Slyvia Plath

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade January 2002

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Sylvia Plath will always be remembered as the wife of Ted Hughes and as a woman who took her own life. This information makes it increasingly difficult to separate the poetry from the woman as the facts of her life can indeed form a commentary on the word's she wrote. It must also be noted that although her poetry is littered by autobiographical facts, Plath also strives to distance herself. I have chosen to discuss Lady Lazarus and Daddy. In this essay I hope to show how the poet Plath uses the holocaust to distance herself from the poetry and more importantly bring the reader closer to the subject. Plath's critics have condemned her use of the horrific trauma suffered by the Jew's to personify the trauma of the speaker in her poems. Plath writes powerful and disturbing poetry not only because of the information available on her life but that she manages to harness her own tragedy to provide commentary on loss and suicide.

Plath's poem "˜Daddy' is a poem, which has caused disturbance, admiration and outrage. In the poem we are introduced to the "˜ ghastly statue' already encountered in "˜ The Colossus'. Plath introduces a speaker who tries to come to terms with the loss of her Father. This theme has already permeated much of Plath's poetry yet in this occasion we are introduced to a speaker who wishes for revenge. Someone who has been robbed of identity, who's plight to come to terms with the loss of a God like figure becomes a fantasy of revenge and even sado-maschocistic yearnings. Here we are introduced to the distancing Plath uses to come to terms with her own struggles yet at the same time making it obviously clear that she is not the speaker present. James E Young...