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Analysis of Stings by Sylvia Plath

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Length: 536 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Price: $14.95
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In lines 51-60 of “Stings,” imagery, allusion, and antithesis are employed by the author, Sylvia Plath, to develop her attitude towards men. In this section of “Stings,” Plath uses the “queen bee” as a symbol of herself -- a fiery, angry, vengeful daughter who rises up in spite of the man (her husband Ted) described in lines 38-50.

Because much of Plath’s work is confessional poetry, it can be analyzed not only by her use of poetic devices but by her personal history as well. This poem was written on 21 May 1962, the day after a weekend visit by some friends of the family, the Wevils. Sylvia sensed an attraction between her husband Ted and Assia Wevil, which may have provided the motivation for much of “Stings.” Lines in this section of the poem, especially lines 51-52 (“They thought death was worth it, but I / Have a self to recover, a queen”) indicate Sylvia’s desire to assert her independence, not only from Ted but from all the other female bees, who die when they sting -- “sting” in this case meaning sacrificing themselves for men. From this standpoint, “Stings” can be seen a...

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