Sylvia Plath | Critical Essay by R. J. Spendal

This literature criticism consists of approximately 8 pages of analysis & critique of Sylvia Plath.
This section contains 2,281 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "Sylvia Plath's 'Cut,'" in Modern Fiction Studies, Vol. 6, 1975, pp. 128-34.

In the following essay, Spendal discusses the significance of color symbolism, historical reference, and Plath's use of physical ailment as a metaphor for psychological injury in the poem "Cut."

In several of her poems Sylvia Plath turns familiar bodily ills into metaphors of psychic affliction. Work like "The Eye-mote," "Fever 103°," "Paralytic," and "Amnesiac" are only incidentally concerned with the pathological states suggested by their titles. The ostensible problem in each case is a figure for a more subtle and profound malady, a disturbance of the will to live. This is also the strategy in "Cut," one of the most memorable and carefully crafted of the Ariel poems. On the literal level Plath's subject is a cut thumb; figuratively, it is the deeper disunity of a mind divided in its attitude...

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This section contains 2,281 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by R. J. Spendal
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Critical Essay by R. J. Spendal from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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