How Sylvia Plath's Life is Reflected in the Poems Daddy, Morning Song, and Lady Lazarus

2250 Words9 Pages
How Sylvia Plath's Life is Reflected in the Poems Daddy, Morning Song, and Lady Lazarus Sylvia Plath has had an "exciting" life, if I can use this word. Her father died from an undiagnosed diabetes when she was eight. At the same time, a short couplet that she wrote was published in the Boston Sunday Herald. Later, she won scholarships to study in Smith, Harvard, and finally Cambridge. There, Plath married Ted Hughes, who was a good poet, too. What amazes me in her life is that she had attempted suicide three times, once every ten years. In 1963, she succeeded in killing herself as she gassed herself to death. In an outsider point of view I always wonder how a woman with so much going for her would want to end her life: though her husband's infidelity, she was nevertheless successful--her poems appeared in various prestigious newspapers and magazines, and she was even invited to teach English in Smith College. Plath's death has been subject to unending analysis and interpretation, framed by the kind of inquiry that usually guides classroom literary discussions. What was Plath's intention? What did her suicide mean? What did it reveal about her family, her society, her time, her sex, herself? Two years after her death, "Ariel" was published. This small book includes Plath's poems written not long ago before her death. She wrote about the crucial issues of her life, but she made outstanding art from those issues. In foreword, Robert Lowell writes that "Though lines get repeated, and sometimes the plot is lost, language never dies in her mouth…Everything in these poems is personal, confessional, felt, but the manner of feeling is con... ... middle of paper ... ... vampire probably suggests Otto Plath's study of parasites, "Muscid Larvae of the San Francisco Bay Region Which Sucks Blood of Nesting Birds", a study that documents the endurance, tenacity, and enormous destructiveness of these larvae. This may also explain why Sylvia Plath uses "Frisco Seal" in the first place: not only because there are seals in San Francisco, but also because this is the place where her father conducted his research on muscid larvae. The vampire here also refers to Hughes, whose marriage with Plath had lasted for seven years. At last, Plath decides to slay the two images which have always haunted her peace of mind: "There's a stake in your fat black heart/And the villagers never liked you./They are dancing and stamping on you./They always knew it was you./Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through."

More about How Sylvia Plath's Life is Reflected in the Poems Daddy, Morning Song, and Lady Lazarus

Open Document