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Analysis and comments on Purdah by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 1 of 9, added on November 19th, 2008 at 11:52 AM.

“Purdah” also demonstrates the recurrent pattern of rebirth motif of the
heroine with the extinction of her husband who suppresses her true
identity. In the beginning she seems to be passive and submissive, a mere
object and assets of her husband coffer:
Jade –
The stone of the side,
The agonized

Side of a green Adam, I
Smile, crossed-legged,

Shifting my clarities.
So valueable.
How the sun polishes this shoulder!
The horror of the husband is so severe that even in his absence, she
conceives her self to be relegated to him: “Even in his / Absence, I /
Resolve in my / Sheath of impossibility.” However, the latent self within
her unconscious needs action on her part and comes on to the surface of the
water when she becomes aware of her true self, to kill her male
counterpart as a lioness after casting off the meek image of a living
In the presence of her husband, she feels that she is merely a reflecting
object, which reflects only the thing that comes in its focus without any
preconception, while her husband is the “Lord of the mirror.” She reflects
what she is expected in the linear circle of traditional gender-biased
society, but this is a partial truth of her existence she senses the
diplomatic monopoly of male counterpart. Judith Kroll points out the
dormant fury swimming in the deep puddle of mirror as “ she, only mirror,
does not initially reveal her underlying true self but reflects her
Sun-god, just as Moon reflects the Sun, her true self lying hidden behind
the mirror of her false self, and the mirror thus acting as a sort of
veil”( Kroll, 156).

rajani sharma from India

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Information about Purdah

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Purdah
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1962
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 375 times

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