The Ways Of Thinking By Sylvia Plath

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The Cold War period allowed for new understandings into the various “Ways of Thinking”, which helped shape the societal paradigms of the era. These revelations in to the new “Ways of Thinking” is evidenced through Sylvia Plath’s poems, “Daddy”, “The Applicant” and “Morning Song”, and John F. Kennedy’s speech, “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” (1963). The composers are effectively able to reflect the “Ways of Thinking” of the period, such as the scientific, religious, philosophical and economic paradigms, in their compositions through various literary techniques. Plath and Kennedy demonstrate the scientific “Ways of Thinking” in their respective texts through highlighting the fear created by the threat of annihilation by the nuclear bomb. Plath is able…show more content…
Plath in her poem “The Applicant” is able to illustrate this through satirizing the conventional role of women during the time period. From the outset, Plath is able to accomplish this through the use of an arresting tone in “First, are you our sort of person?” and the rhetoric reinforces that the person must be able to conform to social standards. Plath is able to continue her criticism of the social norm through playing down the purity of marriage with the use of metaphorical language describing the wife as “in twenty-five years she’ll be silver/ In fifty, gold”, relating the marriage as an investment for the future and the wife as a commodity. Plath reiterates this societal view on the role of women in society by stating “It works, there is nothing wrong with it … it’s your last resort” and the cynical tone is used to restates that the “Ways of Thinking” during the time period objectified women as entities to be won, given away or traded. In conjunction, Kennedy is able to reflect the ethical standards of society in his speech through challenging the core values of Communism, critiquing them as inequitable and unacceptable. He is highly effective in doing so, highlighted in his description of Communism as “An offense not only against History but an…show more content…
Plath uses the notion of consumerism in her poem “The Applicant” to unveil marriage as an institution about the continuation of societal norms. This perception is substantiated through “How about this suit … will you marry it?”, which displays marriage as an investment in society rather than an untainted tradition. This consumerist appeal is furthered through the use of advertising language in “It’s waterproof, shatterproof, proof/ Against fire and bombs through the roof”, which is used to continue the metaphor that marriage is an investment for society. Plath demonstrates marriage as a consumerist element of society reflecting the economic paradigms of the time period. Moreover, Kennedy is able to display the economic “Ways of Thinking” during the time period by comparing Capitalism to Communism. This is illustrated in his statement “democracy is no perfect, but we never had to put a wall up to keep our people in” and the cynical tone is used to highlight the failures of Communism as a system of government. His condemnation of the Berlin Wall reinforces the faults in the Communist system as he assertively describes it as “the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system”. Kennedy presents Communism as inept through accentuating its

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