The poems of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes tell the story of lives that have become unendurable

Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes were two of the best poets who ever lived. But a different person has a different view of life and everything. The poems of Hughes express hi view of life and differ very much for the poems of his wife Plath. Most of Hughes’s poems are about violence and death. The poems of Plath have completely different meaning. In poems like “You’re” and “Morning Song” she expresses her feelings about pregnancy. In another great poem “The Applicant” she is a total feminist and is completely against the ideology that the women should be housewives and if they have a job they are not given the same salary like the men.

Another crucial point may be that they loved each other so much. Because sometimes this is not very good and it drives people to madness. Maybe at some stage of their marriage they had had enough of each other? In the poem “The Applicant” Plath writes, “It can sew, it can cook. /It talk talk talk. ” This reveals that the view of marriage at this time was that the women should be a housewife and only serve her husband which Plath completely disagreed with. In the 1950s this was the ideology that almost every woman accepted. Plath was probably one of the “victims” of this ideology.

The main thing in the ideology which Plath was completely against was the right women to work. At that time Plath wrote this poem she and Hughes were already divorced so she was in desperate need to find a well paid job, which was almost impossible at that time. The poem represents the women as a person who has no rights at all, especially for paid work. Plath used to admire Hughes’s poems and she first fell in love with his poems, then with the men himself. Plath was helping Hughes with his work but she didn’t have a job at that time accept that she was still writing, but Hughes was the one who was winning all the awards.

But when it came time for Plath to find a paid job she didn’t succeed in finding one. So that’s why I think she wrote the poem, “The Applicant”. The woman has no other choice but to marry a man and do everything he wants her to, as we can see in the quote, “And do whatever you tell it”. A man doesn’t about his wife and her feelings. He is happy for his wife to do all of the housework and “To bring teacups and roll away headaches. ” Plath makes the man look really bad in this poem. At the time Plath wrote the poem, 1962, she found out that Hughes was having an affair with Assia.

She was probably very disappointed and angry with him and the men in general. That’s Plath wrote such a feminist poem. Plath wrote many poems about motherhood and one of them was the poem “You’re”. In this poem she talks about her pregnancy, which she had ambiguous feelings about. Plath’s positive and negative feelings about pregnancy are expressed in the following quote, “Vague as fog and looked for like mail”. This quote promotes the feelings of Plath that at the same time she wants the baby but on the other hand she doesn’t because it is going to force her into more domestic life.

Plath compares her baby to a fish, because before the baby is born it doesn’t breathe through its lungs. In the first few months of her pregnancy she was happy, I suppose, but then things changed because Hughes was always away and she had to take care of everything including her baby and the housework and her writing which she didn’t have time to deal with. This links the poem “You’re” to another of her poems “The Applicant”, because of the idea of domesticity. Another very expressive poem which Plath wrote is “Morning Song”. The poem “Morning Song” is all about the moment of birth and the frustration of being a housewife.

It inks again with both of her poems “You’re” and “The Applicant”. Plath is again expressing her thoughts on motherhood and her frustration that women should take care of the children. It also shows the feelings of the poet about having this baby. “One cry and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral- In my Victorian nightgown. ” The quote clearly expresses that Plath is not very happy with having that baby but she has to look after it because it is her “product of life”. She hates the baby when it’s just a baby, but when it is growing up she likes it more.

People expect from her to love the baby because this is the ideology of domesticity. The baby is also reminding her of the time she no longer has because the baby is sucking her freedom “like a fat gold watch”. Another great poem which Plath written is the poem “Edge”. The poem was written on 5th of February 1963 which is a week before she committed suicide. The poem is just like a suicide note. In her poem Plath is saying that she is tired of the life she has and the death is the only way so she can be free; “Her dead body wears the smile of accomplishment”. For her the death is a goal which she must achieve.

She must sacrifice herself so that others can live. In that poem the sense of death mirrors the two previous poems “You’re” and “Morning Song”. Even the title of the poem suggests the reader that is going to be a poem about an end- the end of her life. Maybe Plath didn’t want to kill herself? Maybe that attempt was a desperate cry for help because she was completely destroyed? Plath uses personification, saying she is actually sick of life and ready for the end of a painful journey, “Feet seem to be saying: We have come so far it is over”. This is an obvious use of personification because feet don’t talk.

She is “talking” with her feet because of the ideology of the domesticity. Plath is sacrificing her life for someone else’s, probably her babies. The date the poem was written is actually very important, because the reader can see that Plath was planning her death, she was already thinking about that. Now I am going to analyze two of the poems of Ted Hughes and compare them to Plath’s poems. I am going to start by looking at the poem “Pike”. In the poem “Pike”, Hughes shows his admiration towards the fish in the quote, “Pike, three inches long, perfect Pike in all parts, green triggering the gold”.

He thinks of the pike like a mythical creature. Also in his dreams he used to imagine the pike as Plath. That relates Plath to the pike because, Hughes is referring to the pike as “perfect” so is Plath. The pike actually mirrors Plath. The poet shows his fear towards the pike as well. It is shown in the quote “Pike too immense to stir, so immense and old that past nightfall I dared not cast”. He feels the pike is an enemy to him. Hughes is full of admiration and fear towards the pike because he was obsessed with the pike. This relates to his wife Plath because he and she were also obsessed with by each other and they feared one another.

In an interview about his poem Hughes sees the pike as being symbolic of “deep, vital life”. This again shows that he was completely obsessed by the creature. The interview reveals that Hughes feelings towards Plath are ambiguous. He loved Plath, he was obsessed with her, and he feared her like he feared the pike. Because they were completely obsessed by each other Plath had eaten his life. She held onto him. She wanted all of his life, “to grab and to be grabbed” the way Hughes tried to catch the pike and Plath tried to catch him. Now I am going to look at another poem Ted Hughes called “Lovesong”.

The poem was written ten years after Plath’s death and after Assia’s death. The date is significant because it shows the way Plath and Hughes were treating each other. Their relationship depended on passion and great love. It also shows the way that Hughes treated his lover Assia. Hughes was devoted to both of the women, “He had no other appetite”. Hughes also compares himself to Jesus, “Her looks nailed down his hands his wrists his elbows”. That shows that he is thinking of himself as Godlike because he was very attractive. Women were all over him all the time.

But everything was too good to be true, “her laughs were an assassin’s attempts”. Hughes’s and Plath’s relationship was falling apart. It shows that too much love is not always the best as it can tear apart. In the poem Hughes also uses imagery such as metaphors, similes, zoomorphism and personification to create a very sexual image in the reader’s mind, “Their little cries fluttered into the curtains”. I do believe that the poems by Sylvia Plath are left as Plath’s explanation of her suicide, because in the poems she is actually expressing her feelings and especially in the poem “Edge” which she wrote as her suicide note.

The main ideas in her poems which I’ve looked at are birth and death. In the poems “Morning Song” and “You’re” she expresses her feelings about the unborn baby and the hard life which most mothers have. In the poem “Edge” the main idea is death and that she is tired of the domestic life she has. Also some of the poems which Hughes has written relate to Plath, especially in the poem “Lovesong”, where he reveals his feelings towards Plath because she has dominated his life just like the pike has, a symbolic “deep and vital life” as well as brutal violence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *