Sylvia Plath was born in 1932 during the peak of the great depression when unemployment soared over 20%. Although she was subject to a life filled with hardships and anguish, Sylvia allowed those hardships to shape her as a socially adept young woman. Plath excelled academically, and allowed her writing to be influenced by her rough past. After marrying a fellow poet Ted Hughs and having two children, she published hundreds of works that told of her tragic life and unreasonable thoughts. Soon, poetry wasn’t enough to keep Plath sane after an affair and divorce and she ended her life in 1963 after many failed attempts. Through and through, Sylvia Plath was a very bright, mid-20th century poet who will remain forever famous for her proficient achievements in writing, trying marriage, and history of abuse and suicide.
Sylvia Plath hailed from Boston, Massachusetts. Her father, Otto, taught and meticulously studied biology at Boston University. Otto fell extremely ill in the late 1930’s and ended up diagnosing himself with lung cancer. He refused to seek medical advice for his condition because of the lack of advanced medicine. In 1940, after dealing with the horrible aliment for years, Otto was left with no choice but to visit a medical professional because of an advanced and crippling infection in his foot. The doctor visit was a shocking one that revealed Otto had actually been living and poorly cooperating with very advanced diabetes. Otto's leg had to be removed developing gangrene to prevent the infection from spreading, and he lived out the remainder of his days in the hospital in a disappointing condition. Otto Plath passed away on the evening of November 5, 1940. After hearing the news of her beloved father’s death, the mature 8 year-old proclaimed, “I’ll never speak to God again”. The death of her father was the inspiration for much of her later years of poetry. Sylvia Plath’s mother, Aurelia, had a very complicated relationship with her daughter. Sylvia often claimed to hate her mother within her works of writing. Sylvia believed that, in a way, her father killed himself by not visiting the doctor when he should have this upset and dismayed her deeply. Plath was very adept in the field of learning and understanding and had been two years ahead in school since she was small. After a move from the coat to inland Massachusetts with Aurelia’s parents, Sylvia enrolled in her new school hopes that learning about familiar topics and being with children her own age would assist in numbing the pain of her recent life changes. Sylvia Plath continued to be very confused by her father’s passing despite her simple schooling. She continued to write and publish her works and art in the school newspaper. When high school rolled around, she entered a class with a very tough English teacher who challenged her brain in great ways. In 1949, Plath and another student from the rigorous English class wrote a response to an article in The Atlantic Monthly titled "A Reasonable Life in a Mad World". The article stated that man must rely on the ability to reason in order to further society. Plath's response argued that, “beyond reason, one needed to connect with and embrace inner divinity and spirituality to fully live”. Finishing out high school, Plath always earned spectacular marks and gained recognition as a writer, artist and editor. When Sylvia was a senior, her original story "And Summer Will Not Come Again" was published in Seventeen magazines. She also worked very hard to publish her own poem nationally when “Bitter Strawberries" was placed in The Christian Science Monitor in 1950. Sylvia Plath only found success in her young writing career after hours of laborious writing and even more hours spend submitting her articles and short stories to various newspapers, magazines, and publishers. More often than not, Plath would receive a burning rejection, which would make her lose faith in herself as a writer. She developed a cycle...
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