What Is Sylvia Plath's Metaphors '?

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A riddle can be defined as a clever question worded obscurely that is presented to an audience with the intent to make the one questioned think of what its hidden meaning could be without the author explicitly offering its true meaning. In Sylvia Plath’s “Metaphors”, Plath opens her piece presenting her riddle to the audience in the form of a short poem. As the title suggests, the whole poem as a whole is a mixed metaphor. A central idea explored in this poem is the speaker’s overall attitude regarding the solution of the riddle, which is a woman’s mentality and feelings towards her pregnancy. By probing the poem for its mosaic of figurative language combined with word usage and organization, it is apparent the speaker’s attitude shifts to a more repugnant tone as the piece progresses. “Metaphors” is overflowing with literary devices that tie the piece together as a whole. The first stanza of the poem begins with “I’m a riddle in nine syllables” (line 1). This introduces the subject of the poem’s riddle--pregnancy. It already alludes to the theme before she continues with more metaphors to characterize the theme. In this nine-lined poem, each line has a sturdy form of nine syllables. The prevalent nine is not only a metaphor, but it is also an allusion to the length of an average pregnancy—nine months.…show more content…
Although these examples dramatizing the size of a pregnant woman are somewhat playful, the speaker doesn’t seem to be too fond towards her condition; she seems daunted by her appearance. She compares herself to absurdly large, awkward, and disproportionate images. Plath even personifies the melon as she describes it as “strolling” upon two threadlike plant parts, paralleling it to the big belly carried by ostensibly unfit, smaller legs of a woman who is expecting (line

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