Conflicting Perspectives

Topics: Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Pages: 6 (2068 words) Published: August 5, 2010
What is your understanding of “ truth” after your study of conflicting perspectives and their representation?

The notion of truth being a defined reasoning and represented as a one sided argument is unmistakably how most audiences visualize it. The concept cannot be interpreted in such close mindedness, as to tell the truth is to speak what appears “truthful” to “you”. Conflicting perspectives arise when the visualization of how feasible or veracious something is differs between individuals. The controversy surrounding Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, contentious poets of the twenty first century portray their own reality through their semi-confessional poetry. Sylvia Plath frequently extends her cereal obsession with her dead father as well as committing a certain bias declaration about past events to her poetry. If an audience were to read just Plath’s semi-autobiographical work the bell jar or even her late published work, Ariel they would quickly succumb to the confessional ‘finger pointing’ at Hughes and her father that she is notoriously regarded for. Hughes’ work, in contrast often speaks of the good times in their passionate relationship enticing less cynicism and promoting his protagonist-like character. Hughes’ “Fulbright Scholars”, for example has a much lighter tone with a series of guesses and faded recollection of enjoyable excitement confided in his first meeting with Plath. Condescending to Plath’s degenerative works like “the rabbit catcher” or “the jailer”, freckled with darkness and hatred. Without implication of Hughes’ goodness, he frequently took an objective stance in his work; “the minotaur” and “Sam” can both be interpreted as Hughes talking himself out of situation by exaggerating his veracity almost to a level of ‘whininess’. Reading about the two scholars, one would be lead to believe that they communicated to each other more through their poetry, expressing deeper emotions lyrically then they did conversely. The often strongly differing views on the widely discussed events of their lives entail to generate the continued and unmistakable conflict in perspectives.

Hughes’ Birthday Letters is a compilation of 35 years worth of silence regarding his marriage to Sylvia Plath. He begins with “Fulbright Scholars”, by exemplifying the transience of recollection through his continuous use of rhetorical question “ where was it, in the strand?” and “were you among them?”. This immediate display of flaw of Hughes’ seems like a peculiar attitude to begin his assemblage with as it enthrals the audience to doubt his perspective as poor remembrance could illustrate his misconception about their relationship. Although Plath’s work may not recollect key events in their past existence, structurally her poetry is much more direct and precise in description of action, or action used allegorically to portray feeling. “Fulbright Scholars” stems a reminiscent, joyous mood that contextually feels out of place, entitles just as much conflict as hostile accusations. Hughes articulates playful romance and metaphorical depiction of his first real love “It was the first fresh peach I had ever tasted”, which to the audience is an agreeably easily relatable truth. Phrases like “extravagant, like torture” or “the constriction killing me also” can be found in Plath’s “the Rabbit Catcher”, where any sense of self-restriction she once possessed seems void, ruthlessly blaming Hughes among other things. The strongly foregone conclusion of Plath’s confessional self-expression may at first seem overpoweringly decisive but its importance is in the passion with which the text was written, it’s hard to dismiss her merciless fervour as a lie.

“Twenty minutes late for baby-minding” does not seem like justification to unleash ferocious wrath upon a mahogany table. Nor does it seem quaint to bring about Hughes Self Congratulation. Neither does it seem fair for Hughes to begin to distance himself from his children just because it does...
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