sylvia plath

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  • 1.SylviaPlathFreak! of the Week

2. Early LifeOtto Plath died on November5, 1940, a week and a half after Plaths eighth birthday.Plath experienced a loss of faith after her fathers death, and remained undecided about religion throughout her life.Born October 27th, 1932 inBoston Her mother was Aurelia Aurelia Plath moved herSchober Plath and her fatherchildren and her parents to Otto Emile Plath.26 Elmwood Road, Wellesley, Massachusetts in 1942. In 1936 the family moved toWinthrop, Massachusetts.While living in Winthrop, Plath attended Bradfordeight-year-old PlathSenior High School in published her first poem inWellesley, graduating in the Boston Heralds1950. childrens section. 3. CollegeIn 1950, Plath attended Smith She was rejected forCollege.admission to the Harvardwriting seminar.She edited The Smith Reviewand during the summer after Made her first medicallyher third year of college.documented suicide attempt inlate August, 1953.Awarded the coveted position of guest editor atShe spent the next six months Mademoiselle magazine, and in psychiatric care. spent a month in NYC. The experience was her She spent the next six monthsinspiration for The Bell Jar.in psychiatric care. 4. Plath seemed to make a goodrecovery and returned to She obtained a Fulbright college and in June, 1955, scholarship to Newnhamshe graduated from Smith with College, Cambridge.highest class honors.At Newnham, she studied with Dorothea Krook. She continued activelyShe spent her first yearwriting poetry and publishing winter and spring holidays her work in the studenttravelling around the newspaper Varsity. continent. 5. MarriagePlath met Ted Hughes in The couple moved back to the Cambridge at a party. United Kingdom in December 1959 and lived in London.A few months later the couplewere married on June 16, 1956Their daughter Frieda was at St George the Martyrborn on 1st April, 1960.Holborn in the London Boroughof Camden. In February 1961, Plaths second pregnancy ended in They both became deeply miscarriage. interested in astrology andthe supernatural, using OuijaIn that August that family boards. moved to Court Green in the town of North Tawton inPlath and Hughes traveledDevon.across Canada and the US, staying at the Yaddo artistHer son Nicholas was born in colony in New York State inJanuary 1962. the Autumn of 1959. 6. In 1961, the couple rentedIn December 1962, shetheir flat in Chalcot Squarereturned alone to London with to Assia and David Wevill.their children, and rented aHughes was immediately struckflat on a five year lease inwith the beautiful Assia.a house where William Butler Yeats once lived. In June Plath had had a caraccident which she described as one of many suicide The winter of 1962 was one ofattempts. the coldest in 100 years; thepipes froze, the childrennowIn July 1962, Plath two years old and nine discovered Hughes had beenmonthswere often sick, andhaving an affair with Wevill the house had no telephone;and in September the couple her depression returned. separated. 7. Career In 1957 Plath taught at SmithDuring the summer of 1962,College, her alma mater.Hughes began to keep bees, which would be the subject of In 1958 Plath took a job as a many Plath poems.receptionist in theBeginning in October 1962,psychiatric unit of Plath wrote most of her poems Massachusetts General for the collection Ariel,Hospital and in the evening which her reputation now took creative writingrests upon. seminars given by poet RobertLowell. Her depression returned but she completed the rest of her In October, 1960, Plath poetry collection which would published her first be published after her deathcollection of poetry, The in 1965. The Bell Jar came Colossus and in August she out in January 1963,finished the Bell Jar. published under the pen nameVictoria Lucas. 8. StyleHer works werent reallyHer earlier poems wereappreciated until after hercomposed slowly and withThe controlled death.great care, while her later flow of imagespoems were written at acombined with theUnique uses of rhythm and structure of thesegreater and increasing speed. meter. poems successfullyThemes of feminist criticism. Plath would speak these poems draws the readerin "her own voice" as she into that She uses the technique of wrote them. suffering."doubling," and hasdistinctive approach to She handled very painful andThe use of parody characterization.intense subjects such as and black humor suicide, self-loathing, rescues herThe syntactic and visual Nazis, shock treatment,poetry from totalirregularities together dysfunctional relationships, pathos.create an unsettlingand homicidal iron tanks.experience. 9. FREAKShe was obsessed with death. She dealt with ongoing depression and was checkedHer first suicide attempt was into hospitals and seeing at the age of 20 while she psychiatrists on and off was attending school inthroughout her life.Cambridge by sleeping pills.Her son committed suicide in Her 2nd suicide attempt was 2009, which suggests that right before she found out their depression was Hughes was having an affair genetically based. with Assia, by auto crash.Her poems deal with heavy Her 3rd, and successful,subjects like suicide, selfsuicide attempt was by COdissatisfaction, andpoisoning, dying with her unhappiness in relationships.head in the oven. 10. The MirrorI am silver and exact. I have nopreconceptions.What ever you see I swallow immediatelyJust as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.I am not cruel, only truthful---The eye of a little god, four-cornered.Most of the time I meditate on the oppositewall.It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at itso longI think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.Faces and darkness separate us over andover.Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,Searching my reaches for what she reallyis.Then she turns to those liars, the candlesor the moon.I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.She rewards me with tears and anagitation of hands. 11. The Mirror is a poem about the difficulty ofaccepting the truth, especially the inevitableprocess of age and time. The poem ischaracterized from the perspective of the mirroritself with the relationship of one specific woman.When the mirror describes itself as a little god itpersonifies its powerful ego and also like it enjoysthe power if has over the woman. In the secondstanza the mirror transforms into a lake and theimportance of this transformation is that a lakeisnt as exact as mirror; a lake involves moredepth. She refers to the candles and moon asliars because they do not give off enough light toreveal a true reflection. The woman feels asthough she has been lied to by the lake when thelast two lines of the poem. The woman is afraidthat one day the lake and the mirror will one dayreflect the exact same image; the mirror reflects aphysical appearance of the girl with her beautyand the because you have to look deeper into thelake, it reflects who the girl really is on the inside.By this the girl feels conflicted and confusedabout who she really is. One of the mostimportant messages that Sylvia Plath is trying toget across is that beauty is nice, but superficial.She is sending a message to the growingsuperficiality of todays society and tells us thatbeauty is nice but soon fades and the only thingyou have left to yourself is your character. Thispoem was written in 1961, not too long after shefound out that her husband, Ted Hughes, washaving an affair on her with Assia Wevill, whocaught Teds attention by her beauty. I believe thispoem reflects the despair of Sylvia and how much