To understand why Plath is placed in the literary category that she is, there needs to be knowledge of her personal life. Born in 1932 in Massachusetts, Plath led a short and tragic life. Even as a young girl she excelled in academics, but her strength and interest was always in writing. Unfortunately, her prose often reflected the misfortunes that she faced. When she was only eight, she lost her father to an illness he had battled for some time.
But the tension between them made Mary suffer from skin boils at the age of thirteen. The skin boils soon disappeared when they were separated from each other. Mary’s father sent her away to live at her aunt’s house, she loved being around all her cousins. Throughout Mary’s childhood she never felt truly loved. One day Mary meet a young poet names Percy Bysshe Shelley at the time Percy was married to a nineteen year old but also felled in love with Mary.
The Broken Heart of Sylvia Plath "Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well." Sylvia Plath has long been recognized as a poetic icon. After committing suicide in her thirties, many of her previously unrecognized works gained notoriety and praise. Throughout her life, she struggled to be accepted into the literary world.
Her poems are commonly criticized because of her own personal relationship to her poems. They also noticed that she is obsessed with death and self-absorption in her poems. In addition, some critics also said that her poems can relate to the Holocaust which shows agony which are viewed gratuitous. However, most critics agree that her poems are from Plath’s personal experiences and ordinary affair that common people go through. Plath is considered as one of the respected poets in American history.
Within this piece of work, Plath uses direct references to how she feels towards her father who was the greatest influence on her poetry. The bond, or lack of, between Sylvia Plath and her “Daddy” is commonly associated with the purpose of her poetry. Her father died when Plath was only ten years old and this created a tremendous amount of stress on the family as her mother was trying to raise her children as a single mother. Her father’s death forced her mother, Aurelia, to work two jobs, sell her home, and move in with her family to support the children. Dealing with the death of a husband is extremely hard to cope with, without the added stressor of a limited amount of money to try to buy food and put a roof over your children’s head.
In February 1960, Sylvia published her first volume of poetry called the “Colossus And Other Poems”. Both poets enjoyed continued success, but were even happier when on April 1, 1960, Sylvia gave birth to her first child, a daughter. A second child, a son, was born to the couple January 17, 1962. It was soon after this second birth that the marriage showed signs of great strain. Sylvia eventually found out that Ted was seeing someone else and she divorced Ted and attempted to continue with a normal life with her two children.
The first being when she was a mere eight years old. The death of her father at the same age greatly affected her relationships and writing style, that can be primarily seen in one of her most infamous poems “Daddy” which depicts her broken relationship with her father and the betrayal she felt after his death. Sylvia, though a seemingly strong woman, let issues greatly affect her which she would express strongly through her literature including her poetry, journals, and novels. From a young age, Plath always insisted on keeping a journal and in an entry dated 20th of June 1958 she wrote "It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative—whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it." This quotation is a well- expressed description of bipolar disorder, (Plath, Sylvia Plath Biography , 2014) and this very disorder inevitably lead to her death.
Sylvia was eight when her dad died from undiagnosed diabetes. Her father death traumatized her for life. Sylva’s career as a writer started shortly after her father death. Since then she worked on her poetry and writings. This put her into much stress a dark world has come for Sylvia.
After losing her father in 1940, Plath and her mother found themselves in a more strained financial situation. This led to feelings of betrayal and resentment toward her father, and partially inspired arguably her most well known poem, “Daddy.” Plath was a brilliant writer from a young age and excelled in school, attending Smith College on scholarship. (Poets.org) As Plath went through late adolescence her depression worsened. It is believed that Plath suffered from bipolar disorder as indicated by her published writing and her journal entries. In an entry dated June 20, 1958, Plath writes “It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative—whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it” (qtd.
Constantakis explains how Otto Plath died from diabetes when Sylvia was only eight and how most of her poetry focuses on her relationship with her father. Plath spent most of time as a child with her younger brother Warren. She was very dedicated to school and always received high grades and awards for her intelligence. September of 1950, Plath began her freshman year at Smith College in Massachusetts. At the end of her third year, she was named guest managing editor of Mademoiselle and given a month’s “working vacation” in New York.