Assess the following statement:  "Sylvia Plath articulates her subjectivity in terms of objectivity."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Seeing that Sylvia Plath's poetry is so strongly identified with the idea of confessional poetry, I tend to think that her subjectivity is expressed in a terminology of the personal.  She does not strike me as straying from this in her work.  In the idea of "exposing her subjectivity in terms of objectivity," I tend to think that someone speaks of objective terms in the articulation of the subjective.  I don't see Plath's work in this light, as it seems to me that she remains in the subjective realm.  There might be a hope that the subjective can be externalized in the objective, reflecting that she actually exposes her hopes at objectivity in terms of subjectivity.  For example, the terms she uses in the poem "Daddy" are strictly subjective.  Plath's use of the personal "I" as the voice in the poem is significant in that it is a subjective term seeking to explore a subjective reality.  The implicit hope is that it can be seen as universal, yet the terms used are internal and subjective ones.  Her description of pain in the sounds of "ooo" being repeated are also terms that are subjective, and not objective.  The idea in the poem is to use subjective terms to express a subjective reality.  The reader's connection is an objective one that uses terms of subjectivity to expose Plath's own subjective condition.  In this, I would have to alter the initial statement.

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