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Analysis and comments on The Rival by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 12 of 25, added on November 7th, 2013 at 10:08 AM.

This poem makes my pants tighter

Khyum from Fiji
Comment 11 of 25, added on October 24th, 2013 at 10:24 AM.
The Rival

This poem really triggered emotions ive never felt before. I cried for 10
minutes after reading this piece of literary brilliance, I agree with Ajay,
this poem completes my life. Sylvia

Ahmad from United Kingdom
Comment 10 of 25, added on October 24th, 2013 at 10:20 AM.

I agree with Ajay, i cried too

Ahmad from United Kingdom
Comment 9 of 25, added on November 7th, 2011 at 6:31 PM.

I understand the different perspectives of it being based on Aurelia and
Ted Hughes but I keep getting drawn to the different references.

"Making stone out of everything" alludes to Medusa yet "Spiteful as a
woman" confuses that idea and "through the mailslot with loving regularly"
links back to Aurelia.

Is that her mother is not human enough to be referred to as female or is
Plath addressing both individuals here?

George from Australia
Comment 8 of 25, added on April 14th, 2010 at 3:37 PM.

Despite what she truly based the explosion of emotion in this poem about,
The only meaning any self respecting reader can gleam from it is that of
her depression at her mother's always too high expectations, She finds her
mother smothering like "Carbon Monoxide", she always must have the final
say "Light-Stealer" And the constant stream of pestering her mother gave
her whilst Sylvia lived in England, a volume of letters so large, her
mother published them as a book, Hence: "No day is safe from news of you"

My theory: She is either directly speaking of her mother, or personifying
her mother as death itself, as im sure her mother assisted in her
unfortunate death.

Thank you if you read this far.

Amdrew Bartlett from United Kingdom
Comment 7 of 25, added on January 21st, 2010 at 6:36 PM.

i think this poem is mainly about ted and how she feels towards him.

sarah from Australia
Comment 6 of 25, added on September 22nd, 2008 at 7:33 AM.

It seems as if people weren't looking into the background of Plath enough
to find this poem is based on her friend (her husband's friend's wife)
Didio Merwin as is "Face Lift" it makes more sense if you see this poem
based on D Merwin and her husband.

ShaiKhai from United Kingdom

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Information about The Rival

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: The Rival
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1961
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 781 times
Poem of the Day: Jan 13 2005

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