The poems of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Tell the Story of Unendurable Lives

The poems of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Tell the Story of Unendurable Lives

Length: 617 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The poems of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes tell the story of the lives that have become unendurable.

In the 1950’s women were expected to behave in a certain ways. The poems written by both Plath and Hughes revels the effects of the ideology domesticity 1950’s Britain, on how women were expected to act. Plath’s marriage was a very stressful ‘on the edge’ relationship. The poem ‘The applicant’ reflects how much women were viewed as objects. One quotation supporting this is ‘do you wear, A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch?’ this shows that women had to be perfect for a man, as if you could buy them.

In the applicant Plath writes, ‘it can sew. It can cook. it can talk talk talk’ this reveals that the view of marriage at the time was more of a game than serious relationship. ‘It can sew’ shows that men had no respect for women and just expected them to be perfect.

Plath wrote many poems about motherhood. The poem you’re is about a baby in the mothers womb. She encounters many ‘for’s’ and ‘against’ about her unborn child. She uses many striking similes and metaphors. The poem is like a riddle, she never says the baby is unborn she just gives lots of hints. Plath’s positive and negative feelings about pregnancy are shown in the following quotes. A negative feeling, ‘gilled like a fish’ this shows that the baby can breathe in the mothers womb but if you think deeper it shows that the baby is a alien to the human race. A positive feeling is ‘jumpy as a Mexican bean’ this shows that the baby is joyful and full of energy.

‘Morning song, is a poem about the birth of her baby. Plath’s positive and negative feelings are expreresed in the following quotes. ‘Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue’ this is a positive expression, it shows that People "Ohhh" and "Ahhh" at the baby, ‘new statue’ represents a object that would get lots of attention. A negative expression is ‘In a drafty museum, your nakedness Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls’, this shows that the hospital is like a drafty old museum with many visitors.

‘Edge’ was written on 5th February 1963 six days before she committed suicide. Maybe these poems lead to her death. Plath writes ‘Greek necessity’. Ancient Greeks believed that death was a step to greater knowledge.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The poems of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Tell the Story of Unendurable Lives." 13 Dec 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Confessions of Sylvia Plath Essay

- The 1950s and 1960s were viewed as the start of not just the age of “hippies” but also an age of different revivals and movements that Plath was involved deeply in with her poetry: the revival of the occult and the confessional movement. The revival was seen as a back seat to many of the other movements happening during the ‘50s and 60s and some even say Plath just used it as a metaphor in her poetry. However, with her personal level written poems from the confessional movement combined with the occult we see a deeper side to her life and what was happening in her’s and everyone else’s lives....   [tags: American poet, novelist and short story writer]

Research Papers
777 words (2.2 pages)

Confessions and Conflict in Sylvia Plath's Daddy Essay

- As is true of many Sylvia Plath’s poems, “Daddy” is deeply ingrained in her life experiences. It emphasizes her complex, multidimensional relationship with Otto Plath and the traumatic effect of his death. The speaker despises her late father for his abandonment, yet attempts to achieve independence from this figure who causes much pain and suffering. Through this poem’s structure, themes, and imagery, we can see the development of this constant internal struggle. The speaker in “Daddy” is largely negative and anxious about her predicament....   [tags: poem analysis]

Research Papers
573 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on A Women's Relationship With Men in The Poem Daddy by Sylvia Plath

- Sylvia Plath has brought the attention of many Women’s studies supporters while being recognized as a great American poet. Most of her attention has come as a result of her tragic suicide at age thirty, but many of her poems reflect actual events throughout her life, transformed into psychoanalytical readings. One of Plath’s most renowned poems is “Daddy”. In this poem there are ideas about a woman’s relationship with men, a possible insight on aspects of Plath’s life, and possible influences from the theories of Sigmund Freud....   [tags: women's studies, feminism, gender critics]

Research Papers
1014 words (2.9 pages)

Sylvia Plath: A Novelist and her Brief Life Essay

- ... Upon graduating from high school, Sylvia attended Smith College on a writing scholarship and continued to excel, publishing many works. When Plath was in college in 1953, her downward spiral began. The spiral started off when Plath’s writing internship was not what she expected it would be. Plath was more of a personal assistant than an actual writer. This realization was a sad reality to her because her goal was to be a writer not a personal assistant. This sad reality caused Sylvia Plath to attempt her first suicide....   [tags: Depression, Suicide, Poetry]

Research Papers
703 words (2 pages)

