Ted Hughes- Conflicting Perspectives

Topics: Sylvia Plath, Fulbright Scholars, Question Pages: 2 (522 words) Published: August 26, 2012
Hughes makes reference to Plath’s problems, implying her “exaggerated American grin “as false, having a purpose of its own. The content Plath was there for the “cameras, the judges, the strangers, the frighteners”, the extended metaphor suggesting the intrinsic connection issues between Hughes and Plath were caused from external forces. Furthermore the allusion of her “Veronica lake bang” and “what it hid...”suggests that appearances can be deceiving and raises questions about Plath’s image. Hughes ponders his first impressions and whether there were any warning signs of what was to come or was their mutual attraction merely the result of youthful impetuosity. This raises the notion of appearance versus reality, and expresses how perspectives of past and present can create conflict in ones mind. The poem moves through their journey from innocence to experience. The line”Then I forgot. Yet I Remember/The picture...” makes judicious use of juxtaposition of the two ideas of forgot and remember. Hughes does not make clear what he has forgotten, creating uncertainty about his initial perspective of Plath in the past, and proving how time has affecting his thoughts. However the enjambment of the following lines “the Fulbright Scholars with their luggage...seems unlikely” makes it clear that he remembers the photograph, but other factors didn’t seem important at that time. Hughes uses of rhetoric question “with their luggage?” conveying on a figurative level Plath was carrying emotional luggage, and was facing bigger issues in her life, not just the literal luggage shown in the photograph. Hence, initial perspectives can change over time, to cause conflict in ones mind. By exploring the subjective truth of an individual, in relation to the idea of memory, feelings, and relationships, it can be seen that conflicting perspectives result. As the poem reads like a monologue, and makes frequent use to exclusive personal pronouns “I” and...
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