Death can represent a multitude of things. For example, it can be depicted as a villain that will eventually claim everyone, or it could represent the escape from the world that someone has always been seeking. Regardless, dying is the end to everyone’s life. However, the poem "Sylvia 's Death" by Anne Sexton regards thoughts of death as well as the act of suicide as an escape from reality and the problems the world presents. Sexton utilizes organized couplets to resonate the speaker’s depression in order to emphasize the change in tone throughout the poem, which evolves as the speaker accepts the unfortunate news of Plath’s death.
Initially, the speaker articulates a fascination and desire for suicide because she envisions it as a way to escape the troubles life presents. For example, in the seventh couplet, she questions how Sylvia Plath killed herself: “what did you stand by, just how did you lie down into” (13-14). The speaker’s inquisitive tone implies that she has an internal desire to commit suicide like Plath. On the other hand, Sexton conveys extensive envy and frustration towards Plath for leaving her alone in the world. In other words, Sexton is ubiquitously frustrated at Plath for committing suicide without her: “Thief! How did you crawl into, crawl down alone into the death I wanted so badly and for so long” (16-18). The two couplets describe the speaker’s frustration at Plath which stems from her envy towards her for committing suicide alone. Furthermore, the speaker’s depression resonates through the tone because she no longer has the one friend she used to confide in about her dark secrets and longing to commit a final act that would end her life.
Additionally, a wistful desire to comm...
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... journey she has endured. Therefore, the relation of Plath’s death to an old belonging displays how the speaker no longer wants that death, but she still remembers what it feels like to be the person with thoughts of suicide.
Over the course of the poem, the speaker’s emotional journey is revealed through the shifts in tone. Sexton relays the initial sting of a close friend’s death through the speaker’s envious and bitter attitude towards Plath. However, as the news settled in, the speaker had time to reflect on her internal desire to commit suicide, which provided her with insight and a realization of the after effects of death. In conclusion, the self-reflection the speaker experiences throughout the entity of the poem is portrayed through couplets that each contain a different emotion or memory over a single emotional journey which is encompassed by self-discovery.
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