Two Views of a Cadaver Room

Topics: Love, Dissection, Poetry Pages: 3 (979 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Two views of a cadaver room
After reading the poem ‘two views in a cadaver room’ by Sylvia Plath, it gives the poem a dark and bright side of love which includes a dark grey area between the two. This poem has an observer who narrates both stanzas of the poem, both of which have different overview of emotions mostly depending on love. Sylvia Plath seems to have a sublime image over death as well as love, seeing that both of the stanzas have a connection drawn to an optical conclusion that death is over powering love. The onlooker in the poem describes the first stanza as an arrangement of cadavers being slit open by medical students. And the second stanza describes an observation of Breughl’s painting ‘the triumph of death’ which shows two lovers completely unmindful as if they are in their little quixotic bubble which keeps them safe from all that’s happening around them which clearly is death. Could this mean that Sylvia Plath thinks that death is stronger than love? The possible identity of the person speaking to us is Sylvia Plath herself. This poem is part of ‘The Colossus,’ where the poet is describing her personal experience of watching a scientific dissection to support her boyfriend Dick Norton, while studying at Smith College. The title: ‘two views of a cadaver room’ describe the two possible ways people could get dissected, it could be in a medical room or it could be at war. The first stanza portrays the corpses as ‘black as burnt turkey’ signifying the corpses could either be burnt or rotting, either way the bodies where ‘already half strung’ showing a visual image of a chaotic mess surrounding the ‘white- smoked boys’ indicating a juxtaposed composition of the alive boys being identified as ‘white’ and the corpses being recognized as ‘black.’ The connection between ‘vinegary fume’ and ‘death vats’ shows us both a visual as well as an olfactory image of death and preserved body-parts in jars. A visual image to justify the copses deformation...
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