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Significance of Death - Death as a way of life,

krutikahegde 1 / -  
Dec 11, 2014   #1
I need to analyze these two quotes and relate them to confessional poetry. i really need help with more analysis. please help me i will do the same

"An engine, an engine. Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. I began to talk like a Jew. I think I may well be a Jew." (Sylvia Plath, 29-32)

"A sort of walking miracle, my skin, Bright as a Nazi lampshade, my right foot, a paperweight, my face a featureless, fine Jew linen." (Sylvia Plath, 5-9)

Significance of Death
Plath's words in the first quote signal a life of bitterness and defeat. She has a lot of anger towards her father. By use of the extended metaphor "an engine, an engine," Plath expresses that the German language, like a train, is "chuffing" ("chuffing" is the sound used to symbolize a train) her off like a Jew. Her words pinpoint a dark time in the world's history, namely, the Holocaust. By comparing how the Germans took Jews by train to concentration camps to her own life, the pain and trauma the author is going through is evident. Furthermore, Plath relates the quote to direct World War II concentration camps such as Auschwitz, Dachau, and Belsen by saying, "A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen". The concentration camps and train both portray a heavy symbolism for enduring pain. The author's tone is so jaded that she makes it seem like she is heading toward a painful death. Plath continues, "I began to talk like a Jew. I think I may as well be a Jew", which describes her antagonism towards the German language. As a result, she begins to feel and think like a Jew in a concentration camp. The speaker compares her fear of her father to the fear Jews had while being taken to these concentration camps, which show how she is deeply disturbed by memories of her father. Sylvia Plath lives her life with the regret of her father dying when she was so young. The use of the Holocaust imagery comes from Plath's struggle throughout her life. With the loss of her father, she feels no difference between him and the Germans.

In the second quote, the first line, "A sort of walking miracle, my skin", the whiteness implies the paleness when somebody dies. Yet another Holocaust reference, the poem recollects and accounts for the events of World War II that occurred during the post war mourning era and when the book was written (1962). The infamous act was unforgettable. When she continues by saying, "Bright as a Nazi lampshade", the word "Nazi", can be interpreted as a metaphor. Lady Lazarus is also comparing herself to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust by saying "my right foot, a paperweight, my face a featureless, fine Jew linen," she is describing how the Nazis used the dead bodies of the slaughtered Jews to make objects such as lampshades and paperweights. Plath can only express her pain through her poetry. While she has not directly stated her pain, through the Holocaust imagery, Plath relates to how she could never get over her father's death and how it has always haunted her.

Through Sylvia Plath's two infamous poems, "Daddy" and "Lady Lazarus", she describes oppression through the use of World War II allusions, which was a cruel, inhumane time period in human history. Sylvia Plath uses violence and war imagery along with the Holocaust descriptions in both poems to show her pain and anger towards her father's death, as well as the suffering she encountered as a result of it. Through her poems, Sylvia exaggerates the effect on her misery because she feels abandoned at such a young age. Both poems indicate how Sylvia suffers from depression and pain, like the Jewish people who were being tortured and persecuted by German Nazis during World War Two. Sylvia overall describes her father as a cruel dictator who controls her life and, as a result of his death, she will never be able to forget the pain he has caused her.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 15, 2014   #2
What you have written is great.. all writing is subject to criticism and disagreement, but your effort so far shows that you did a lot of study about the poems. Now, what about relating them to confessional poetry? Since that is part of the task, I think it's okay to look for a similarity between this and another confessional poem. Since you are studying this, you probably know a few poets associated with this kind of poetry.

Can you show how the meaning (of one of the quotes) and the meaning of some lines from another poem are similar or dissimilar?
How about identifying more figures of speech and discussing the reasons they might have been chosen?
It also helps if you cite some great books or articles that analyze the poem and discuss the ideas they offer. The trick to getting through a paper like this is to allow yourself to look at the prompt from a whole new perspective, and then you can go very deep in your analysis.

: )

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