Once Esther returns home to Boston, she becomes an empty shell of a woman, brought down by the outer world’s expectations. People expect her to live the all-American dream by becoming a housewife but the protagonist does not give in to the American prospects, but instead she cuts ties to everyone...
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...he idea of singularity is clearly there. Esther is singled out, due to her own inability to function normal within American society, while the audience is singled out by the author of “The Applicant”. The poem embodies the oppression, placed on Americans from societal expectations. “Now your head, excuse me, is empty,” (26) explains that as a culture, no one has a brain until it is filled with what society wants from them. “Will you marry it, marry it, marry it?” (40) symbolizes the marriage between oppression and American society. If the reader does not fulfill the needs of society, the reader will be a social outcast, much like Esther Greenwood.
Esther’s black patent shoes are representative of a few things in Plath’s novel; the oppression in the protagonist’s life and the materialism, which are both present throughout Plath’s poem and autobiographical novel.
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