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Global Journal of Art and Social Science Education

ISSN: 2437-1904 Vol. 5 (3), pp. 194-196, April, 2017




An evaluation of Plath’s three poems: Plath’s ambivalence to masculinity


Aradhya Drishya


Accepted 11 January, 2017

Sylvia Plath, an American Poet, had evolutionary ideas. Her poetry contains bulk of intense images and her ambiguous language conveys variety of ideas. Plath is considered a confessional poet but it will be underestimation of her work to confine her within a particular frame of reference. She wrote about many issues in which gender role were also included. Her concept of masculinity had nothing to do with sex (males). Masculinity referred to gender roles; the role that is set by society that how males and females have to move in society in order to be recognized. Plath’s battle was not with male (sex), her basic conflict grew with masculinity (gender role). In her poetry, I have found ambivalent attitude of Plath, for masculinity. I find that she loved male authority but at the same time, had strong hatred for their dominance. Her poems; “A Secret” and “Full Fathom Five” are potent example of Plath’s ambivalence for masculinity. In both poems, she admired males, but in very next line/stanza, contradicted her own view. The riddle has not been solved even after her death.

Keywords: Ambivalence, gender roles, masculinity, masculine image, confessional