Ibby.Butler
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
Hi, (posting again with more details)
Trying to currently write my NEA on female identity and I am really in trouble as I can't quite work out what to say. I can understand that this is a pretty niche question and not many of you will be able to help because of the book and poem choice but general advice would also be appreciated. NEA requires you to mention four poems in detail and anymore briefly ( I have chosen 'bee meeting', 'mirror', 'morning song', 'daddy', 'aerial' and 'you're'.) I have to try and stick to the Sylvia Plath anthology put together by Ted Hughes that I was given but if you have any more suggestions on poems I can change it around? Obviously I understand that it is unfair to ask too much of people on here but I would love any help you are willing to give.
0
reply
username5290958
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
One of my favourite Plath poems is 'Lady Lazarus' which does explore how women with mental illness are perceived. One idea I just thought of was Ruth in Never Let Me Go wanting to put on a show and act a certain way when she goes to the cottage (namely having a boyfriend etc). Lady Lazarus also explores this theme of having to act a certain way after attempting to commit suicide - she writes about the 'peanut-crunching crowd' and how every sees her in a certain light because that is what society expects her to be like, which is very similar to Ruth feeling she must act in a certain way that is defined by popular culture and 'human' society. At the end of the poem, Plath likens herself to a phoenix, 'eating men like air', which is a sort of rebellion against society. In a way, Ruth pretending to be in love is almost a rebellion against the society she is in, which dictates that she is not human so she sub-consciously or overwise wants to reject this and show everyone she can feel love. Lady Lazuras also explores Plath losing control over her own body as well.

For 'Daddy' as far I know, Plath likens Hughes to Hitler or something like that, and this control and dominance over women is explored in Never Let Me Go, as a woman's life is pre-destined. This is quite abstract, but you could see the oppression that Ruth/Kathy face (being forced to give their bodies us) as an allegory for a women being forced by society to give herself to man (or certainly in the past this was the case). Also, the tragic thing about NLMG is that Kathy/Ruth grew up without a dominant father/mother figure so you could explore this in relation to 'Daddy'. There are some interesting links to Plath's own life as well- her father dying when she was young (being similar to Ruth/ Kathy?) and the possible dominance of Hughes, if you believe the allegations?

Ariel is wonderful. There is a lot about asserting control (over the horse) but this could be seen as a metaphor for her own life.

The Applicant is also very good. All about a woman being sold off to a man. Again there is a lack of control for woman over their identity and how it is forced on them or taken away by men. In Never let Me Go, Kathy/Ruth almost don't have identities, they are 'modelled on trash' and they have to somehow find their own identity with nothing to go. Also the line 'to see if you had souls at all'- you could talk about Kathy/ Ruth were not allowed an identity as they were not human, and it was only from the kindness of women that they got some sort of identity. Otherwise they would have been nothing.

I hope this help. All the poems i've mentioned and the ones you mentioned are in 'Ariel' the collection so read others from that maybe. I hope my thoughts are clear and maybe help you to develop your own links. I've just started yr 12 so this is by no means correct but they are two of my most favourite books/ poems so I hope this provides at least some inspiration! I'm thinking about doing Plath for my coursework too!

I'd be happy to answer any other questions and good luck.
1
reply
Ibby.Butler
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by username5290958)
One of my favourite Plath poems is 'Lady Lazarus' which does explore how women with mental illness are perceived. One idea I just thought of was Ruth in Never Let Me Go wanting to put on a show and act a certain way when she goes to the cottage (namely having a boyfriend etc). Lady Lazarus also explores this theme of having to act a certain way after attempting to commit suicide - she writes about the 'peanut-crunching crowd' and how every sees her in a certain light because that is what society expects her to be like, which is very similar to Ruth feeling she must act in a certain way that is defined by popular culture and 'human' society. At the end of the poem, Plath likens herself to a phoenix, 'eating men like air', which is a sort of rebellion against society. In a way, Ruth pretending to be in love is almost a rebellion against the society she is in, which dictates that she is not human so she sub-consciously or overwise wants to reject this and show everyone she can feel love. Lady Lazuras also explores Plath losing control over her own body as well.

For 'Daddy' as far I know, Plath likens Hughes to Hitler or something like that, and this control and dominance over women is explored in Never Let Me Go, as a woman's life is pre-destined. This is quite abstract, but you could see the oppression that Ruth/Kathy face (being forced to give their bodies us) as an allegory for a women being forced by society to give herself to man (or certainly in the past this was the case). Also, the tragic thing about NLMG is that Kathy/Ruth grew up without a dominant father/mother figure so you could explore this in relation to 'Daddy'. There are some interesting links to Plath's own life as well- her father dying when she was young (being similar to Ruth/ Kathy?) and the possible dominance of Hughes, if you believe the allegations?

Ariel is wonderful. There is a lot about asserting control (over the horse) but this could be seen as a metaphor for her own life.

The Applicant is also very good. All about a woman being sold off to a man. Again there is a lack of control for woman over their identity and how it is forced on them or taken away by men. In Never let Me Go, Kathy/Ruth almost don't have identities, they are 'modelled on trash' and they have to somehow find their own identity with nothing to go. Also the line 'to see if you had souls at all'- you could talk about Kathy/ Ruth were not allowed an identity as they were not human, and it was only from the kindness of women that they got some sort of identity. Otherwise they would have been nothing.

I hope this help. All the poems i've mentioned and the ones you mentioned are in 'Ariel' the collection so read others from that maybe. I hope my thoughts are clear and maybe help you to develop your own links. I've just started yr 12 so this is by no means correct but they are two of my most favourite books/ poems so I hope this provides at least some inspiration! I'm thinking about doing Plath for my coursework too!

I'd be happy to answer any other questions and good luck.
Oh wow, thank you so much for this. I really hope you are planning to go to Oxbridge or some other highly academic university/college, your knowledge of English and the way you write is incredible for a year 12 student. I will let you know if I need anymore help, thank you again.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

New lockdown - Do you agree schools and universities should remain open?

Yes (50)
37.31%
No (70)
52.24%
I don't know (14)
10.45%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise