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Dunne 1Maddy DunneRubinoAP Literature and Composition 1218 December 2015Delving into the Darkness: Sylvia Plathby Maddy Dunne“God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of ‘parties’ with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter – they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped darkinside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship – but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.” Sylvia Plath was a ground-breaking poet of the 20th century, often considered one of the most moving and dynamic poets of the time. Throughout her life, Plath suffered many difficulties and obstacles, involving love, loss, and pain, but regardless, she was able to overcome them, until she reached her breaking point and killed herself. From these experiences, she drew parallels into her poems, using themes of family, depression, and suicide and death. Using her hardships and psychological problems, Sylvia Plath depicted her personal experiences for readers throughout her poetry, allowing them to glimpse into her dark despair. She has become one of the most noteworthy poets to this day and an inspiration to thousands globally, especially amongst teenagegirls.Born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 27, 1932 to college professor and expert on bees, Otto Plath, and German immigrant, Aurelia Schober Plath, Sylvia began writing stories andpoems at an early age. She was a good student and published her first short story in the magazine
Dunne 2Seventeen when she was a teenager (Randall 68). Her first poem was published at the age of eight and a half in the children’s section of the Boston Herald(“Daddy.” 65). Plath’s first major blow of depression occurred right around her eighth birthday, when her father died of complications from a case of diabetes he had neglected to treat. This sparked her lifelong battle with depression, grief, and despair, all of which would haunt her for life.Her father’s death left a permanent scar on Sylvia Plath’s soul, as shown through much ofher poetry. For example, in “The Moon and the Yew Tree,” Plath personifies the Moon as her mother and the Yew Tree as her father. The theme of the poem revolves around Plath’s strained relationship with her mother after her father’s death, and her resulting grief. The poem suggests the moon to be distant and cold, thus symbolizing inward feelings toward her mother and her thoughts about her mother. The simile, “White as a knuckle” renders a creepy attribute to her mother. “the O-gape of complete despair” suggests lack of communication between the mother and the daughter, and “The moon is no door” suggests that her mother was not someone she could run to to express grief or emotions. However, her mother seemed to have amicable relations to her daughter, offering to support her daughter and offer clerical assistance (Hall 17).