Dickinson and Plath Comparative Analysis

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Poetry is an intense expression of feelings and ideas which reflect the joys and struggles of the person writing it. We use it to convey love, to mourn a loss, tell a story, or to say the things we are afraid to tell an actual person. Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath don't write sonnets. These two poets clearly used poetry as a cathartic release for the troubles of their lives. Their struggles with even the rudimentary, plagued them throughout their short lifetime. Life and death being in constant conflict,albeit causing them great sadness in life,also produced some of the greatest written word the world will ever know. Although separated by nearly a century, their raw and intense views on the futility of life, transcend the centuries and social barriers of time.

Dickinson and Plath's stylistic approach to death in their writings are greatly contrasting. Plath was known as a confessional poet, which is someone who "uses an autobiographical mode of verse that reveals the poet's personal problems with unusual frankness"(Oxford Dictionary). Although she wrote using hypnagogic symbolism and metaphors, one can postulate that most of her poems are written about herself. Emily Dickinson, however, wrote lyric poetry. The Emily Dickinson Museum claims she once told a reader, “When I state myself, as the Representative of the Verse – it does not mean – me – but a supposed person”(Staff). She mostly referred to death in a past-tense,narrative tone as if what she's writing about had already happened. Although their stylistic approach to death is different, what they had in common is that they personified it, referring to it as something more tangible than abstract.

Two of the poems which best reflect their approach and concept of death, are "Death & Co" by Sylvia Plath, and "Because I could not stop for death", by Emily Dickinson. In "Death & Co", Plath gives a duality to death, exclaiming "Two, of course there are two"(line 1). She then describes them as if she's...
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