Questions and Answers for Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

The most significant features of Sylvia Plath’s “Mirror” are the personification of the mirror and, later, the metaphor in which that mirror compares itself to a lake, something that also reflects...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2021 12:56 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

The mirror does narrate this poem, and so it is personified in this way. However, when the mirror compares itself to a lake, saying, "I am a lake," this is example of metaphor. The mirror explains,...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2016 10:46 am UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

Man’s tendency to dismiss the inevitable truth about his declining age and waning attractiveness is the central idea in the poem “Mirror.” The mirror reflects the true image of the woman to her,...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2016 6:06 am UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

I believe that the central theme of this poem is about senescence. The beauty of this poem is that Plath uses personification through the mirror as a reflection of one's age. The mirror is...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2017 4:10 am UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

A figure of speech in poetry is also known as literary devices or poetic devices. The main figure of speech used in the poem is one of personification. Personification according to the eNotes site...

Latest answer posted August 12, 2011 4:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

In the first stanza of Sylvia Plath's "Mirror," the mirror is given a voice as the first-person narrator of the poem. This is the first way in which Plath personifies the mirror. The mirror also...

Latest answer posted May 18, 2019 6:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Plath uses an extended metaphor, meaning that throughout the poem she is comparing mushrooms to women without using the words "like" or "as." She also brings in assonance, which is when two words...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2018 12:47 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

Plath uses much sustained death imagery: both suicide and Holocaust imagery (comparing herself to a Jew and her father to a Nazi). She writes grim apostrophes to her executioners, her father in...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2010 6:34 am UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

The "confessional" poets were a school including Ann Sexton, John Berryman, Robert Lowell, and Sylvia Plath who were mid-twentieth century American poets who composed poems in free verse with...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2011 7:31 am UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

The title of the poem "Night Shift" gives some indication of what the unknown sound may be before we start reading. However, Plath's negations in the first stanza—it is "not a heart beating," nor...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2018 8:41 am UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath's poem, "Medallion" is about a snake she finds dead, and the details of its body that she notices. Written in 1959, its form was strictly "controlled." Plath uses imagery, literary...

Latest answer posted May 12, 2011 2:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

“Mirror” is an objective perspective on time and mortality and particularly about beauty – or the ephemeral nature of beauty and the superficiality of beauty. Mirrors are unconscious, so they can’t...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2011 9:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

"Bitter Strawberries," by Sylvia Plath, describes a conversation that takes place among farm workers who are picking strawberries. The conversation is about "the Russians," who pose a threat to the...

Latest answer posted August 2, 2011 12:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Postmodernism can be viewed as both a reaction against modernism and, paradoxically, an extension of it. Sylvia Plath's poetry (as well as her prose writings) fits both of these definitions....

Latest answer posted June 10, 2018 8:14 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

In this brilliant poem by Sylvia Plath, the theme of old age is explored. One of the key devices of the poem is the speaker or persona of the poem that Plath has chosen to explore this theme. The...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2009 10:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

"Lady Lazarus" begins with a detached tone. The speaker (almost certainly Plath speaking as herself) remarks, with an off-handed and casual tone, "One year in every ten / I manage it—." The "it,"...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2019 11:24 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

The poem is indeed a complex one, and there will be more interpretations out there, I'm sure. - A common-sense / thumbs-down on the Dodo's mode Here I think Plath is recognising the innate...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2011 7:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Mushroomsis one of those poems that if you talked to five different people, you would probably end up with five different answers about what it means. Clearly, on the surface level, the poem is...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2012 5:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

"You're" is rife with similes and metaphors as its purpose is to compare the titular character to all of the things which remind Plath of him/her. This poem is about an unborn child--a baby still...

Latest answer posted May 19, 2011 12:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

This is a haunting and intriguing poem, written in free verse and describing, as the title suggests, the nature of death. Plath herself described the poem as being about the duality of death,...

Latest answer posted March 18, 2019 7:56 am UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath, a Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, produced some of the most intriguing poetry in literature. Like so many talented artists, Plath struggled emotionally and psychologically most...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2012 7:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath's poem "You're" is narrated by a speaker who is a mother meditating on her unborn child. The speaker's use of comparison, mostly through figurative language, captures the feeling of...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2018 2:21 am UTC

3 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

A number of scholars, especially those working in the field of feminist literary criticism, have seen "The Zoo-Keeper's Wife" as a critique of traditional marriage. In particular, they point to the...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2020 9:41 am UTC

3 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath led a complex existence, culminating in her suicide. Her poems contain depths that may escape the average reader but which contain her attempt to rationalize her being. Her seemingly...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2013 11:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

I'll answer a few of the questions here. 1.The mushrooms are people who are kept down, oppressed in some way, the 'perfectly voiceless' ones who are slowly rising up to make their mark on the...

