Essay about Sylvia Plath's Life and How It Influenced Her Poetry

Essay about 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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...or 50.3 (1992): 189. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Gioia, Dana, and X.J. Kennedy. Backpack Literature. New Jersey: Pearson, 2012. Print.
Kehoe, John. "Young, Talented, And Doomed: The Life Of Sylvia Plath." Biography 3.5 (1999): 88. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Lant, Kathleen Margar. "The Big Strip Tease: Female Bodies And Male Power In The Poetry Of Sylvia Plath." Contemporary Literature 34.4 (1993): 620. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.
Lindberg-Seyersted, Brita. "`Bad' Language Can Be Good: Slang And Other Expressions Of Extreme Informality In Sylvia Plath's.." English Studies 78.1 (1997): 19. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.
Phelps, H.C. "Plath's Daddy." Explicator 52.4 (1994): 249. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Plath, Sylvia. "Daddy." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.

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