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Biplob Prodhan
  • 1 month ago
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Discuss the use of myths and imagery in the poems of Sylvia Plath. [N.U. 2018)

Ans. Sylvia Plath has employed a number of powerful symbols too, manipulating metaphor and simile expertly. Colour is frequently used. Traditional myths and cultural or historical allusions serve her well, but at the some time she also forms her own personal myths, which add to the intensity of her verse.

The effect of Crossing the Water on the mind of the readers is enormous, long and substantial. The pleasure of reading Crossing the Water in derived from Plath’s efficient use of imagery. It is a poem that illustrates Plath’s journey across the lake between American and Canadian water. Her careful and crafty use of images creates a sensational and frightening atmosphere. The speaker begins her poem under the influence of an extremely dark mood tersely describing an ominous setting. The imagery is almost surrealistic creating supernatural scene. An extended metaphor is used to create a world between life and death. The image of blackness is created by the repetitive use of word ‘black’ and its synonyms ‘shadows’ a little light ‘dark’ ‘pale’ ‘blinded’ etc. are the use of imagery.

The moon is traditionally associated with femininity and Sylvia Plath invokes it many times. For her, however, the moon is not a symbol of fertility. Instead, it signifies barren coldness. indifferent and selfishness. For example, The Rival begins with the picture of cold and barren moon which reflects the cold and indifferent relation between husband and wife. Although outwardly the moon looks very beautiful from far distance with its borrowed light, it is barren and unfit for human habitation. That is why the wife, who is the speaker, finds the reflection of her husband’s character on the moon.

Flowers are used in unusual ways. They are a powerful presence in the poems in which they appear. Maternal affection is conveyed through a reference to roses in Morning Song flowers are undoubtedly a symbol of life, even when they seem to lead speakers to thought of death.

There are five main colours in Sylvia Plath’s work: red, black, white, blue and green. Red is the colour of life. Sometimes, he uses images of blood. Blood signifies suffering or mental assault. Black is the colour of death. It is a masculine colour, frequently used to convey Sylvia Plath’s dissatisfaction with male sex. White is particularly an intriguing colour, while blue is the colour of motherland.

Throughout her whole career, Sylvia Plath was interested in Greek myths. The most important myths that appear in her work are the legends of Electra, Medusa and the Colossus, which she took as the little for her first collection of poems.

Thus, it emerges that the poem epitomizes a substantial means for fulfilling the conscious and subconscious mind depending on its bizarre and surreal imagery. The effect of such imagery lead us to enter and ply in the dark world of life and death condition and leave a paralyzing helpless effect on our mind.

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