Essay heading: Sylvia Plath

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Poetry & Poets


Written by:

Josh Robinson


Date added:

July 1, 2009






No of pages / words:

8 / 1984


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You’re begins with the persona (whom we can assume to be an expectant mother) talking to her foetus, and she believes that it is enjoying itself: “You’re/ Clownlike, happiest on your hands”. This could be a reflection of her own sentiments, implying that the mother to be is also contented. She seems sure that the baby will be ready to cope with any eventuality (“Gilled like a fish”) without needing to rely on others for support (“Wrapped up in yourself like a spool”...
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This sense of comfort is picked up again later, in both By Candlelight (“Balled hedgehog,” “I rock you like a boat”,) and Nick and the Candlestick (“wrap me, raggy shawls”.) It is emphasised by a feeling of enthusiasm and satisfaction: “Right, like a well-done sum.” The mother feels that what she is doing is right, and that she is enjoying it...
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