Sylvia Plath Research Paper

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"Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I 've a call."

Sylvia Plath wrote these lines, from her poem "Lady Lazarus," in the winter of 1962 (Barnard 75), only months before taking her own life at the age of thirty (Barnard 23). It is an oft quoted line, containing in it much of the ironic and morbid outlook for which she has become famous. Driven by intense perfectionism and plagued by the unnecessary death of her father, Sylvia Plath crafted deeply personal poetry that expresses a feeling of incompleteness and a romantic view of death.

Plath 's poetry is full of symbols and allusions cryptic to those unfamiliar with her biography, so it is necessary to begin any analysis of her work with a brief account of her life. Sylvia Plath was born on October 27, 1932 near Boston and for much of her childhood lived near the sea, which finds its way into many of her poetic images (Barnard 14). Her father, Otto Emil Plath, was an immigrant from Germany and her mother, Aurelia Schober, a second generation Austrian American (Barnard 13). Allusions to her German heritage and to World War Two era Europe abound in her work.

Doubtlessly the most significant and defining chapter of her biography is on the death
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Feminists point to her troubled relationships with her father and her husband, finding in her the woman oppressed on all sides by man. Scores of troubled young men and women battling depression have found a role model in Plath, a person who fought a valiantly against overwhelming odds, and her poetry, describing and putting to words the pain so many have felt themselves, has doubtlessly saved countless lives. General audiences, even those who lack knowledge of her biography and understand few of the symbols, are struck by the massive amounts of emotion Sylvia Plath infused in her

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