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English Culminating- Sylvia Plath Poetry Assignment

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Erica Thompson

on 13 January 2013

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Transcript of English Culminating- Sylvia Plath Poetry Assignment

Sylvia Plath Poetry Assignment English Culminating Task Sylvia Plath was born on October,27,1932 in Boston, Massachusetts to parents, Otto and Aurelia Plath. Both parents came from poor immigrant families, each overcoming personal hardship, and deprivation. Sylvia gave her parents much cause for
pride. She grew to be an attractive,talented,
energetic child who was obviously gifted
intellectually. She knew at a very young age that the best way to get
her parents approval was to achieve as much as she
could in life. Sylvia began to read before the age of three,she knew
how to build models of structures, such as the Taj Mahal
out of building blocks. In 1935 her mother and father, Aurelia and Otto
Plath gave birth to a son, named Warren. In fear, Sylvia had to work extra hard for her parents approval
and attention. Although Sylvia wanted to please both of her parents,
she was most anxious to impress her father,a distant and remote man. Otto was frequently too busy for his family.
He was too busy obsessing over his work. He rarely
ate meals or spent time with his children. At the age of four, Sylvia's dad grew sick with diabetes.
He became very fatigue, moody, and only saw his children for a few minutes each evening in his study. Otto 's condition worsened over time, and he avoided consulting a doctor about it, and when he finally did it was too late. Otto passed away in 1940, when Sylvia was only eight years old. Sylvia was affected deeply by her fathers' passing,
she was angry with her father's desertion in her life. In 1962, twenty-two years after her father's death,
Sylvia Plath wrote perhaps her most famous poem
"Daddy", in which she compares her dead father,
Otto Plath to a nazi, devil, and a vampire. The poem "Daddy" was Sylvia showing her true feelings
toward her father after being ignored after trying her best
to get his approval while he was alive. Sylvia tried her best,
but her father's work was always much more important to him. After reading the Sylvia's poem "Daddy"
some questions I had were: why did she wish to recover him before, but not now? What happened for her to change her mind?
(refer to stanza 3) Why did it seem like she was so afraid of her
father? Aren't fathers supposed to instill a
sense of security in their child's life?
( refer to stanza's five, six, and nine) ``I used to pray to recover you.``
- ``Daddy`` by Sylvia Plath `` I have always been scared of you.``
- ``Daddy`` by Sylvia Plath Some connections I made with the poem were: Like Sylvia, I as well have never been very close to
my father. In the last stanza Plath refers her father as a `vampire`.
I felt like we both have people in our lives that suck the
life and emotion out of us. Another connection I made was with the movie
`Stand by me` in the movie, Gordie, one of the main
characters is rejected by his Dad and mother after his brother dies in an accident. Just like Sylvia her dad never really showed interest in her, and neither did Gordie`s parents after the death of his older brother. I also connected this poem to another character
in the movie ``Stand By Me``. Teddy, another one of the main characters, was also scared of his father, just as Sylvia was. During the poem ``Daddy``Sylvia refers to her fathers attitude as one like Nazi soldiers or Hitler. From this I took in that she thought her dad was an "evil" person in her life who always tried to "kill" her mentally and emotionally by never truly being there for her. ```your aryan eye,bright blue panzer man oh you``
(refer to stanza nine) After reading this quote I related it a lot to Hitler and his army.
Blue eyes were a major characteristic in the Nazi constitution. I interpreted by this quote that Sylvia compared herself and her fathers relationship to one of a Nazi and a jew. Her father being the Nazi, didn`t care how Sylvia felt, or what her emotions were. Never truly knowing what his daughter was like. Sylvia compared her dad to a Nazi because he didn't seem to care about anything but himself. Sylvia compared herself to a jew, a lifeless, person who was controlled,and never in control. She was punished, even though she did nothing wrong, just as the jews were. By calling her father a panzer man, she refers to him
as a military tank, one of the most feared military machines in the war. After the passing of her father, Sylvia and her family
were left with very little money. Her family and her soon moved away to her Grandparents in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Sylvia`s mom ended up going back to full time teaching
and her brother and herself were left in the care of her Grandparents. At this point Sylvia had already lost her Father and she had a sense she had lost her mother as well. For the rest of her life Plath would struggle with
resentment towards her Mother Aurelia,partly
because the dependency her mother brought out in her. Sylvia wrote many poems through out her life directed towards her parents and the hatred she had towards them.
She hated that her father never made an effort in her life while he was around, and never showed love nor cared towards his children. The hatred for her mother began after her father's passing, when her mother abandoned both Warren and herself, and made them live with their grandparents. Sylvia craved her mother's love, attention, and approval; and just like she had always done to get her parents approval and attention, she began striving for success. She got perfect marks through out high school, she won tons of academic awards and even graduated with honors. Sylvia even ended up winning a scholarship to Smith College. She was a role model to many, and she seemed to impress everyone she knew by her intellectual abilities. To many it seemed like Sylvia had it all. Nobody could come
as close to perfection as herself. She was beautiful, intelligent, she succeeded everything she ever tried; It seemed like she could never fail at anything she ever attempted. She won awards, scholarships, and honors. Although it seemed like Sylvia lived the perfect life, her life was far from. She struggled with her thoughts daily. Sylvia struggled with severe bipolar depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. She tended to over think everything she did, which is why she ``perfected```everything, she struggled with her thoughts of never being good enough for anyone or anything, which is why she tried so hard with everything she did, and she panicked over everything she had ever done. Sylvia struggled on a day to day basis with these thoughts, but nobody seemed to know, which is why it took so long for her to ever get help. While at Smith College, Sylvia did an internship at
Mademoiselle magazine as a guest editor in New York City.Shortly after this she attempted her first, and almost successful suicide attempt by overdosing on sleeping pills. During this time she hid in a small space under her porch, where she laid in a coma for two days, until the family had heard her groans and found her. Her experience of this is described in the poem ``The Bell Jar", which was published in 1963.Nobody was entirely sure as to why she may of done this, whether it was stress of working there,her thoughts themselves, or if anything triggered her to do so while working at Mademoiselle Magazine. After this incident, it was was the first time Sylvia had
ever received help for her mental illnesses. Sylvia ended up staying at a mental institution for a couple of months where she was diagnosed with bipolar depression, and anxiety.

