Themes for Plath and Hughes Poems

Test cards with a possible theme on the front and the poems I would write about in the essay on the back. Many of the themes are taken from actual past papers from the Welsh Exam Board. The cards include at least two Plath poems and one of Hughes'. Opinions may differ on which poems are best to use, this is just my personal selection. There are clarifications for unusual/subverting poems and possible comparisons.

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  • Created by: BWD
  • Created on: 16-05-13 14:35
Birth
Plath: You're, Manor Garden, Nick and the Candlestick. Hughes: Ravens
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Parenthood
Plath: Nick and the Candlestick, The Moon and the Yew Tree (unusual, but could explore the relationship between Plath and her parents), Manor Garden. Hughes: Ravens, Full Moon and Little Frieda
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Identity
Plath: The Stones, Munich Manequins, The Moon and the Yew Tree. Hughes: Wodwo
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Suffering
Plath: Daddy, The Bee Meeting, Wuthering Height (emotional and physical). Hughes: Ravens
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Isolation
Plath: Spinster, Wuthering Heights, The Bee Meeting. Hughes: Wind (can also subvert the theme, as he doesn't mind the isolation)
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Control
Plath: Spinster, The Stones, Munich Manequins (interesting to also explore a lack of control). Hughes: Wind.
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Rebirth/Renewal
Plath: Ariel, Full Fathom Five, The Stones (careful not to confuse rebirth with actual birth). Hughes: View of a Pig (interesting contrast because he doesn't see any chance of rebirth)
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Death
Plath: Daddy, Suicide off Egg Rock, Full Fathom Five. Hughes: Ravens
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Decisions
Plath:The Moon and the Yew Tree, The Stones, Ariel, Suicide off Egg Rock (few of her poems explicitly reference choices, so as long as the poems are linked well it doesn't really matter). Hughes: Wodwo (inability to decide, isolated)
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Love
Plath: Nick and the Candlestick, Spinster (mostly about parental love or fear). Hughes: Daffodils, Full Moon and Little Frieda.
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Water
Plath: Full Fathom Five, Suicide off Egg Rock, Finisterre (linked to death and memories). Hughes: Low Water
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Memory
Plath: The Bee Meeting, Daddy (both these poems seem to portray distorted memories), Full Fathom Five. Hughes: Daffodils
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Religion
Plath: Nick and the Candlestick, The Moon and the Yew Tree, Daddy. Hughes: The Bee God.
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Inner Emotions/Introspection
Plath: The Moon and the Yew Tree, Wuthering Heights (both good for mindscapes), Nick and the Candlestick. Hughes: Daffodils.
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Landscapes
Plath: Wuthering Heights, The Moon and the Yew Tree, Spinster. Hughes: Wind (both poets tend towards Emersonian transcendentalism).
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Power
Plath: Daddy, Spinster (good for exploring responses to a lack of power), Ariel. Hughes: Low Water.
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Seasons
Plath: Munich Manequins, Spinster, Poppies in July. Hughes: Daffodils.
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Destiny/Fate
Plath: Ariel, The Manor Garden, Daddy (references trying to change/break free of fate as well). Hughes: Daffodils.
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Shocking Imagery
Plath: Daddy, Ariel. Hughes: Ravens, View of a Pig.
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Nature
Plath: Spinster, The Moon and the Yew Tree, Wuthering Heights. Hughes: Ravens, Full Moon and Little Frieda (good for interdependence and perspectives)
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Guilt/Remorse
Plath: Daddy (wants to make him feel guilty), Ariel (doesn't display any regret). Hughes: Daffodils.
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Colour
Plath: Poppies in July, The Moon and the Yew Tree, Nick and the Candlestick. Hughes: Red (could link fire-like imagery to Wind).
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Plath: Nick and the Candlestick, The Moon and the Yew Tree (unusual, but could explore the relationship between Plath and her parents), Manor Garden. Hughes: Ravens, Full Moon and Little Frieda

Back

Parenthood

Card 3

Front

Plath: The Stones, Munich Manequins, The Moon and the Yew Tree. Hughes: Wodwo

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Plath: Daddy, The Bee Meeting, Wuthering Height (emotional and physical). Hughes: Ravens

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Plath: Spinster, Wuthering Heights, The Bee Meeting. Hughes: Wind (can also subvert the theme, as he doesn't mind the isolation)

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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