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The Paralelle Lives Of Anne Sexton And Sylvia Plath

1320 words - 5 pages

"Any writer, any artist, I'm sure is obsessed with death, a prerequisite for life" -Anne SextonThroughout time artists have always been known as a bit eccentric. Because they are a thinking class, their minds expand a bit farther, a bit more abstractly, than what most would consider the "norm." Thus, their opinion on certain things may seem a little strange to the average onlooker. One area where artists' ideas have been identified as especially strange is where death is concerned. This is no different for those artists whose craft is that of the literary arts. For centuries writers have written about their own ideas, and obsession pertaining to death. Poets in particular have always seemed to be especially enamored with this theme. Though most have entertained their strange morbid obsessions and still carried about their lives, some harbor fixations so strong, that it proves stronger 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 scarred her permanently. She was close to her father and as a child looked at him as a God of sorts. When he passed away, she was not ready to live without him and never really let him go. The detrimental effect of this however, did not surface for years to come.At age eight she also published her first works in the Boston Sunday Herald. Aside from her father's death her life seemed to progress flawlessly throughout her adolescence. She continued to publish her works all the while remaining an active drama student, National Honors Society Member, and an editor for her school newspaper. After high school she went on to Smith College on a scholarship. In her first year she won third prize in the Seventeen magazine writing contest. Shortly after that she made her first attempt at suicide.Sylvia was there after committed to a hospital where she underwent intense psychiatric treatment and electroconvulsive therapy. After her discharge she began to write more than ever, her work becoming progressively more dark and melancholy. In 1956 she married British poet Ted Hughes and together they had two children. Two years after the birth of their second child however Sylvia's depression became more than Hughes could bear and he divorced her. Sylvia spiraled into a deep depression after this, contemplating suicide more often than ever.During this time Sylvia wrote some of her most haunting work. She begins to depict death almost as a friend, a welcome opposition to living. She felt she had already killed herself in a figurative sense, through her disatachment to normal everyday life, that her actual death would simply be the next step. In...

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