“Plath’s provocative imagery serves to highlight the intense emotions expressed in her poetry.”
I agree completely that Plath uses a lot of provocative imagery to highlight the intense emotions expressed in her poetry.
The poem I will discuss in light of this statement is ‘Morning Song’.
In this poem I found a lot of provocative imagery that made me feel various emotions. One provocative image that stood out for me was, ‘new statue’. I found this image provocative because it’s abnormal to describe your new born baby as a statue. It provoked/caused anger and confusion in me. It made me angry because I think that Plath is suggesting that her child is a possession. I believe it is wrong to have a child just to add to your life like a new car or home. It also confused me because the title suggests something positive but to me this image is negative.
Another provocative image that stood out for me was, ‘In a drafty museum, your nakedness shadows our safety’. This is a provocative image because I find that Plath is being harshly honest when it comes to her relationship with her husband. To describe your home as being a drafty museum is unusual. It made me feel respect towards Plath but also anger. I respect her for being able to tell the truth about her relationship. To express the loneliness and depression she feels is courageous. However I feel anger at the idea that somehow having a child would fix the problems in their relationship, ‘your nakedness shadows our safety’.
A third provocative image that stood out for me was, ‘I’m no more your mother’. This to me is extremely provocative. Her child is only born and already Plath is feeling that she is not or should not be a part of her daughter’s life. This provoked/caused me to feel sadness and pity for Plath. I feel that she’s afraid that her child will soon be an individual and will not need her mother’s advice or encouragement. This makes me feel sad for Plath as a mother, to already be thinking of when her daughter leaves the home instead of enjoying the moments of her being a child. I also feel pity for Plath because I feel she hopes that her child won’t need her. I think she feels this way because she’s afraid her child will be like her and take on her depression.
The final provocative image that stood out for me was, ‘In my Victorian nightgown’. This is a provocative image because again I think Plath is being blatantly honest when it comes to her relationship with her husband. I think she uses the nightgown as a symbol for a lack of passion in her relationship with her husband. This image made me feel respect for Plath. I respect her for being able to tell the truth about her relationship. To express the loneliness and depression she feels is courageous especially when it’s something intimate like their sexual relationship.
Overall I found that Plath uses a lot of provocative imagery to make a statement, to shock and cause the reader to take notice of what she is trying to say. I also feel she uses these images in a great way to provoke or create intense emotions for the reader and suggest these are the same emotions she herself is going through.
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