The Transition In Sylvia Plath’s Work

1529 words - 6 pages

Life has been some combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning. --The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

It has been almost 50 years since the American literary community lost one of its greatest treasures, Sylvia Plath. Even in recent days, numerous scholars are still studying many admirable qualities in Plath’s collection of work. She has developed a unique writing style and performed thoroughly at an early age. Over the years, the events of her life highly affect the focus of her work. This transition is evident in her use of colors, object, and most importantly, her purpose for producing each poem. Plath’s development is presented clearly in her juvenilia poem “Female Author” to some of her later pieces, for instance “A Life”.
In Plath’s case, her tragic life is a crucial element that one cannot pass over. Various researchers believe that being able to recognize and study the poet’s life is the key to his or her poems. Glyn Austen agrees when he writes, “Certain key events provide a framework for approaching Plath…death of father, suicide attempt, psychiatric treatment, marriage, childbirth, hospitalization, betrayal, suicide” (Austen). All these factors suggest that emotion is Plath’s fundamental material when it comes to the motivation of her topic.
Although people often associate Plath’s accomplishments with her depression, sadness is not the only theme Plath is known for. The “Female Author” is a good model for Plath’s earlier work even though it was unpublished. It was probably written between her adolescence and her time in college. Plath is full of enthusiasm throughout this stage of her adulthood, as she states, “this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted” (Plath). This expresses her optimism about growing up, and the opportunities that are waiting for her.
Plath’s interest in writing became more than a hobby as it became her instrument to spread her passion for art and her hope of life to the world. She translated her rich, playful imagination into words, which makes the ordinary lines come alive, “All day she plays at chess with the bones of the world: Favored (while suddenly the rains begin, Beyond the window) she lies on cushions curled; And nibbles an occasional bonbon of sin”. Plath expands her idea of what she will be doing as an author in the future.
Transformation of color is another feature that is taking place in “Female Author” The color pink reflects the sense of being a teenage girl, with hope and curiosity about the outside world. Plath writes, “Prim, pink-breasted, feminine, she nurses; Chocolate fancies in rose-papered rooms”. The repeating term “rose” is also another embodiment of Plath herself. She sees her mirror image as the “roses” that “shed immortal blooms” under the “hothouse”, which reflects her own perception of life at this particular time. The...

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