Slides in this set
oSylvia Plath was born on October 27th 1932 (during the great depression) and died
on February 11th 1963.
oShe was an American poet, children's author and short story author.
oPlath's father, Otto, was a professor of Biology and German at Boston University and
author of a book about bumblebees. He died on November 5, 1940, a week and a half
after Plath's eighth birthday.
oPlath's mother was approximately 21 years younger than her husband.
oPlath took her own life and she completely sealed the rooms between herself and
her sleeping children with `wet towels and cloths'.
oShe then placed her head in the oven while the gas was turned on and the pilot light
was not lit.
oThe next day an inquiry ruled that her death was a suicide. They found her dead
with her head still in the oven.
oIn 1956 she married the English poet Ted Hughes.…read more
It is about the oppression of women in the patriarchal society that we live in
till this day. It is a positive poem enforcing the power of women, in that they
are getting stronger and shall no longer be housewives who depend on their
husbands. It is about women becoming independent of men and rebelling
against the conventional roles of women.
She emphasizes that men have, for years, basically ignored women and used
them as shelves and stepping stools, but because they've done it for so long,
woman are putting their foot through the door, they're not taking it anymore
and by morning they will inherit the earth.
There are metaphors included for the inferiority of women and their fight to
gain equality.…read more
The reference to `our toes, our noses' and the `earless and
eyeless' is because the feotus has not yet been formed. The
repetition of `so many of us' may make reference to a multiple
The mushroom is her unborn baby. It is about the growth of a
child in her womb, like the growth of mushrooms in a dark and
airless room. The whole poem is an extended metaphor. She is
terrified about what is going on in her body with the `soft fists'
`hammers' and `rams'. The baby is taking over her life as
mushrooms take over everything in their path.
Her pregnancy, like her depression occurred `overnight' and
`discreetly' with little warning. Plath realises that she and her
baby will soon become `nudgers and shovers' in the world just
like everyone else trying to survive the tension and danger of
the Cold War.…read more