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Sylvia Plath - Sculptor

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Taylor Whyte

on 1 December 2012

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Transcript of Sylvia Plath - Sculptor

Sylvia Plath Imagery Examples Examples Examples Examples Examples Examples Ideas Juxtaposed in Sculptor Themes Main Idea Literary Functions Central Assertion - Juxtaposition
- Imagery
- Allusion The main idea:
- we're not in control of our own life
- death is inevitable and you aren't the one
that controls when it happens
- it deals with philosophy: metaphysics: ontology
- ontology is a specific branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being
- metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that deals with abstract concepts (being, knowing, cause) and it has no basis in reality - good and evil
- heaven and hell
- light and heavy Stanza 2: Hands moving move priestlier
Than priest's hands, invoke no vain
Images of light and air
But sure stations in bronze, wood, stone.
- juxtaposes the images of light and air to the bronze, wood, and stone
- light and heavy comparisons Stanza 3: Obdurate, in dense-grained wood,
A bald angel blocks and shapes
The flimsy light; arms folded
Watches his cumbrous world eclipse
- juxtaposes the dense-grained wood and the eclipse to the flimsy light and the bald angel
- angels are associated with heaven and light images, but the eclipse and the wood are associated with heavy, depressing images Stanza 4: Inane worlds of wind and cloud.
Bronze dead dominate the floor,
Resistive, ruddy-bodied,
Dwarfing us. Our bodies flicker
- juxtaposing the wind and cloud to the bronze dead dominating the floor
- again the comparisons are between the light and heavenly clouds to the heavy bronze dead bodies
- also seems to compare heaven and hell with the dead bodies on the floor referring to hell and the "inane worlds of wind and cloud" referring to heaven
- these could also be referring to different dimensions the Sylvia often uses in her poems - (A bald angel blocks and shapes the flimsy light; arms folded) "watches his cumbrous world eclipse" (3)
- could represent Sylvia's lack of control in her own life
- cumbrous = hard to handle because of size or weight
- "his" in this seems to refer to a God and that we aren't really the ones who control our own world and life, but we know that Sylvia wants to be
- "Our bodies flicker
Toward extinction in those eyes" (4-5)
- could represent Sylvia's fear of growing old and dying
- as well as the lack of control we have as to when
we die - "A bald angel blocks and shapes
The flimsy light; arms folded" (3)
- this could represent the way that something else controls the world and our lives for us, how easy it is for the "God" to wave his hands and make something happen

- Sylvia wants to be in control of her own life
"To his house the bodiless
Come to barter endlessly
Vision, wisdom, for bodies" (1)
- "his" in this seems to be referring to the Devil and the souls who go to the Devil to trade their knowledge in return to be alive with a body
- this could represent Sylvia's wish to be dead and that she couldn't understand why souls want to live Sculptor - Death
- Souls
- Worth of Life
- Aging
- Control
- Dimensions
- Light Juxtaposition - "Bronze dead dominate the floor" (4)
- could represent how the dead dominate the world and how their life is better than the living

- "Emulous spirits make discord,
Try entry, enter nightmares" (5-6)
- could represent a fight with her husband because it's saying imitation spirits make disagreements
- it could represent her entering her own personal nightmare Allusion Examples: - "Hands moving move priestlier
Than priest's hands, invoke no vain"
- this is a referral to Priests who do many
things. Priests can do funerals, weddings,
work with sick people, baptisms, etc.
- this ties into the themes in the poem of
the Devil, God, and control Examples - "A bald angel blocks and shapes
The flimsy light; arms folded
Watches his cumbrous world eclipse"
- "his" in this could refer to God who
many people believe controls our
universe and everything that happens
- this ties into Sylvia's themes of
control, dimensions, and death Examples - "To his house the bodiless
Come to barter endlessly
Vision, wisdom, for bodies"
- "his" in this could allude to the Devil
- the Devil ties into many of Sylvia's
themes as the Devil is associated with
evil, control, and death Other Information - Syntax: written in quatrain (stanzas of 4 lines)
- Dwarfing us. Our bodies flicker
Toward extinction in those eyes
- the line was broken from stanza 4 to 5, to emphasize
the extinction of the bodies or in other words - to show
how important it is that we all grow old and die and we have no control over that
- Speaker: We can assume that the speaker is someone speaking on behalf of many people or all human-kind because they say "us" and "our."
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