Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickenson’s Bibliographies
Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickenson’s Bibliographies
The authors of several books are celebrated for the different artistic works that they produce. In their real lives, not it is everything can however be celebrated. This is because some have undergone a hard time throughout their lives. Some have gone to the extent of committing suicide so as to end the problems in their lives. Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickenson are good examples of authors who have faced a hard life and who used their writing works to express their feelings.
They have undergone through a hell of life by losing their parents and enduring the extramarital affairs of their husbands as well as degenerative diseases in their late life. Further, they have manifested some similarity in their early lives because they were all brought up in a Christian family. They also had a desire to learn, an aspect that made them achievers in developing artworks. Plath and Dickenson had very tragic and troubled lives. To start with, Dickenson was born during the month of December 1830 in Amherst community. She was the second daughter of Edward Dickenson.
Throughout her life, her mother was not accessible emotionally and this absence caused Dickenson to depict some eccentricity. Being born in a Christian tradition, she was forced to espouse her father’s religious beliefs without any argument. These are some of the things that came to be challenges in Dickenson’s late life as is evident through her poetry. Her family was very popular in Amherst with her father being a lawyer who made that family to enjoy immense popularity and excitement. Dickenson did not enjoy this; instead, she withdrew (Paul).
When her father realized that she had a problem with his Christian religion he began to censor the books that she was reading because of their potential of drawing her away from faith. In her early life, she was silent and shy; she used to depreciate in the presence of strangers. Dickenson was very successful in college but after her life in seminary in 1848, she began her life of seclusion. The culmination of these problems made her life miserable. To add to her tragic life, she was never married although she had significant relationships which did not however work out.
She lived in a private society and she could refuse to see certain people who paid her a visit. It may sound very sad that by the time she was twenty years, she had no extended exposure to the world which was outside her home. She started authoring her poetry as a way of expressing how her life was and how she hated some of her friends and family pressures. It was so unfortunate that Dickenson’s late life was full of mourning because of several deaths that occurred during a time frame of a few years. Her father died in 1874, her brother died in 1878, her mother died in 1882, and her nephew in 1883 (Burt 110).
Due to these deaths, her speculations for poetry started to come to a halt in 1884 whereby she suffered her first attack of one of her terminal illnesses such as hypertension. The whole of 1885, she was bedridden and on May 1886 she took her last breath. She lived in solitude and had a very boring life that was full of tragedies and problems. On the other hand, Plath had several problems which made her life miserable. To start with, she was born during the time of The Great Depression when the nation was being faced with severe economic problems.
Secondly, when she was only eight years old her father died from complications following a foot amputation due to untreated diabetes. This event introduced a lot of pain in Plath’s life because her father had refused any treatment because his friend had died. It impacted negatively in her life because she lost her Christian values that her father had instilled in her. She enrolled at Smith College – a place where she broke her leg when she was skiing. She had a great desire to learn and she had so many trophies because of her art in poetry when she was eight years only. Her leg made her to lose confidence in herself and her life in general.
This made her to make her first suicide attempt when she took an overdose of sleeping pills after she crawled under her house. After this incident, she was taken to a mental institution where she received treatment. To add to her problems, during her marriage, her husband – Hughes – had an affair with Plath’s best friend, Assia Wevill. She had earlier experienced an accident which many people belief was another suicide attempt. Plath was faced with many problems which resulted to depression and finally, she committed suicide, thus killing herself together with her two children in an inferno of gas which she lit.
This was the same way through which that her friend – Assia – had committed suicide earlier. We can thus argue that Plath’s life was full of tragic incidences which made her to think of killing herself. Plath and Dickenson were authors of poems and novels and in their work they used their real life details as the raw materials. Before Dickenson died, she had written over 2000 poems. Most of her poetic work was discovered by her sister in a bag after her death. Further, a great deal of her poetic work reflected most of the tragedies that she had passed through.
For example, Most of her poems talk about death – which is a major aspect that made her life miserable by taking her loved ones. To illustrate, in the “Because I could not stop death” poetry, Plath personifies death as a gentleman. In the first line, she states that since she was not in a position to stop death, it will kindly stop her, meaning that she was preparing to meet her death. There are various themes that she explored through the poems. To start with, she used love as a theme. She employed this concept to explain the situation that she was in because she was never married.
Secondly, despair was another theme that she used in her poems. One can argue that she did this to express the despair that she had faced in her tragic life. Her poems – which she wrote while she was in the seminary – show her tendencies in her academic years. The prominent themes include the hard time that she faced trying to maintain close family ties, her preference for solitude over society, her intellectual curiosity, and her hesitation to accept Christianity in a manner that her family and friends wanted On the other hand, Plath described her tragic life indirectly in her poems and books.
She used her life details as the raw materials for her art work. After the death of her father, Plath was a frequent caller at her father’s grave and this prompted her to write “Electra on Azalea Path,” which is a poem that described the memorable moments of her father’s life (Horvath 61). Conversely, Plath pointed out her idea of committing suicide through her various poetic works. She wrote a book named “The Bell Jar,” which is a semi-autographical work describing her entire life. She used the “Fig Tree” as an analogy; a ripe fruit represented her intended future.
She also used a woman who is ready to “Learn German” but is haunted by her past. This shows that Plath did not like her past and the only way to show this was by putting it through poems and books In conclusion, the lives of these two authors were full of similar tragedies. They were both rebellious to the Christian religion and to the efforts of their friends and family in forcing them into it. They have used poetry to describe the lives that they have lived and the injustices that they have faced in their entire lives. They died being heroes of poetry even though they were not aware.
In their poetic work, these two women were similar in the fact that they used examples of repressed women who have been able to write their work in poetry and other writings. This was despite the fact that the society did not give a chance for women to do so. Both have manifested themselves as people who are not destroyed by the repression of the male-dominated society. The main difference between them is the time in which they started to write. Dickenson started writing after her twenties whereas Plath started when she was very young.
Works Cited Burt, Daniel S. The Biography Book: A Reader’s Guide to Nonfiction, Fictional, And Film Biographies of More Than 500 of the Most Fascinating Individuals of All Time. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001. Horvath, Rita. Never Asking Why Build – Only Asking Which Tools”: Confessional Poetry And The Construction Of The Self. Andrea Pok, Hungary: Akademiai Kiado, 2005. Paul. C. Emily Dickinson’s Life. July 23, 2010. <http://www. english. illinois. edu/maps/poets/a_f/dickinson/bio. htm>.