Secondary Criticism: Plath Poetry

A set of cards with themes on one side and secondary criticisms, quotes or unusual interpretations on the other side. Useful for improving AO3 marks.

  • Created by: BWD
  • Created on: 16-05-13 14:54
Nature
Spinster: Is it the regret of the poet or the persona in the final line? The Moon and the Yew Tree: Tim Kendall says Plath tends towards Emersonian transcendentalism.
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Death
Ariel: Christina Britzolakis says this links to purification/martyrdom, in the Bible Jerusalem refered to as Ariel, the city destined to be destroyed by fire. Ariel (& others): David Holbrook says Plath portrays an idolisation of suicide/infanticide.
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Identity
You're: Alvarez says Plath's children confirmed her identity. The Stones: Hughes says this is a positive reconstruction, Plath says the persona accepts the necessary ties of love.
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Romantic Relationships
The Bee Meeting: The villagers may represent Hughes' infidelity, taking him from her. Daddy: Gina Hodnik says Plath's comparison of domesticity to the Holocaust demonstrates her desire to fight against it.
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Parenthood
Daddy: Alvarez says the persona is trying to break free of a dominant parent. The Moon and the Yew Tree: Tim Kendall says there is significance in the fact that she doesn't acknowledge a father figure.
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Memories
Plath said 'is there no way out of the mind?' Poetic Memory: Gina Hodnik says it's more than biographical facts, it's about identity and potentiality. Did Plath preserve a gap between herself and poetry, or did she view life as a text to be rewritten
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Religion
Nick and the Candlestick: Tim Kendall says Plath is attracted to/scared of religion, which is predatory. Plath wrote to her mother that she belived in science as a sort of God. She also said 'I talk to God but the sky is empty'.
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Imagery
Daddy: Seamus Heaney says it is so extreme it overdraws its rights to sympathy.
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Guilt/Remorse
Daffodils: Hughes was reluctant to release poems about his relationship with Plath, as he feared it would be turned into a 'blood sport' by 'all those who need to find me guilty'.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Death

Back

Ariel: Christina Britzolakis says this links to purification/martyrdom, in the Bible Jerusalem refered to as Ariel, the city destined to be destroyed by fire. Ariel (& others): David Holbrook says Plath portrays an idolisation of suicide/infanticide.

Card 3

Front

Identity

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Romantic Relationships

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Parenthood

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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