The Complete Poems Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What makes To Bedlam and Part Way Back autobiographical?

To Bedlam and Part Way Back is autobiographical because of its subject matter. The book of poetry is about Sexton's first mental breakdown and the stay in a psychiatric hospital that followed.

2. How does Sexton's poetry put the reader in the middle of her life?

Sexton's poetry puts the reader in the middle of her life because she is a confessional poet. Her poems are personal and intimate, causing the reader to feel that he or she is reading a journal entry rather than a published poem.

3. How does Sexton treat her illness in her poetry?

Sexton treats her illness plainly in her poetry. She does not disguise it in metaphor, but simply describes the feeling of delusion. Sexton not only gives insight into the feeling of madness, but perhaps its causes as well.

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