Plath, Sylvia - Research Article from Feminism in Literature

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Sylvia Plath: Title Commentary

"Ariel"
The Bell Jar

Kathleen Margaret Lant (Essay Date Winter 1993)

SOURCE: Lant, Kathleen Margaret. "The Big Strip Tease: Female Bodies and Male Power in the Poetry of Sylvia Plath." Contemporary Literature 34, no. 4 (winter 1993): 620-70.

In the following excerpt, Lant asserts that "Ariel" is an analogy for Plath's role as a woman poet and argues that the female speaker's attempt to transform herself into a more masculine figure ultimately proves futile.

The work which most perfectly embodies Plath's conflicting sets of figures concerning power and nakedness is "Ariel" (October 1962), for this poem shows how Plath's metaphorical universes collide but also how her mutually exclusive systems of representation give rise to some of the most effective and beautiful poetry she wrote. Plath noted in her journal that...

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This section contains 9,239 words
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