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Analysis and comments on The Applicant by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 18 of 28, added on February 15th, 2006 at 10:17 PM.

I think this poem is making a mockery of marriage and the way woman are
stereotyped. "to bring teacups and roll away headaches and do whatever you
tell it" portrays women as an unfeeling object to be ordered around. Also
"come here sweetie, out of the cupboard" and "a living doll, everywhere you
look." Shows women as a robot, something that is only brought out when we
are useful. Sylvia Plath has written a very good sarcastic poem.

dani from Australia
Comment 17 of 28, added on February 15th, 2006 at 9:53 PM.

This poem in my opinion, is not only focused on the way women are treated
and stereotyped, but at the faults in our society, both men and women. It
is attempting to show us that we seem to be nothing more than robots,
manufactured to marry eachother and live a "happy life", and that this is
the normal thing to do. Particularly in the last paragraph:

"It works there is nothing wrong with it.
You have a hole, it's a poultice.
You have an eye, it's an image.
My boy, it's your last resort.
Will you marry it, marry it, marry it."

This verse to me symbolises the feeling that this is how a life should be
led "It works, there is nothing wrong with it" and that it is the only weay
to fit into a society and any deviation will bring sadness: "My boy, it's
your last resort.
Will you marry it, marry it, marry it."

Marty from Australia
Comment 16 of 28, added on February 15th, 2006 at 9:55 PM.

I think that this poem represents how important women are in the lives of
men. I think this poem is saying that men aren't complete without women in
their lives. The last stanza is saying that women are the bandage, the
thing that covers and fills their faults and needs. The second last line,
'my boy, this is your last resort' refers to men needing women in their

Lauren from Australia
Comment 15 of 28, added on February 15th, 2006 at 9:56 PM.

I think that "the applicant" is mostly about the stereotype women, "It can
sew, it can cook". but then at the same time we see that the man is also
being thought of like a stereotype, he is being asked if he has what it
takes, "are you our sort of person?". At least half the poem is, i think,
talking about them man (the applicant) where the other half tells us what
the women can and should do "A living doll". It may also refer to the
"Perfect marrige" because they would be pairing the perfect man with a
robot doll. The women is shown to us as a bit of a robot. Because it is
writtern by a feminist she would have writtern it in a sarcastic way.

Jane from Australia
Comment 14 of 28, added on February 15th, 2006 at 10:02 PM.

I believe the poem "The Applicant" is very cleverly written as the more you
read it, the more you gain and understand from it. At first, I had no idea
what the poem was about but gradually, by re-reading it and paying close
attention to the words used and their true meaning I began to realise the
point it was trying to put forward. It depicts females as a piece of
machinery or like a robot, where we can be 'selected' and programmed "to
bring teacups and roll away stitches" -the 'perfect' wife to keep up the
desirable marriage. In the last ztance it seems to be someone drilling into
the husband "marry it, marry it, marry it" as though there is great
pressure on the male to pick the perfect, flawless, loyal, future wife

Paige from Australia
Comment 13 of 28, added on February 15th, 2006 at 9:57 PM.

Sylvia Blath's writing puts the sarcasm on the trophy wife but at the same
time stops the thought that every female has been placed on the earth to
serve the man. It gives the image of a doll given to sooth a man after a
hard days work and then be shut away when not needed.His suit never to be
torn or darned because he hasn't have to do anything that may make him
messy as the wife will 'rub it all away.' Thank goodness for someone puting
it in writing just how hard these housewives had it.

Ashlee from Australia
Comment 12 of 28, added on February 15th, 2006 at 9:54 PM.

I think this poem is about the stereotypical 'perfect wife' who needs to be
able to fulfil her wifely duties such as to 'sew...cook...talk, talk,
talk'. It's giving the sarcastic view that women must be this gorgeous
doll-like figure, worthy enough to enter the male society - 'are you our
sort of person? do you wear a glass eye, false teeth or a crutch?'
I think it is also saying that marriage is somewhat of a burden for the man
- at the end of the poem we hear 'it works, there is nothing wrong with it'
as if to say 'i'll take you if I must.' The male is also left with the job
of filling the blank head of the un-knowledgeable female who is 'naked as
paper to start' as if to perhaps imply that this marriage is somewhat of a
privilege for the female who can now rely on her male counterpart to give
her the help she clearly needs in this life.

Ally from Australia
Comment 11 of 28, added on February 15th, 2006 at 9:58 PM.

the poem is well structured. when i read it, the message was unclear
though. i like the way it keeps the apllicant unclear. it provides hot
debate as to whether the aplicant is male or female. well done.

lukas from Australia
Comment 10 of 28, added on February 15th, 2006 at 9:58 PM.

Her poem is conveying the expected role of a women to a man, "out here
sweetie out of the closet" is referenced as if they are talking to her like
a common house dog, and the fact that she is in the closet represents how
she can be there only when need, but hidden away when she is no longer
"in 25 years she will be silver, in 50 gold." shows how with time she will
become more willing to serve and a better wife " a living doll". in
conclusion the poem sums up what was expected of a women in the early 60's
how they had no power and were controlled by men like a rogot slave.

Jessie from Australia
Comment 9 of 28, added on February 15th, 2006 at 9:58 PM.

What a poem! Sylvia's ability to entwine feminism into 'the applicant' was
subtle yet expressive, at first the poem was a little confusing and needed
reading through more than once in order to get the message. well done

Amie from Australia

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Information about The Applicant

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: The Applicant
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1962
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 4378 times

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