What is the message of the poem "Mushrooms" by Sylvia Plath?a brief introduction please!!

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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 about mushrooms, but the mushrooms are also an extended metaphor, a lengthy comparison between two unlike objects. 

One of the more common views about "Mushrooms" is that the poem carries a feminist message.  The opening lines "overnight, very
whitely, discreetly, very quietly" suggest the idea of hidden growth, much like a pregnancy (lines 1-3).  Then later lines such as "we are the shelves, we are the tables, we are the meek" allude to the natural strength of women, made to shoulder the burdens and chores of family life, but still be "meek" or subservient.

"Mushrooms" is Plath's rallying cry to women--that even though women may be common and unappreciated in their homes, they have an undeniable strength and resiliance that could spread and garner power.

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filips's profile pic

filips | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

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The poem is written by a woman and it is about women. The feministic message is not a simple warning about their existence and role to multiply, it goes far beyond , the connotations are many.

The poet creates the sense of invasion and hints to The Bible are destined to warn the reader that like mushrooms , women will conquer the Earth. It is riot implied, the defence regarding rights and respect should appear transparent.  

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just-s | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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thanks so much;-)

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