Death, Personal Experience and the Supernatural in Sylvia Plath's Poetry

Death, Personal Experience and the Supernatural in Sylvia Plath's Poetry

Length: 1988 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

These five poems by Sylvia Plath are all connected by the theme of death, self-loathing, and by the presence of historical and magical concepts. Sylvia Plath uses very powerfully charged imagery of controversial and emotional topics in order to best describe her own life. Most of the poems reflect her own personal life, including the events that she has experienced and, more appropriately, the relationships and emotions that she has felt. Every single one of these five poems uses the word “dead” and the topic of death itself is prevalent in some manner. Of particular interest is the presence of her relationship with her deceased father, and her own reluctance to let go of his memory. Plath's poetry reflects her own self-loathing and disregard for her own existence. Her poems often mention her own attempts at suicide, in addition to her personal experiences with trying to get rid of her suicidal desires. In each of her poems she evokes the images of historical and mythical creatures and concepts linked with the religious and the supernatural. In addition, her poems can be connected by the idea of being held back or held down by some sort of feeling, either of desire for a loved one, escape from mortal existence or of a fantasy world.
In the poem “The Colossus”, Plath is reflecting on her relationship with her father. She depicts him as a giant statue of sorts that has broken into pieces that, despite her efforts, she can never piece back together. This poem reflects her inability to let go of her father despite him being dead for most of her life; she's thirty years old at the time. In one particular line, she says, “Thirty years now I have labored / To dredge the silt from your throat. / I am none the wiser.” (Plath 48-49) The t...


... middle of paper ...


....

Plath, Sylvia. "Balloons." Introduction to English Literature. Comp. Trent University Department of English. Toronto: Canadian Scholars, 2010. Print.

Plath, Sylvia. "Cut." Introduction to English Literature. Comp. Trent University Department of English. Toronto: Canadian Scholars, 2010. Print.

Plath, Sylvia. "Daddy." Introduction to English Literature. Comp. Trent University Department of English. Toronto: Canadian Scholars, 2010. Print.

Plath, Sylvia. "Lady Lazarus." Introduction to English Literature. Comp. Trent University Department of English. Toronto: Canadian Scholars, 2010. Print.

Plath, Sylvia. "The Colossus." Introduction to English Literature. Comp. Trent University Department of English. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press Inc., 2010. Print.

Webster's English Dictionary. Canadian. Toronto: Strathearn Books Limited, 2006. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Sylvia Plath and the Occult Revival Essay

- The 1950s and 1960s were viewed as the start of not just the age of “hippies” but also an age of different revivals and movements that Sylvia Plath involved herself in; one of them being the most underground of the revivals – the occult revival.. The occult revival was seen as a back seat to many of the other movements happening during the ‘50s and 60s and some even say Plath just used it as a metaphor in her poetry. However, by looking at her poems, such as “Lady Lazarus,” “The Kolossus,” and “Daddy,” Sylvia Plath pulls the occult into them as way to communicate her feelings to the living and deceased....   [tags: Spirit Conversations, Poetry]

Term Papers
976 words (2.8 pages)

Sylvia Plath's Lady Lazarus Essay

- “Harsh” and “brutal” are adjectives not often used when speaking of poetry. Be that as it may, there simply are no other words for Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus”. Readers can be, and often are, repulsed by the gruesome imagery (“Soon, soon the flesh/The grave cave ate will be/At home on me”) and offended by the numerous references to the Holocaust (“A sort of walking miracle, my skin/Bright as a Nazi lampshade). Plath’s aggressive metaphors are difficult for many first time readers as are the themes of death, resurrection and vengeance....   [tags: Hamline critical essay]

Term Papers
585 words (1.7 pages)

Confessions of Sylvia Plath Essay

- The 1950s and 1960s were viewed as the start of not just the age of “hippies” but also an age of different revivals and movements that Plath was involved deeply in with her poetry: the revival of the occult and the confessional movement. The revival was seen as a back seat to many of the other movements happening during the ‘50s and 60s and some even say Plath just used it as a metaphor in her poetry. However, with her personal level written poems from the confessional movement combined with the occult we see a deeper side to her life and what was happening in her’s and everyone else’s lives....   [tags: American poet, novelist and short story writer]

