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Sylvia Plath's Life and How It Influenced Her Poetry

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Sylvia Plath’s life was full of disappointment, gloominess and resentment. Her relationship status with her parents was hostile and spiteful, especially with her father. Growing up during World War II did not help the mood of the nation either, which was dark and dreary. At age 8 Plath’s father of German ancestry died of diabetes and even though their relationship was never established nor secure, his death took a toll on her. “For Sylvia, who had been his favorite, it was an emotional holocaust and an experience from which she never fully recovered” (Kehoe 90). Since she was so young she never got to work out her unsettled feelings with him. Even at age eight, she hid when he was around because she was fearful of him. When she was in his presence his strict and authoritarian figure had left an overpowering barrier between their relationship. Sadly enough by age eight Plath instead of making memories with her dad playing in the yard she resented him and wanted nothing to do with him (Kehoe). These deep-seated feelings played a major role in Plath’s poetry writings. Along with his “hilterian figure,” her father’s attitude towards women was egotistical and dismissive, uncondemning. This behavior infuriated Plath; she was enraged about the double standard behavior towards women. Plath felt controlled in male-dominated world (Lant). “Because Plath associates power so exclusively with men, her conviction that femininity is suffocating and inhibiting comes as no surprise” (Lant 631). This idea of a male-dominated world also influenced Plath’s writing. Unfortunately, Plath married a man just like her father Ted Hughes. “Hughes abandonment apparently stirred in her the memories and feelings she had struggled with when her ...

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