Influence Others By Their Past Experiences English Literature Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts and studied at some of the world's most profound universities such as Cambridge University. Plath was very intelligent and highly sophisticated in her early years which allowed her to progress in her learning. However, the death of her father would then change her life forever as she suffered from depressions. Also Plath was unable to overcome the fact that her newlywed Ted Hughes, had cheated on her. This lead to her own death on February 11, 1963.

"My world falls apart, crumbles, "The centre cannot hold." There is no integrating force, only the naked fear, the urge of self-preservation. I am afraid. I am not solid, but hollow. I feel behind my eyes a numb, paralyzed cavern, a pit of hell, a mimicking nothingness. I never thought. I never wrote, I never suffered. I want to kill myself, to escape from responsibility, to crawl back abjectly into the womb. I do not know who I am, where I am going-and I am the one who has to decide the answers to these hideous questions. I long for a noble escape from freedom-I am weak, tired, in revolt from the strong constructive humanitarian faith which presupposes a healthy, active intellect and will. There is nowhere to go." 

This was in one of Sylvia Plath's Journals that she wrote in 1963 prior to her death. Notice the pain and misery Plath is in and the desire she has to kill herself. Throughout her life her experiences led to her feeling this way.

Sylvia Plath was an influential poet, a novelist, a writer, a wife but most importantly, a mother.. Sylvia Plath's pain was especially portrayed in Tulips and in Daddy. However I will look more into Edge step by step and just brief information from the other poems.

This is what I will be discussing today. The suffering of Sylvia Plath portrayed in her final poem Edge and in her earlier poems such as Daddy and Tulips and to discuss whether it foreshadowed her tragic death.

Now Il begin with Daddy just briefly as can you turn to your packets to follow along. It would be too long to put on a power point.


Reference of the shoe ( lived like a foot)

She feels trapped

Nazi term allows her to deny her father

Refers to him as a god (ghastly statue)

Wish to overthrow his dominance

Cannot breathe

Love hate relationship

Show Plath's suicide attempts ( I was 10…)


Sylvia was in the hospital after a miscarriage

focused around the tulips in her room and they "disturb" the peace

In the poem she states she did not want the flowers, that the red flowers remind her of a the wound she has suffered ( which is from the outside world)

Plath even compares the paper around the flowers to that of the blankets wrapped around the baby and says that the crinkling reminds her of breathing which is a contrast to the baby she just lost

She tends to describe how white everything is.

Makes the image of red tulips stronger and more unsettling

"I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat"

she is referring directly to her miscarriage and how she is nothing more than an incompetent carrier who fails to deliver the "cargo" or the baby. 

Even her own family is a cruel reminder of the outside world she wishes dearly to escape. "My husband and child smiling out of the family photo; their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks." They only remind her of the pain she will feel when she has to return to a normal life. They represent her responsibilities as an adult. She must take care of them when she doesn't even know how to take care of herself.

The entire point of the poem is simply how these flowers show her that she can never truly be free from her pain. There will always be something there to remind her of it, no matter how far away she runs.

The woman is perfected

Her dead

Body wears the smile of accomplishment,

The illusion of a Greek necessity

Flows in the scrolls of her toga,

Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:

We have come so far, it is over.

Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,

One at each little

Pitcher of milk, now empty

She has folded

Them back into her body as petals

Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed

From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,

Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.

Her blacks crackle and drag.


Defined frame of life and death

Death is perfect and flawless

Greeks believed suicide was right in certain situations (when necessary)

White Toga means pure so suicide is possibly good here

She does not wish to struggle anymore

Pitcher of milk has more background to it

Folds them back

Sense of accomplishment (smile)

Death is what she desires and wants to achieve

Red of blood

Folded (mother)

Black of death

Nothing to be sad about ( Use to it)


Whole thing she probably is making preparations to do so.