The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Ted Hughes wrote two introductions to The Journals of Sylvia Plath. What did he write in the first introduction, and when was this edition published?

In the early 1982 introduction, Hughes commented how in the last several years of her life, Sylvia had found her true voice as a poet and discarded all the other false ones--the warring "false selves." At the end of this introduction, he made the shocking revelation that he had destroyed some of her last, unpublished journals in order to save her children from reading them.

2. What did Ted Hughes write in the second edition introduction of The Journals of Sylvia Plath? When was it published?

In the second version of his introduction, published sometime later in 1982, he hinted that perhaps he could still put his hands on the one journal that was lost--indicating that he may have been less than truthful in his first message. In the second introduction, he indicated that her journals had been destroyed, avoiding blame for their destruction.

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