Ariel

Plath's Motherhood 12th Grade

Arguably one of Plath’s more joyous poems, You’re can be considered a celebration of a child growing inside a mother’s womb. Particularly noteworthy is its affirming outlook on life, albeit that of Plath’s new child rather than her own existence. Playful descriptions of the embryo as ‘clownlike,’ ‘a Mexican bean’ and ‘a bud’ convey Plath’s avowal of the new life she is creating. Though a largely playful and vibrant expression of love, You’re also conveys Plath’s undercurrents of uncertainty relating to motherhood. The rhythm never reaches a steady, familiar beat which is perhaps indicative of Plath’s mixed feelings towards motherhood. She also views herself as nothing more than a vessel for the child; ‘my little loaf’ suggesting she is merely the ‘oven’ in which the ‘bun’ is produced. Unflattering depictions of herself are also evident in Morning Song whereby she views herself as ‘cow-heavy.’ This inability to view herself in a positive light is perhaps emblematic of Plath’s struggle with self-identity.

Plath’s struggle with self-identity and motherhood is further explored in Passage Two as the reader experiences her conflation of the past and present. The voice evinces a sense of dread; for Plath herself; for her children; and...

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