Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath is regarded as one of the most famous poets of American literature as she employs many poetic techniques that display her vision and meaning behind each poem. However, in addition to Plath’s poems, I found her personal life to be very fascinating. As Plath is widely known for her dark poems, her personal life reveals her love for her family as she saves her children from dying when she commits suicide. Plath locked her children, Nicholas and Frieda, in their bedroom and taped the opening of the door as she turned on the gas in the kitchen stove and committed suicide. She also provided her children with food and drink before committing suicide so they may live on to carry her soul. However, Plath’s suicide had its consequences as Ted Hughes’ girlfriend, Assia Wevill, moved in with Hughes and had a daughter named Shura. After six years, Assia also committed suicide in the same manner as Plath because Hughes told her to leave his family. Within six years, both Nicholas and Frieda experienced the losses of two women in their lives, eventually leading to both being in a depression at some point in their lives. Nicholas fell into a deeper depression than Frieda, and as a result, Nicholas committed suicide in 2009. However, Sylvia Plath’s poetry and personal life have not only affected her family as it has also inspired many future poets such as Anne Sexton. Plath and Sexton were best friends during much of Plath’s life as they both had a mental disorder and wrote similar poems due to their shared mindset. One example of Plath’s influence over Sexton was Sexton’s poem Sylvia’s Death, which Sexton wrote only six days after Sylvia’s suicide. In this poem, Sexton explicates her desire to commit suicide in the same way as Plath as she wishes to not die in a hospital. Due to Sylvia Plath’s love for her family, she saved her children from death when she committed suicide; however, her death had adverse effects on her family and friends as it led to the deaths of Assia Wevill and her son, Nicholas Plath.Picture1

This entry was posted in American poets, English III Honors, Honors English III, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Sylvia Plath

  1. nickvar says:

    Nice work Rishi! I find it very moving and powerful that even in her depressed and somewhat deranged state, she did not want to ruin and take the lives of her children when she decided to take her own. I like how you incorporated others’ deaths into her suicide in order to show how one decision had a lasting effect on her family. While you did mention Sexton using Plath’s death in a poem, I wonder if any other poets used her death in their poetry as well. If there was one thing to expand upon on in your post, I would want to know why she had decided to take her own life in the first place.

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