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World Authors Project - Sylvia Plath

Themes

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Prevalant Themes in Plath's Poetry

Sylvia Plath is often referred to as a feminist because her poems contained many messages pertaining to the equal rights of women. Before marriage Plath was extremely promiscuous; she believed in sexual equality for both genders. Her collection of poems, Ariel dared to poke fun at the way female poets were perceived in her era. She was the Spice Girls of her day so to speak (Girl Power). Her poems always stressed the nature of men to betray, and the natural response of women to stay unfalteringly by their side.

The real commentary can be seen in the way Plath lived her life. After the death of her father she managed to put herself through college and pursue an education yet the longing for a father drove her to madness. She managed to be successful, have children, and live alone yet the betrayal of Hughes was more than she could bear. This lead to her death, Plath’s ultimate social statement, that it is impossible for a woman to live happily through the hardships life ultimately hands to her. Perhaps this served against her purpose, disheartening her readers rather then lifting them higher, but perhaps that was Plath’s motive all along; to convince her gender to just give up.

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World Authors Project - Sylvia Plath - Sarah Zemach