Contrasting Attitudes in "Two Campers in Cloud Country" by Sylvia Plath

Topics: Connotation, Poetry, Semantics Pages: 3 (1066 words) Published: October 9, 2012
Sylvia Plath’s poem “Two Campers in Cloud Country” displays tones of naturalization and of objection to society. The speaker expresses his distaste for the mundane life and his respect for nature by incorporating style with literary devices. In Sylvia Plath’s poem “Two Campers in Cloud Country” the speaker uses diction and figurative language to portray attitudes of mockery towards civilization and awe towards the freedom of nature.

First, the speaker opens the poem by saying “In this country there is neither measure nor balance” (l.1). This has a negative connotation and is the initial expression of how the speaker uses diction to display negative feelings to society. Another negative connotation is when the speaker calls the clouds “man-shaming” (l.3). The speaker also refers to people as “trolls” (l.6), insinuating that people are slaves to society. These negative connotations are directed towards the mundane city life with it’s “labeled elms” (l.9) and it’s “tame tea-roses” (l.9). Another portrayal of the speaker’s mockery of society is the use of sound devices. This is important when considering the diction because the plosive sounds give the reader a subconscious understanding of how the speaker feels. For example, the word “gesture” (l.4) presents the naturalistic view on how insignificant people are in comparison to the clouds. As seen in line six, “trolls” also is used for a sound device coupled with negative connotations. Another example of coupling plosive sounds with negative connotations would be “Public Gardens” (l.7). The plosive sound devices are purposefully placed by the speaker to create a more apparent dissatisfaction in his diction. More often than not the speaker makes blatant statements towards the harsh and confining life in the city. By stating “one wearies of the Public Gardens” (l.7) the speaker is deliberately pointing to the civilization’s tedious lifestyle. In line 17 the speaker says “It is comfortable, for a change, to mean so...
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