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Comment 15 of 95, added on November 28th, 2005 at 1:15 PM.
I thought it was interesting that in a way she shows that having children
makes a true woman, and this, "obviously" should make a woman happy, for
she has reached the ultimate. She is no longer in the dark side, confined
in the home, "yet no woman." Yet, it seems, that she is also trying to
point to the fact that the ultimate is not always the happiest point,
through the existense of this darker "sister." She herself had two
children,reaching the "ultimate" and yet committed suicide. In this way,
the two sides that she portrays throughout the poem seem to be a) the TRUE
person that she is on the inside, the depressed, closed off by the
boundaries, and the beliefs of society, and b) the FALSE person she shows,
the one with children that is supposed to be happy, and free.
Daisy from United States
Comment 14 of 95, added on November 28th, 2005 at 1:28 PM.
I thought that the poem showed two sides of the girl. How the girl is dead
and is living underground and how the girl is alive, because of the sun and
growth. I thought that this was a very interesting poem because it made me
think outside of the box.
Jarvis from United States
Comment 13 of 95, added on November 28th, 2005 at 12:14 PM.
My first reaction to the poem after reading it was how confusing it was. At
first it didn't make any sense. However after reading it again I was able
to intrepet different meanings to it and see that one sister died without
having to experience womenly things and the other was more of a women
because she did. One was miserable as the other was happy
Comment 12 of 95, added on November 28th, 2005 at 9:45 AM.
Honestly, this poem scares me. Is this really what people see when they
cant find the happy medium? Do we ever really find our happy medium? I
truly think that the author of this poem was stuck in the paths of
tradition of being a woman. Like almost all peoms that are written by women
there is a certian symbolism of hate and sadness of not being able to live
a life without the insecurities of the ideal women. Long story short Sylvia
like all women was looking on the other side of the fence and was comparing
it to hers, making her life seem as though it were termoil.
from United States
Comment 11 of 95, added on November 28th, 2005 at 9:39 AM.
To me, this poem shows that the sister who is inside the house, has not
been corrupted by the public yet. She is pale, from not recieving
sunlight, while her sister is bronze because thats what the public thinks
is pretty. The one inside has not had a child because she doesn't know
that that is what society thinks is important. The one outside however is
having a child, what she believes to be a king, because this will let her
conform with society. People would look at this pale woman who would rather
think than bear a child is different, or unacceptable where the one who is
bronze and childbearing is a true woman.
Ali from United States
Comment 10 of 95, added on November 28th, 2005 at 9:13 AM.
What this poem is talking about is the pain that Sylvia feels throughout
her life. This could be seen as the multiple personality disorder that she
feels throughout her life. The pains and pressure of motherhood, or the
hermit life that is seen by the other sister. Happiness is defined by if a
women can have children or not.
from United States
Comment 9 of 95, added on November 28th, 2005 at 9:07 AM.
This poem shows the duality of Persephone and how she is a completely
different person when she is in the underworld. While in the underworld she
has no life, never becoming a woman, living in boredom. While she is in
living on this earth she is a woman with a marriage and a child. She is the
one that gives life to the world, the rebirth of everything. This poem
shows how her life is different with the place in which she is residing.
Becky from United States
Comment 8 of 95, added on September 16th, 2005 at 12:27 AM.
Ms.Plath knows the language of poetry well. As it shows, it contains the
truths about realities in one's life and how to live it to the fullest.
edgar r. eslit
Comment 7 of 95, added on September 15th, 2005 at 10:20 PM.
This poem by Sylvia Plath reflects the pain she has suffered in her life as
a result of losing her father, and the severe depression that ensued and
continued into her adulthood. The speaker’s inability to reconcile two
personalities in this poem leads to her demise. This is illustrated though
textual and literary devices, as well as mythological allusions and
references to her father.
The first two lines of the poem are fragmented, showing the rift between
the two personalities early on. Her use of fragmented phrases also
foreshadows her dilemma between her two contrary personalities. “One sits;
the other, without” is an allusion to woman’s roles and constraints. One
state of mind is constrained, and must be seated in a ladylike manner,
while the second state of mind stands free from restraint. Inn lines 3 and
4, a “duet of shade and light” compares the two states of mind. A duet of
shade and light is a contradiction, as a duet implies cooperation, and
shade and light can never coexist. This is the underlying theme of this
poem, as it is impossible to bring together her two states of mind, and she
is doomed to a tragic end. This is also a mythological allusion to
Persephone and Hades, Hades being the shadow and Persephone the light. The
alliteration of daylong duet emphasizes this line’s importance. Line 4 says
the duet is played “between these” however between has a second meaning,
and rather than implying a duet including the two states of mind, it is
physically in the gap between them.
The second stanza serves to show us her state of mind that is emotionally
void. It says she “works problems” but in futility, suggesting that Plath
cannot overcome her problems in life, and attempting to separate her
problems from emotion is also futile. She does not work out her own
problems but uses a machine in an attempt to overcome them. Line 8
emphasizes that while emotionless, time is interminable as this line does
not end and continues into the next stanza.
After the gap between stanzas, the sentence continues, and the emotionless
sister is still counting. This further emphasizes the futility in dealing
with the problem, and the insignificance of time to her. Her “barren
enterprise” is suggesting infertility, as this state of mind could never
bring life into her reality. Lines 12 and 13 have identical structure, and
this structure will foreshadow a transition each time it appears in the
poem. This parallelism also ties together the two traits as common to one
problem. Her rat shrewd eyes show that she is opening up to what’s beyond
her machine print outs, and also shows a negative image in nature.
The fourth stanza takes a sharp turn, and leads into a daydream, or
fantasy of the unemotional state of mind. Bright imagery and vivid colors
sharply contrast the previous stanzas. Line 13 “the second lies” is an
extremely powerful statement. Not only does Plath suggest the second state
of mind, or the fantasy, is physically lying down, but that this fantasy is
a lie and there is dual meaning in this word. The ticks of time are also
“blown gold” showing that in this fantasy and life of fertility, mortality
has given time meaning. Line 15 talks about pollen. This is an allusion to
her father as a beekeeper, as well as to the fertility that pollen
symbolizes. Soon, however, she is intoxicated by this fantasy, as she would
be by poppies. Line 16 does not end, the follows into the next stanza
showing the escape of time as she drifts deeper into the stupor of her
The first two lines of the fifth stanza substantially emphasize the
powerful intoxication that the poppies have, and the vivid imagery shows
how enthralled she is with this fantasy. Line 19 shows her being separated
from her fantasy, and further polarized away from the emotionless state of
mind. From this point in the poem, the fantasy quickly runs out of control,
and she in consumed by it. This is reminiscent of Plath’s childhood, and
her years of bliss when she got straight As and still had a father,
however, the poem will turn out as her childhood did. In addition, her
inability to reconcile the two “sisters” will lead to an even further
polarization of one sister in this fantasy, which must inevitably lead to a
from United States
Comment 6 of 95, added on May 20th, 2005 at 1:34 PM.
This poem is about defiance, resistance. The mathematician defies, refuses,
as does the flower that withers. The flower that submits bears seed and
prospers. The those who live in gentle acceptance and do not fight their
fate are those that prosper.
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