Sylvia Plath is chiefly known for her poesy and her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, written under the anonym Victoria Lucas. Both her poesy in Sylvia Plath Selected Poems and her novel The Bell Jar underline many cardinal issues within Plath ‘s ain life, and both emphasize many different subjects. One of the key and strongest subjects running throughout both of these texts is the subject of individuality. Through Plath ‘s confessional poesy manner and her semi-autobiographical novel the reader is able to pick up on Plath ‘s ain battles sing individuality, associating back to her conflicts with mental unwellness. Many of the cardinal thoughts addressed in The Bell Jar are besides picked upon within some of her verse forms. The novel is, as acrimonious and remorseless as her last poems written before her self-destruction on 11th February 1963. The fresh ‘The Bell Jar ‘ was originally published in 1963 under the anonym Victoria Lucas, merely to be published in Plath ‘s name in 1971, old ages after her decease ; ‘Sylvia Plath Selected Poems ‘ was published in 1985, after being put together by her former hubby Ted Hughes.
Here Esther is parodying herself, believing that she is something different from what she really is, therefore falsifying world. She is besides doing merriment of herself through her visual aspect, through rough misunderstandings. She does this through the usage of a mirror, by seeing something that is n’t truly there- changing world into her ain position of the deformed image, farther demoing her inability to grok her ain characteristics and individuality. Plath uses conversational linguistic communication throughout the novel, which is evident through the usage of words such as ‘a large, smudgy eyes ‘ , the usage of informal linguistic communication is besides evident in some of her poesy. She besides refers to herself in the first individual a batch, through the usage of the word ‘I ‘ and ‘myself ‘ ( herself in the novel is the supporter Esther Greenwood ) . The same thought can be seen through Plath ‘s verse form ‘Mirror ‘ written in 1961. Even though this verse form was written in 1961, 2 old ages before her decease, Plath ‘s impairment is evident to the reader. In this verse form, Plath focuses on the mirror and the thought behind it, picturing what its intent is and what it sees ;
“ I am sliver and exact. I have no prepossessions.
Whatever I see I swallow instantly, merely as it is, unmisted by love or disfavor. ”
Here, Plath is stating that the mirror reflects world, this contrasts with the thoughts put away in ‘The Bell Jar, as within the fresh Esther does n’t see what is precisely in the mirror, she perceives herself otherwise to how others see her, unlike the mirror in the verse form, which has ‘no prepossessions ‘ , it says how it shows things for how they are, does n’t alter world in any manner in the first stanza. Although the tone alterations in the 2nd stanza, as it can be linked to Esther in the novel, as it is about the adult female and what she perceives ;
“ Now I am a lake. ”
The image of the lake can be interpreted as the thought of H2O, this thought can be linked the subject of deformed images as H2O moves and distorts the existent image concealed underneath. This verse form shows how bad Plath ‘s province of head was, as does the portraiture of Esther within the novel. The linguistic communication in the verse form differs from that of the novel, as it is less informal than that of Esther Greenwood, it has a more serious tone, one time once more could be linked to the unstable province of Plath herself. The tone of the verse form alterations from stanza one to stanza two, the first being more positive than the latter ; the alteration occurs when the individuality alterations from that of the mirror to that of the adult female. From these two subdivisions of both the novel and the verse form ‘Mirror ‘ we can see that the thought of faces and perceptual experience is of import when sing the thought of individuality within the two. Esther ‘s compulsion with her ain visual aspect is besides shadowed subsequently on in the novel when she says “ the face in the mirror looked like a ill Indian ” , therefore demoing her changeless deformation.
Another individuality issue addressed within both the novel and selected verse forms is the thought of muliebrity within individuality. Within ‘The Bell Jar ‘ Esther separates herself from everybody else through the thought of adult females ‘s ‘ right ‘s. She does n’t desire to conform to the remainder of society by following the traditional societal regulations that were in topographic point at the clip ; for illustration, matrimony and kids. She besides wishes to lose her virginity due to the fact that promiscuousness in work forces is acceptable but in adult females is frowned upon ;
“ and possibly gone out and kip with person myself merely to even things up,
and so thought no more about it.
Within the fresh Esther negotiations bluffly about sex, she does n’t speak about it romantically ; it appears to her to be simply an act that must be carried out in order to be a adult female, and to acquire back at Buddy Willard. Here the usage of the words ‘slept with person ‘ reimburses the thought of a slack attitude towards sex, and the familiarity about it. Esther keeps up this pretension throughout the class of the novel maintaining the same rigidness in positions. She besides presents this thought in a violent manner, utilizing violent images to portray the thoughts of sex. Her rejection and failure to conform with societies ideals shows the harsh, bitter and unforgiving universe that torments her head. The violent imagination connected with sex is evident in chapter 9 during Esther ‘s brush with Marco ;
“ The land soared and stuck me with a soft daze. Mud
Squirmed through my fingers. Marco waited until I half rose.
Then he put both his custodies on my shoulders and flung me back. ”
Throughout this brush of the fresh tonss of bloody and violent images are used to portray the possibility of a sexual brush. The usage of the word ‘squirmed ‘ gives the feeling of uncomfortable and indecorous behavior ; besides that Esther is n’t basking the experience. This can be linked to one of Plath ‘s verse forms ‘Maudlin ‘ . This verse form emphasises how the adult female is dying about her gender, as it is about a immature virgin. The poem uses tonss of imagination to portray painful images of sex, and muliebrity. The poem uses initial rhyme to integrate these images together, by utilizing phrases such as ‘mud mattressed ‘ , by utilizing these as starting words for a verse form, the reader already feels uncomfortable as the words themselves are uncomplimentary and dirty ;
“ But at the monetary value of a pin-stitched tegument
Fish-tailed misss purchase each white leg. ”
This subdivision of the verse form could be linked to the thought of the small mermaid, and the fact that everything injuries, as she paid for her legs with hurting, the word ‘pin-stitched ‘ emphasises this. The thought being that you tolerate trouble for no intent, hence associating negativeness with the thought of muliebrity and gender ; the chief in this case being menses and childbearing. Even the rubric of the poem links to sadness as maudlin means to be upset or sad, therefore farther associating the thought of muliebrity to trouble and agony, the words ‘purchase each white leg ‘ indicate the hurting in menses and childbearing within this verse form.