"The Tender Place" By Ted Hughes

989 words - 4 pages

"The Tender Place" is an affectionate poem in which Ted Hughes contemplates and describes the Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) inflicted on Sylvia Plath. The human impulse behind this poem is to bring across the negative impact and effects this anti-depression therapy has on her. Through this poem, the horror and needless destruction that such therapy implicates is conveyed very impressively.In the first lines, Ted Hughes refers to Sylvia Plath's temples, where the electrodes for ECT are placed, as "the tender place". The word "tender" reveals the fragility and delicacy of this place or even of her body as a whole. The electro shocks contrast harshly with the place where they are given, already suggesting the brutality of it all.As the speaker carries out an experiment to see the effect of electricity of a twelve-volt battery on a file, he states that "it exploded like a grenade". This hyperbole brings across very efficiently that the speaker is amazed at how powerful these small electro shocks can be and makes the reader question what destructive effect it then could have on a brain when it is more powerful. Other very powerful images are similarly used by Ted Hughes to bring across what he imagines is happening in her brain, merely, violent explosions, burning and pain. The fact that he states "they" did it, suggests a desire to condemn these characters. This is also brought across in the fifth and sixth line through the repetition of "Somebody", as if he wished he could use names, showing the frustration of not being able to do so:"They crashed The thunderbolt into your skull"The doctors' carelessness is brought across in the tenth and eleventh line. He suggests that they were not concerned about her as a person, but simply about whether her teeth were still whole. Ted Hughes cleverly mentions the teeth to inform the reader that losing her teeth was truly possible, adding to the horror of ECT and making it seem insanely brutal:"They hovered again To see how you were, in your straps. Whether your teeth were still whole."Throughout the whole poem, Ted Hughes talks about the Electroconvulsive Therapy inflicted on Sylvia, as if she had not done it voluntarily but was done to her forcefully against her will. This idea is particularly emphasised in the fourteenth line, where Ted Hughes uses the word "pushed", which has connotation of obligation and unwillingness. The word "squirm" used to describe the sensation, again reminds us of the electricity passed through her body and gives the reader the image of a twisting and contorted motion and the struggle that such movement implicates."Again feeling nothing Except feeling nothing pushed to feel Some squirm of sensation."In the next line the speaker suggests that she has become the personification of terror at the perspective of the electro shocks that await her. Ted Hughes refers to them as "lightnings", again...

Find Another Essay On "The Tender Place" by Ted Hughes

Analysis of ted hughes the min

816 words - 3 pages When you read the writings of Hughes in Birthday Letters there is a sense of the depth of the immense grieving and pain underlying each word and meaning. Disguised in his poetry, these reminiscing situations bring the story behind them to light in a maze of metaphors exposing the years of thoughts held back by a inner dam of media martyrdom and regrets in Hughes. In The Minotaur and Robbing Myself the poet reveals times and lives where he once

Stylistic Devices in Hawk Roosting by Ted Hughes

892 words - 4 pages third stanza. In the poem, all actions are targeted towards the egocentric and individualized I-figure. The selfishness running through the poem is very much telling in its implications for the human world. With this poem, Ted Hughes is trying to show us how human beings are really like. Like the hawk, human beings seem to think that they are perfect of creation and that everything is there just for them, grabbing whatever opportunity presents

Hawk Roosting Analysis by Ted Hughes - English - Essay

636 words - 3 pages pleasure. In both stories, the narrators romanticize the societies, but to maintain this euphoric state an individual must severely suffer. The differences of “The One’s Who Walk Away from Omela”, by Ursula K. Le Guin and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson appear to be rather minor, when comparing the startling similarities. A substantial similarity is that both stories start off as bright and happy environments. Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from

Comparison of "Thistles" by Ted Hughes and "Mountain Lion" by D.H Lawrence

1446 words - 6 pages Q: Poets are often concerned with the connections between man and the natural world. Choose two poems and explain how the poets' attitudes are conveyed through the choice of language."Thistles" effectively shows how Ted Hughes is able to use an extended and sustained metaphor of a negative facet of nature in order to portray the destructive, repetitious nature of man. The choice of subject for this metaphor, representing mans' brutality is also

COMMENT IN DETAIL ON THE POEMS BY TED HUGHES. AS A FINAL CONCLUSION, CHOOSE TWO OTHER POEMS WHICH DEAL WITH THE SAME THEME AND DISCUSS AND COMPARE THEM WITH HUGHES' POEMS

