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SYLVIA PLATH. … Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist and short story writer who was born on 27 October 1922 in Boston Massachusetts. She studied.

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Presentation on theme: "SYLVIA PLATH. … Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist and short story writer who was born on 27 October 1922 in Boston Massachusetts. She studied."— Presentation transcript:

1 SYLVIA PLATH

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3 … Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist and short story writer who was born on 27 October 1922 in Boston Massachusetts. She studied at Smith College and Newham College Cambridge before receiving acclaim as a professional poet and writer.

4 … She married the famous poet Ted Hughes in 1956 and they lived together first in the USA and then England having two children together, Frieda and Nicolas. Sylvia suffered various bouts of depression and tried to take her life numerous times. Her life experience led her to write her semi- autobiography, “The Bell Jar”.

5 … Her husband‘s work was far more popular and celebrated which further lead Sylvia into a downward spiral. She also discovered her husband having an affair with their landlady, Assia Wevill in July Sylvia and Ted separated in September the same year.

6 … She experienced a spur of creativity and wrote most of her poems after her separation. Her depression returned and she died of carbon monoxide poising. She sealed the kitchen with towels and clothes and placed her head in the oven with the gas turned on.

7 Allegory (The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form) Narrative Protest poem – choral voice, speak in unison 11 stanzas of 3 verses

8 1 st Person Plural – Us/ we never “I” Present tense

9 Colloquial diction – natural speech Lexical (Linguistics relating totems of vocabulary in a language) fields of study: – Nature – The Body – Furniture

10 WAR The poem could be about the way in which war effects society – and the unexpected impact that it has. Mushrooms, could be taken to represent the shape that a bomb makes The Cold War – people coming and taking over (communism) FEMINISM The idea that women are not appreciated within society. That they are seen as inanimate objects, that don’t really belong. The oppressive treatment of women.

11 Themes of fertility and new generations. New generations of girls/women prepared to fight against society.

12 The oppression of women within society The impact of a combined effort The underestimation of nature and how it relates to society.

13 Literal meaning, a fungi that appears overnight, often trodden on, insignificant and unwanted Plath may be talking about the unexpected and destructive nature of war

14 Overnight, very Whitely, discreetly, Very quietly Our toes, our noses Take hold on the loam, Acquire the air. Nobody sees us, Stops us, betrays us; The small grains make room. A sudden, effective and unanticipated threat Enjambment the mushrooms cannot be contained/ the women are determined to succeed Use of possessive language, represents how women had to ‘acquire’ such a basic need and fully illustrates how low they were within society. Delicate body parts that are seen as womanly. Women were ignored Personification : little baby toes and cute button noses

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16 Soft fists insist on Heaving the needles, The leafy bedding, Even the paving. Our hammers, our rams, Earless and eyeless, Soft skin. Also an Oxymoron, Personification Traits that make women appear inferior to men. Physical weakness Emphasises the importance of persistence and how the women are slowly gaining ground Metaphor: Shape suggests instruments of destruction. Shows that the women’s persistence is their greatest weapon Metaphorical description of their disadvantage within society, Personification

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18 Perfectly voiceless, Widen the crannies, Shoulder through holes. We Diet on water, On crumbs of shadow, Bland-mannered, asking Little or nothing. So many of us! Women lived in the shadow of their husbands, they were submissive and obedient “asking little or nothing” The cadence and rhythm of the stanza mimics that of a nursery rhyme subconsciously imposing the role of mother onto the women.

19 We are shelves, we are Tables, we are meek, We are edible, Nudgers and shovers In spite of ourselves. Our kind multiplies: We shall by morning Inherit the earth. Our foot's in the door. Metaphor: Language related to domesticity – reinforcing the stereotype that a women’s place is in the home. Image of fairies seated around mushroom- shaped furniture. Despite men’s perceptions women can be strong even violent Women have the vote, all they need now is to break away from the housewife stereotype Allusion: Biblical reference to show that women deserve to gain freedom and independence

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21 ANSWERS 1.The mushrooms narrate the story of how, overnight, they come into their own (take control of what is rightfully theirs). They tell of how, together in great numbers they force their way through the paving stones and difficult places. They explain how they have been ignored and side-lined for such a long time, but their day is about to come. They explain how they have survived on so little, always taking second best.

22 … 2.a The hyphen makes a compound adjective to describe the undemanding nature of the mushrooms. b The mushrooms are undemanding. These “people” ask nothing for themselves. They expect very little. 3.The shape of the mushroom makes us think of little battering rams. They also have the look of little fists which might be used as hammers to beat their way through the tough places.

23 … 4.The mushrooms, by sheer weight of number, are able to force their way through cracks and may then be able to lift the paving stones. 5.A – 3, B – 5, C – 1, D – 2, E – 4 6.a Repetition b It reinforces the great number of the mushrooms. It suggests their power and offers a threat.

24 … 7.Functional items are mentioned, tables and shelves, suggesting the way these “people” or “women” are used by others, they are edible, which is the ultimate sacrifice. 8.Personification 9.“our toes, our noses” “nobody sees us, stops us, betrays us” “soft fists” “shoulder through holes” “bland-mannered”

25 … “asking little or nothing” “so many of us” “we are meek” “our foot’s in the door” 10. aggressive, bitter, angry, ironic, rebelious


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