The Dark Life and Confessional Poetry of Sylvia Plath Essay

- By the mid twentieth century, the dominance of post-modernist literature began to decline with the emergence of contemporary poets, who brought with them a new type of perspective within their poetry. These poets—especially those who wrote confessional poetry—established their poetry in a single, unified voice that accentuated intimate human topics such as death, sexuality, and family. An important contributor to contemporary and confessional poetry was Sylvia Plath, who employed personal aspects of her life into her style of confessional poetry....   [tags: Biography ]

Research Papers
2203 words (6.3 pages)

Misery of Sylvia Plath Essay

- Sylvia Plath: Slanting the Scale of Misery It is often the dismal and gloomy poems that compel us as readers to wonder what was occurring in the poet’s mind, rather than the rhymes of flowers and sunshine. Poems about despair and sadness induce our own emotions and generate speculation as to how such negative thoughts transfer from one’s own mind to the paper, maintaining their sense of torment. Sylvia Plath’s inner suffering is effectively conveyed by way of her disturbing images and noticeable language....   [tags: Poetry]

Research Papers
1687 words (4.8 pages)

the bare sylvia plath Essay examples

- The Bare Sylvia Plath Sylvia Plath was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts to middle class parents. Her father was domineering and abusive, he passed away when she was eight years old. This was an extremely difficult incident for Plath to deal with. Although Sylvia Plath's career as a poet was a short one, there is quite a difference between her early poetry and the poetry she wrote in the last six months of her life. She had a limited audience, but became more eminent due to her tragic death....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

A Red Red Spirit Essay

- A Red Red Spirit Life and death, beginnings and endings. The death of one person: the ending of two lives, or the beginning of both. Sylvia Plath, tumbling through madness toward suicide, created a collection of poems titled Ariel, and used the theme poem to express the revelations she had while planning her own suicide. Thirty years later, the man who was blamed for her madness and death - her husband, British poet Ted Hughes - finally responded to the accusations with a set of his own poems he called The Birthday Letters....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Suicide Poetry Poems Essays]

Free Essays
847 words (2.4 pages)

"Sylvia Plath- Feminine Side of the Feminist Icon" Essay

- Sylvia Plath was a typical example of her generation, inpatient and greedy for life but this description has a bit different meaning. Plath indeed desired artistic fulfilment but she wanted to be an ideal wife and mother at the same time. When Ted Hughes published his first poetry volume "The Hawk in the Rain" she was very happy that she will follow his footsteps. Throughout their marriage she was in the shadow of her husband and we can argue whether it was her conscious choice and to what extend it was the result of her times....   [tags: Poetry]

Research Papers
1583 words (4.5 pages)

Precursors to Suicide in Life and Works of Sylvia Plath and Sarah Kane Essay

- Precursors to Suicide in Life and Works of Sylvia Plath and Sarah Kane Introduction We are going to describe factors associated with the suicidal process in lives of Sarah Kane and Sylvia Plath as reflected in the late works of these two female authors who committed suicide when they were 27 and 30 years old. Antoon Leenaars and Susanne Wenckstern (1998) have written: ?Suicide notes are probably the ultrapersonal documents. They are the unsolicited productions of the suicidal person, usually written minutes before the suicidal death.....   [tags: Literature Suicide]

Research Papers
2574 words (7.4 pages)

Maybe she thought that it would apply to her? An example of personification in the poem is ‘Feet seem to be saying: we have come so fat, its over.’ this symbolises that it’s the ‘end’ of the journey, life, that she has had a succsesful life with her poems but she cannot cope any longer.

In the poem ‘pike’, hughes shows his admiration towards the fish in the quote. ‘Pike, three inches long, perfected.’ He shows how much he likes them by the language used. The poet shows his fear towards pike in the quote, ‘killers from the egg: the malevolent aged grin’ he shows this by putting ‘malevolent grin’ this sybolises that they are evil and could possably be the living form of the devil. In an interview about the poem hughes notes that he sees the ‘pike’ as being sybolic of deep, vital life. The interview revels that Hughes’s feelings towards Plath are weird, he dreams about hooking a pike. He quotes ‘as it came up, its head filled the lake’ this may sybolise Plath. A great ‘catch’.

Hughes’s poem ‘lovesong’ was written after plaths death. The date is significant because Plath died and he may be writing about her. In the poem hughesnuses imagary such as ‘jack boots’ this is an aggressive image as Nazis used to wear them.

I do feel the poems left by Plath are the explanation to her suicide because as the poems got closer to her suicide they became more ‘dark’ and deppressing.
Return to