After a period of recovery, which involved electroshock, and psychotherapy Plath returned to school where she once again pursued academic and literacy success. Sylvia graduated from Smith in 1955, winning a scholarship to study at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. While studying at Cambridge University Sylvia met her
future husband, Ted Hughes, an English poet. In 1956 the couple married. In 1960 Sylvia also published her first book, The Collosus, in England. Sylvia and her husband Ted, settled for a brief time in a country village in Devon, England. During this time Sylvia gave birth to her children, Frieda, and Nicholas. However, less than two years after the birth of their first child the couple divorced. After Sylvia and Ted divorced Sylvia was left as a single mom, caring for both her children by herself. Sylvia's depression worsened and many thought this was due to the struggles and pain that Ted had put her through during and after their relationship. On February 11th, 1963, Sylvia Plath succeeded in killing herself with cooking gas at the age of thirty. Two years after her death, Ariel, a collection of some her last poems that she had written, were published and edited by none other than Ted Hughes. Sylvia Plath was a strong, independent, intelligent women.
She perfected everything she put her mind to. She wrote over 500 poems in her lifetime, raised two kids on her own, and
had to put up with divorce, separation, and loss her whole life.
Sylvia struggled with her thoughts, and the loss of the mother and father at a very young age. Sylvia was a role model to many, and to this day there are many people who look up to her.
In the poem "Daddy" Sylvia also talks about her ex husband
Ted Hughes. Blaming her father for her bad luck with men in her life. "Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now."

- "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath In that quote Sylvia mentions that she had to put
up with the same things her father had put her through in
her childhood with her ex-husband for the 7 years they were together. By saying " You can lie back down now" I feel as if
Sylvia thought her Dad wished for that to happen, and now that her husband had ruined what they had, he could now rest peacefully. Bibliography:

Sylvia Plath by: Lynne F Chapman
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