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The Rival

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by

Daenna Garcia

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of The Rival

by Sylvia Plath The Rival Sylvia Plath The Rival Poetic Elements Well, Who is she referring to? More Poetic Elements Back to the Poem Born in 1932
In Boston, Massachusetts
To parents Otto Plath and Aurelia Schober
Her father died when she was 8
Won scholarship to Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts
At age 20 she was almost succeeded in committing suicide
Won scholarship to study abroad in Cambridge, England
She soon after married Ted Hughes
She had two children named Frieda and Nicholas
She found out about her husband's affair in 1962
She kicked Ted Hughes out of the house
About eight months later, on February 11, 1963, she committed suicide. If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
You leave the same impression
Of something beautiful, but annihilating.
Both of you are great light borrowers.
Her O-mouth grieves at the world; yours is unaffected,

And your first gift is making stone out of everything.
I wake to a mausoleum; you are here
Ticking your fingers on the marble table, looking for cigarettes,
Spiteful as a woman, but not so nervous,
And dying to say something unanswerable.

The moon, too, abases her subjects,
But in the daytime she is ridiculous.
Your dissatisfactions, on the other hand,
Arrive through the mailslot with loving regularity,
White and blank, expansive as carbon monoxide.

No day is safe from news of you
Walking about in Africa maybe, but thinking of me Mood: It feels cold, empty, and dark.

Tone: The author speaks about the subject in a negative way

Told in 3rd, 2nd, and 1st point of view. Allusion: "...your first gift is making stone out of everything." It alludes to the Greek gorgon Medusa who would turn anyone who looked at her into stone

Simile: "Your dissatisfactions... [are] ...as expansive as carbon monoxide."

Personification: "Her O-mouth grieves at the world"

Conceit: She compares the [unnamed] subject to the moon. Some say it's her mother, Aurelia. While others speculate that it is about her husband Ted Hughes. Ted Hughes was a writer himself, and in one of his poems, Sylvia Plath had a fever. The last line of his poem, titled "Fever," is: "I said nothing. The stone man made soup.
The burning woman drank it." He refers to himself as "the stone man," and in "The Rival," Sylvia Plath says, "And your first gift is making stone out of everything." If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
You leave the same impression
Of something beautiful, but annihilating.
Both of you are great light borrowers.
Her O-mouth grieves at the world; yours is unaffected,

And your first gift is making stone out of everything.
I wake to a mausoleum; you are here
Ticking your fingers on the marble table, looking for cigarettes,
Spiteful as a woman, but not so nervous,
And dying to say something unanswerable.

The moon, too, abases her subjects,
But in the daytime she is ridiculous.
Your dissatisfactions, on the other hand,
Arrive through the mailslot with loving regularity,
White and blank, expansive as carbon monoxide.

No day is safe from news of you
Walking about in Africa maybe, but thinking of me Questions or Comments? Thank You For Watching!
Full transcript