Sylvia Plath Essays

Ariel

Life and death, beginnings and endings. The death of one person: the ending of two lives, or the beginning of both? Sylvia Plath, tumbling through madness toward suicide, created a collection of poems titled Ariel, and used the theme poem to...

Ariel

Sylvia Plath composed her most famous - and infamous - poem "Daddy" at a time in her life when she must certainly have been contemplating suicide, or at the very least was in the grip of a devastating depression. At this point Plath, having been...

12th Grade

Ariel

Seamus Heaney and Sylvia Plath are two contemporary poets from very different family backgrounds. Heaney grew up rooted in rural Ireland with a close-knit large family, and Plath grew up in a dislocated family with her mother and brother. Her...

The Bell Jar

<i>"She wants...to be everything"</i>

A sense of individuality is essential for surviving the numerous emotional and physical obstacles encountered in daily life. A unique identity is perhaps one of the only true characteristics that...

The Bell Jar

<i>"Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well."</i>

Sylvia Plath has long been recognized as a poetic icon. After committing suicide in her thirties, many of her previously unrecognized works gained notoriety and...

The Bell Jar

Throughout Sylvia Plath’s depiction of depression in her novel The Bell Jar, even the minutest detail plays a significant role in the development of the main character Esther’s mental breakdown. The most obvious manifestation of Esther’s...

College

The Bell Jar

Throughout Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, we are faced with Esther Greenwood’s continual downfall as her mind sinks deeper into depression; however, Esther’s one nearly consistent source of enjoyment is found in food. Esther’s experience in New York...

12th Grade

The Bell Jar

From being labeled “crazy” and denied help, to “ill” with an overflowing amount of support, mental health has always been a difficult topic to understand. Living in North America today, where fewer people are excluded from society due to an...

College

The Bell Jar

Gender double standards, which are among the effects of gender stereotypes, are reflected in Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographic novel The Bell Jar, which was published in 1963. This work tells the story of a young woman named Esther Greenwood, who...

College

Sylvia Plath: Poems

Sylvia Plath’s "Mirror" explores the impact of time on individuals, specifically within the realities of aging and losing beauty; here, Plath speaks from an implied autobiographical perspective. As readers, we know that much of Plath’s oeuvre of...

Sylvia Plath: Poems

Any true representation of horror, the sickening realization of the hideous or unbelievably ghastly, seems something of an impossibility. How can one speak the unspeakable? How can unimaginable terror and revulsion ever be recreated? Yet writers...

10th Grade

Sylvia Plath: Poems

Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” is considered by some to be one of the best examples of confessional poetry ever published. In the poem, Plath compares the horrors of Nazism to the horrors of her own life, all of which are centered on the death of her...

College

Sylvia Plath: Poems

In her poem, “Daddy,” Sylvia Plath uses violent, unnerving, and controversial imagery to illustrate her tumultuous relationship with her father both before and after his death in 1940. Her work, and this poem in particular, is often distinguished...