Notes on Plath's Tulips (Memory) - QUOTES, POINTS, AND HUGHES DAFFODILS




  • "white", "white walls", "bed"Repetition of the colour of cleansing/purity "white", and listing of basic elements in a setting, communicating very simple, basic, plain ideas - perhaps suggesting a clean slate, a longing for a blank memory. 
  • "I am nobody;", "I have given my name and my day clothes up..." - The speaker is willing and passive to become nothing, giving away their everyday identity, amplifying their longing to forget and move on to a brand new identity.
  • "Baggage", "smiling hooks" "swabbed...clear" of "loving associations" - Indicating emotional baggage and unwanted memories that the speaker has to carry - they're a burden to her, which is perhaps unsettling to the reader? The needles perhaps refer to her family's attempt to sooth her like needles/injections. Also, the use of props like "baggage", "case", "family photo" and "flowers" perhaps represent her family/memories. 
  • "Shutting their mouths on it", "Communion tablet." - The speaker imagines the tulips "shutting their mouths" on her "peacefulness" like a "Communion tablet.", which may be an allusion to Christian Communion, referring to the realtionship between Christian churches, but also the consumption of bread and wine, which is representative of entering into a close relationship with Christ. Therefore, Plath explores memory in terms of religion in order to expose the difficult task of defying her father, as his image is blended with that of an all-powerful God.
  • "red", "hear them breathe", "redness", "vivid", "eat my oxygen" - Horrific, repulsive, threatening imagery, intensifying how the outside world/memories are intruding the sterile setting. The vivid colour red seems out of place,




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