Term Papers
777 words (2.2 pages)

Gothic Literature: A Rose For Emily, The Tell Tale Heart, and Daddy Essay

- In William Faulkner’s, “A Rose for Emily, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart,” and Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy”, are endowed with many features that contribute to their gothic form and success. Faulkner’s,” A Rose for Emily” is characterized by a powerful imagery, plot and setting which are interwoven to create a gothic feeling. The story unfolds in Jefferson, the living fragments of a land that is plagued with civil war. Among the remains of Jefferson is Emily’s house which appears to be the summary of what has become of the wealthy and noble in Jefferson....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Sylvia Plath]

Term Papers
970 words (2.8 pages)

Lady Lazarus And Daddy, By Sylvia Plath Essay

- Death is inevitable and a lifelong process in every individual’s life. Most importantly, we are unaware of when or how it will happen and, because death can come at a time when we least expect it, it allows some individuals to fear death. In both poems, Lady Lazarus and Daddy, by Sylvia Plath, show different ways to view death. In Lady Lazarus, Plath talks about the characters attempts to commit suicide. Throughout the poem, we discover that the first time she tried to commit suicide was an accident while her second and third time were intentional....   [tags: Suicide, Suicide methods, Sylvia Plath, Death]

Term Papers
966 words (2.8 pages)

Analysis of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar Essay

- “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” ( http://thinkexist.com/quotes/sylvia_plath/) The Bell Jar is a very complicated book that deals with very complex issues. There are numerous ways this book can be examined this paper will focus on analysis through the use of theories. There are a plethora of different theories that could be utilized to dissect this book this paper will focus on five. The first theory to be discussed is structuralism, this theory is composed of many different branches....   [tags: Sylvia Plath]

Term Papers
2556 words (7.3 pages)

Essay Analysis Of ' Tulips ' And ' A Birthday Present ' By Sylvia Plath

- Within “Tulips” and “A Birthday Present”, Sylvia Plath explores the critical decision of choosing between life and death. Through her inclusion of rhetorical devices, the personification of common-day objects symbolize the return to existence and biblical allusions mock the salvation others receive through religious means. Written in the last few months of her life, the two poems showcase the battle between consciousness and death and while it may seem easier to lose oneself in the bland darkness, the two extremities are frighteningly close....   [tags: Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Death, Sylvia]

Term Papers
1137 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Preparing for Death in Sylvia Plath's Daddy

- Preparing for Death in Plath’s Daddy   Throughout the poem "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath, the author struggles to escape the memory of her father who died when she was only ten years old. She also expresses anger at her husband, Ted Hughes, who abandoned her for another woman. The confessional poem begins with a series of metaphors about Plath's father which progress from godlike to demonic. Near the end, a new metaphor emerges, when the author realizes that her estranged husband is actually the vampire of her dead father, sent to torture her....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Daddy]

Term Papers
1420 words (4.1 pages)

Sylvia Plath's Poetry Essay

- Sylvia Plath's Poetry Wrapped in gaseous mystique, Sylvia Plath’s poetry has haunted enthusiastic readers since immediately after her death in February, 1963. Like her eyes, her words are sharp, apt tools which brand her message on the brains and hearts of her readers. With each reading, she initiates them forever into the shrouded, vestal clan of her own mind. How is the reader to interpret those singeing, singing words. Her work may be read as a lone monument, with no ties to the world she left behind....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Poem Essays]

Term Papers
2871 words (8.2 pages)

Sylvia Plath Essay

- Sylvia Plath was a gifted writer, poet and verbal artist whose personal anguish and torment visibly manifested itself in her work. Much of her angst stems from her warped relationship with her father. Other factors that influenced her works were her strained views of human sexuality, her sado-masochistic tendencies, self-hatred and her traditional upbringing. She was labeled as a confessional poet and biographical and historical material is absolutely necessary to understand her work. Syliva Plath was born on 27, 1963, in Boston, Massachusetts to Otto Emil Plath and Aurelia Schober....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Biography Biographies Essays]

Term Papers
2097 words (6 pages)