Sylvia Plath

1762 words - 7 pages that she does not want to be called as a ‘writer’ because she sees the writers as narcissistic and she does not want to be like them. Instead, she wants to learn something out of the other’s poem, such as removing an organ from body system, sports or anything practical, but not from their own emotional experiences. Also, if she wants to be someone else besides a writer, she mentions that she would like to be a doctor. Sylvia Plath attended Newnham

The Poetry Of Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes

1030 words - 4 pages Panashe Gumbo2014-11-05IB English IIMr A. PavEssay Test: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath & Ted HughesTed Hughes and Sylvia Plath were a couple that largely influenced the literary world through the way they conveyed their poetry to various readers. Not only bound by marriage but also by their similar love of writing, they would go on to create a dimension of poetry that would shake the normal comprehension to what a poem was comprised of in the

Psychoanalytically Analyzing The Poetry Of Sylvia Plath

1932 words - 8 pages The poetry of Sylvia Plath can be interpreted psychoanalytically. Sigmund Freud believed that the majority of all art was a controlled expression of the unconscious. However, this does not mean that the creation of art is effortless; on the contrary it requires a high degree of sophistication. Works of art like dreams have both a manifest content (what is on the surface) and latent content (the true meaning). Both dreams and art use symbolism