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Analysis and comments on The Arrival Of The Bee Box by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 18 of 138, added on May 29th, 2009 at 12:45 AM.

The poem means nothing? Except what you think it means? Carly from
Australia I think you need to re-evaluate your understanding of creative
writing. You do realise that your first: the poem means nothing contradicts
the next statement: except what you think it means. Sylvia Plath would have
written the poem with a purpose, even if you don’t agree with her purpose
and get a different meaning there is always a meaning to everything because
once something is written the meaning can be changed. You maybe should have
written that; ‘The poems meaning is whatever you want it to be.’

Lash from New Zealand
Comment 17 of 138, added on May 22nd, 2009 at 1:06 AM.

Whilst we must take into consideration that Plath's father was a beekeeper
and at one stage she herself kept bees, I think Plath is using the 'beebox'
as a metaphor for her psychological state. "The box is locked, it is
dangerous.." This is a reference to her mental state; she finds it
difficult to face her thoughts as they are usually morbid and constantly
debating whether or not she is living up to hers and others expectations.
The rest of the poem follows the same tone. She is discussing her mental
state and what would happen if she let her 'morbid' thoughts rule her, "If
I just undid the locks and stood back and turned into a tree."
The final line of the poem is harrowing and shows she will finally allow
her suicidal thoughts to dictate her life choices, "The box is only

Sonja from Australia
Comment 16 of 138, added on May 22nd, 2009 at 1:06 AM.

This poem means nothing, except for what you think it means. One of the
impressions I get is that she is satirically personifying political leaders
of her time, emotionlessly wondering "how hungry they are," then returning
to think of her own ego: "I wonder if they would forget me." The final line
is like a warning, as if she reverts finally to her own true voice: "The
box is only temporary:" People will break free from Cold War

Carly from Australia
Comment 15 of 138, added on May 21st, 2009 at 5:09 AM.

From first looking at the poem, I make the connection between "Bee box" and
her father studying bees. I think this poem is all about the inevitability
and unavoidablility of death. She alludes to people of all walks and times
of life (Africans, Romans) and this shows that death is the ultimate thing
that humans have in common. She also makes comment on how she and society
tries to control death, even though attempting this is completey
irrational: "The box is only temporary". Her own inability to control death
is shown "Tomorrow I will be sweet God". Tomorrow never comes, if you think
about it. She will never have ultimate power. The idea of death and suicide
being a taboo is shown in the second stanza: "Square as a chair and almost
too heavy to lift" and "The box is locked, it is dangerous". She is haunted
by death, as she attempted to take her life before: "I have to live with it
overnight/ And I can't keep away from it". The fact that she says she can't
stay away from it, not the other way around, tells me that she is alluding
to suicide here.

Just my initial thoughts, even though they may not make sense!

Eleanor from Australia
Comment 14 of 138, added on October 6th, 2007 at 3:28 PM.

Plath muses about suicide, she speaks about setting her thoughts free,
playing ‘sweet God’ with her own life. Although as she says ‘tomorrow’ I
sense that she is not yet ready for this huge step.
Whilst suicide might not be her first option right now she does acknowledge
that ‘The box is only temporary‘ and that death will ultimately be the only
way to escape this ‘box of maniacs’

Karen from Ireland
Comment 13 of 138, added on September 9th, 2007 at 7:18 PM.

what do you think is the main mood and tone behind this masterpiece?

shane from Ireland
Comment 12 of 138, added on February 27th, 2007 at 5:57 AM.

This poem was ultimately an example of Sylvia Plath's life. She felt "boxed
up" and trapped and the final line speaks of how she views suicide as an
escape. What several of you have said about the "government control" is
very intelligent and kudos to you for noticing it. However, I don't
personally think that Sylvia was thinking about government control when she
wrote the poem, in fact, through-out most of her poetry she appears rather

Matt from Australia
Comment 11 of 138, added on January 7th, 2006 at 7:17 PM.

This poem is truely an amazing insight into the workings of a tormented
mind. She describes in graphic detail her inner torment which threaten to
overwhelm her like a ''Roman Mob''. I feel the poem shows how deep the
poets depression actually was and even though she acknowledges her control
over her thoughts (''I am the owner'') in the end she describes the box as
''only temporary'' which perhaps shows that the poet was already
contemplating suicide. Deep down she knew that her demons would eventually
overwhelm her.

killian from Ireland
Comment 10 of 138, added on November 25th, 2005 at 12:01 PM.

Try reading the poem from end to start. It makes sense just as much as it
does the normal way.

Shilpa from India
Comment 9 of 138, added on October 16th, 2005 at 11:54 AM.

i've been studying this poem for my gcse drama exam! i think its fantastic!
it talks about so much! it goes into so much depth about so many different
things. obviously it shows how emotional she still is over her father, but
it also shows power of people over others, and not only that, but power
over the world! For our final exam, we have used this to show the woman
resembling our goverment, and the bee's resembling us, How were all
trapped in one community and how it's up to us to make a difference by
working together, but to also show the goverments power over us, they
provide us with everything we need, but if they slip up once, we get
damage! but in the end, it's only temperary because they're just people,
just like us! i hope everyone else can also see this! sylvia plath is an
amazing poet! its nice to know she's appreciated by so many!

chloe from United Kingdom

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Information about The Arrival Of The Bee Box

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: The Arrival Of The Bee Box
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1962
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 4410 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 7 2015

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