Sylvia Plath Research Paper

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Patricia Krueger English 102 11/23/14 Sylvia Plath Sylvia Plath has been viewed as one of the most captivating poets of 20th century. Many of her poetry was written with common themes of pregnancy, motherhood and the rejection of what society believed a women’s role was in creating the facade of a perfect family. Sylvia Plath explores such topics as personal and feminine identity, pregnancy and motherhood through her writings of confessional poetry, with the use of a conflicted tone towards the issue of women and their role in society. Sylvia Plath did not want to be the 1950’s conventional housewife. We know this because she expressed this through her poetry until her untimely death. Sylvia Plath was born on October 27, 1932, to Otto…show more content…
Plath's confessional poetry focuses on the experiences of women by centering on pregnancy and motherhood. The Bell Jar offers an early example of Plath’s work and writings that display her rejection of motherhood and serves as a precursor to the more barefaced rejection of motherhood and pregnancy found in Plath’s later poetry. Many of Sylvia Plath’s poems frequently shared imagery that associated domesticity and motherhood and also the conflicted feelings she possessed when bearing in mind these societal roles. Critics such as Jeanine Dobbs emphasized “Plath’s life and her writing are filled with anxiety and despair over her refusal to choose and instead to try to have–what most males consider their birthright–both.” In The Bell Jar, Ester Greenwood, the main character is actually a representation of Plath herself. A mother daughter relationship is present throughout the novel. The exchanges between the character Ester and her mother are not those typical of a maternal bond. Ester even wishes another character was her mother. She wonders if she even wants to become a mother herself. Is this the life for she will choose or one society will choose for her? Plath fell victim to society and the roles that were placed upon the genders. She conformed to society’s ideas and norms of her time. First, she fell in love, or so she…show more content…
She aspires only to be a poet, shooting down motherhood and marriage in her writing, yet goes through with both, feeling that it is her obligation to do so. Wanting to focus on her career, Plath put down domesticity quite often for holding a woman back from living out her dreams and accomplishing her goals, and instead served her husband and put his wants first. “Purdah” from Ariel. Demonstrates in the tenth and eleventh stanza’s “his, even in his absence” Plath’s feelings of hatred toward domestic roles and her anger towards being in control of her husband. She continues this poem by writing how she will “unloose” from the tight and restrictions of her husband but is still so restricted by the roles in society that this is unlikely to happen. Plath never offers any solutions to the images of domestic roles placed on women by society. She instead seems to continuously dwell on them and use her poetry and writings as a release of her anger. Living with a controlling husband, and having children who take time away from her writing were the last things Plath wanted in her life. Yet, she did marry, she did have children and she did fall victim to society’s ideas of

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