1364 words - 5 pages The poems by Ted Hughes all have the same common theme, nature. He was born to a working class family in a small mining town in Yorkshire, and was obsessed with and became famous for describing the power and mystery of animals as well as the deep world of nature. Although these poems could be seen as a literary tradition, they could also be a vehicle for discussing other issues that are present in each poem itself.Thought-Fox is about the

Decay in Tender is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2878 words - 12 pages Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934, Tender is the Night is a story about human decadence and the degeneration of love and marriage due to excess. Fitzgerald wrote his symbolic novel during the 1920s, the “Jazz Age” before the great depression- the time period that clearly indicated how living excessively and recklessly has serious and destructive consequences. The novel exemplifies some of the values and vices that are still present in

Ted Hughes' Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow

2788 words - 11 pages with introspection (and the reading of this collection), we see that we are also trapped by something; whether it is fate, society, or ourselves--we are trapped.  Still, like Crow, we see the world as limited; yet, we still wish to be individualistic in our ways, hoping that we can escape the monotony of the world.       Many authors try to tell what Ted Hughes is trying to say through his collection.  Of course, they do not truly know

The Power of Nature in Ted Hughes´ Poems Wind and Thistles

657 words - 3 pages Both Ted Hughes' poems, Wind and Thistles, show a theme of the power of nature. In Wind, Hughes shows the effects that a violent storm has upon a house and the landscape around it. In contrast, in Thistles Hughes presents a poem about people who are constantly oppressed by their enemy and, like the thistle, never give up. While both poems are about different things, they both explore the power that nature possesses. However, in Wind, Hughes

Twentieth Century Aesop’s Fables: How Ted Hughes Presents Modern Man through the Non-Human

1729 words - 7 pages and putting them on a pedestal, saying that animals are superior to us because they follow their wild instinct. In fact, the image of animals he creating represents modern society. In the same way as Aesop in ancient Greek portraying human traits through animals, Ted Hughes uses animals as representative of man in the world after The Second World War. However, he portrays both behavior and instinct which are subdued by social values and laws

Critical appreciation of Ted Hughes' "Thistles" and his intentions on writing the poem

710 words - 3 pages Ted Hughes is a renowned, restrained poet for his ability to be intricate, and his concealment of emotion in insignificant forms of life. In the poem, Thistles, Hughes personalizes Thistles; such trivial plant, to successfully evoke the lives of human beings, while emphasizing nature's dominance over men. The poem also deals with the idea of history being repeated in a cycle, the dead being "resurrected". Such complex ideas are effectively

A Comparative Study Of Poetry By Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Frost, Ted Hughes, And A Song By John Lennon

1583 words - 7 pages reflective poems, 'This Lime Tree Bower My Prison', and 'Frost At Midnight'. These notions about journeys are also evident in Robert Frost's 'The Road Not Taken', Ted Hughes' 'The Jaguar', and lastly John Lennon's 'Imagine'.Inviting the responder, and demonstrating his own Romantic ideals about nature and the importance of freedom of the imagination, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem 'This Lime Tree Bower My Prison' presents an introspective journey

Similar Essays

The Jaguar By Ted Hughes Essay

790 words - 3 pages This poem 'The Jaguar' was written by Ted Hughes, he tries to capture the mood of a post war, 1950's zoo. He depicts the animals as hot, lazy and lethargic. This is because they have been captive for a long stretch of time. The animals are not lively but are dull and lifeless. He uses the expression 'stinks of sleepers from the breathing straw' to show this. He then unveils the jaguar as being live and vivid. 'At a jaguar hurrying enraged.' 'The

Ted Hughes' 'the Jaguar' Essay

2427 words - 10 pages Ted Hughes' 'The Jaguar' How effectively does Hughes convey the power of the jaguar? Ted Hughes’ poem ‘The Jaguar’ describes the animals in a zoo and their lifestyles. It also compares them to the jaguar, which is an animal that lives differently to the others in the way that it views its life. The poem depicts the jaguar as powerful, but in what way? The first line of Ted Hughes’ poem the jaguar is: “The apes yawn and adore their fleas

Poetry Commentary 'hawk Roosting' By Ted Hughes

531 words - 2 pages "Hawk Roosting", by Ted Hughes is a poem that focuses upon a benevolent hawk, who believes that the world belongs to him. The poem written in first person as a dramatic monologue, creates a comparison in the readers mind, between the hawk and an egoistic dictator.In the opening lines of the poem, a very negative impression is given, beginning with the visually threatening lines: "Between my hooked head and hooked feet". This image has a strong

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