Latest answer posted May 10, 2014 3:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

I agree completely with your statement. Besides the piece by piece analysis of her work that supports that assessment, remember that Plath's life writings are essentially a journal of mental...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2012 4:04 am UTC

6 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

The themes of "Wintering" by Sylvia Plath are renewal and regeneration and feminine identity and motherhood, all of which have personal meaning for Plath, who writes in self-analysis. The poet...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2015 10:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

This poem is written in free verse; this means that its unit of rhythm is the line itself and the poet controls pacing not with a specific meter but with the length and punctuation of the lines....

Latest answer posted February 17, 2019 1:49 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

Tone is the author’s attitude toward the subject, and mood is the reader’s emotional reaction to the piece. The tone of the first nine lines is hopeful, but then it turns dark in the last stanza....

Latest answer posted September 17, 2012 7:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

The main themes are xenophobia (fear of foreigners or ‘Others’) and stubbornness with that prejudice and war mentality. This poem directly refers to the Cold War which was basically a game of...

Latest answer posted January 11, 2011 11:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

This poem is based around two central comparisons that the speaker of the poem makes between herself and then a tree and a flower. It is this sense of kinship--or the lack of it--that is explored...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2011 4:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Plath's poem presents the reality of aging. The mirror is our narrator; it expresses its ultimate honesty, explaining that it cannot lie or be mistrusted--it is "silver and exact" with "no...

Latest answer posted May 10, 2011 12:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath's "Mushrooms" is a very straightforward poem. Literally, it can be seen to be about the process that mushrooms go through to emerge and grow. Figuratively, it can be seen as a metaphor...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2019 11:00 am UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

In Plath's poem "Mirror," the speaker of the poem literally is a mirror on the bathroom wall. The mirror says that it has no opinions about what it reflects and that it simply gives images back to...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2011 8:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

The first stanza speaks as if it is a mirror. The second speaks as if it is the water of a lake. Both speak about their power of reflection which means they tell the truth, report exactness, and...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2010 9:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

[Please remember that analysis of a poem is subjective, and this answer is based upon what I perceive. Also note, however, that any interpretation of a piece of literature—to my mind—is valid as...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2015 12:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Plath was a Confessionalist poet. Therefore, her work was one which spoke to how her life was and the conflicts she faced. Her work is typically seen as dark and depressing. Her philosophy was...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2012 9:21 am UTC

3 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath, an American author considered one of the most emotional writers of the post war period, was a deeply troubled individual who committed suicide at the age of 30. "A complicated...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2009 4:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Poetry can be very difficult to analyze for often the poet is speaking so figuratively, based upon their personal perceptions, that it can be difficult to fully appreciate what the poet is trying...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2013 6:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Although Sylvia Plath (often along with Anne Sexton) is most inexorably tied with the Confessional movement of poetry, Robert Lowell, the creator of the style, is probably the most confessional of...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2018 12:51 am UTC

2 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

This is a great poem by Sylvia Plath that really forces us to reconsider mushrooms once again and to look at them in a new way, which is of course the sign of a great poem. In the poem, Plath...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2011 7:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Crucial to understanding this poem as a whole is realising that Sylvia Plath is examining ageing through a very interesting medium. By telling the poem through the persona of the mirror, she allows...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2010 6:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Plath's feminism is probably most visible in her novel The Bell Jar. The men she presents throughout the story are largely clueless and insensitive to women. In some cases, their behavior would be...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2019 6:26 am UTC

3 educator answers

Sylvia Plath

SPEAKER: On the literal level, this poem is spoken by mushrooms! They describe how they quietly grow through the "loam" (the soil) and eventually reach the air. Using "hammers" and "rams" they...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2010 7:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Sometimes when reading a poet, especially an author who writes in a confessional or autobiographical style, it is helpful to know a bit about his or her biography. There are some benefits to...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2016 5:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

You have certainly picked a poem with a number of separate examples of personification in it. Let us remind ourselves of the definition of personfication. Personification is a figure of speech...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2011 1:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

The Holocaust has long been considered sacred territory. Politicians, entertainers, and others who have cavalierly offered images from the Holocaust for metaphorical or comparative purposes have...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2015 2:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Let us consider the poem as a whole before we move on to focus on the particular line that you have highlighted. This poem is used as a vehicle for Plath to express the mixed emotions she has at...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2011 6:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

Plath uses a variety of devices in her poem "I Am Vertical." To begin, here is the second stanza of the poem: Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars, The trees and flowers have been...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2011 7:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

Sylvia Plath

In both Anne Sexton's "The Civil War" and Sylvia Plath's "In Plaster", the narrators talk about divided selves, with one self offering up a critique of the second self. The tone, themes, and...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2015 6:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Showing 1-50 of 85