Sylvia Plath's Poetry: Feminine Perfection



"Almost all of Sylvia Plath's poems seem to be written by a perfectionist.", writes Marcia Dahlman in Being Perfect. Plath transmutes the domestic and the ordinary into the hallucinatory, the utterly strange. Her revision of the romantic ego dramatizes its tendency toward disproportion and excess, and she is fully capable of both using and mocking the heightened sense of self, as she does in her poem "Lady Lazarus". Just as Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus (John 11.1-45), so too Sylvia Plath says,
"Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well. (43-45)".
Many women can relate to this ideal and can see themselves in Plath's poetry. Sylvia Plath had high ...

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to treat), Plath was only eight years old, this was the crucial event of her childhood. In her poem "Daddy" we see Plath's imaginative transformations of experience into myths where the figure of her Prussian father is transformed into an emblem for masculine authority.

"Every woman adores a fascist,
The boot in the face the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you." (48-50)

Sylvia Plath wanted to become a writer at a time when women were expected to devote their lives to homemaking and mothering; this added to Sylvia Plath's self-doubt in her choice of a career. By the time she entered college on a scholarship in 1950 she already had an impressive list of publications, and while at college she wrote over four hundred poems. During the summer following her junior year at college, Plath nearly succeeded in killing herself by swallowing sleeping pills. In her poem "Daddy" she states, "At twenty I tried to die" (58).
After a period of recovery involving electroshock and ...

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Added: 3/11/2006 04:21:04 AM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 885
Pages: 4

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