Metaphors By Sylvia Plath Essay, Research Paper
In Sylvia Plath?s poem, ?Metaphors,? the speaker describes a negative
event in which she is experiencing pregnancy. Her choice of words and phrases
express her feelings about the pregnancy as well as the structure of the poem.
In her poem, Plath chooses many metaphors to describe her pregnancy. I felt that
these metaphors were describing something that she was not enjoying or looking
forward to. The objects she chose to use to express her feelings gave me an
uncomfortable feeling of the pregnancy. The line in which she refers to a
?ponderous house? brings me to a vision of shelter. I feel that she is
sheltering something, but has to think deeply about sheltering this object. The
speaker doesn?t sound sure of what she is sheltering, and feels confused. It
almost seems like a feeling of regret. The line, ?Boarded the train there?s
no getting off,? supports her feelings of regret. She sounds as if she has no
other choice or option other than to be or remain pregnant. The line almost
hints that she is stuck, so she has to continue with the decision. These
feelings of regret seem to be alongside her mixed feelings. The line in which
she refers to eating ?a bag of green apples? gives me the impression that
she feels sick. The color green, to me, represents sickness or ill feelings.
Green apples also could refer to their ripeness. The unripe ?green apples?
could be describing her feelings of not being ready for the pregnancy. Her
metaphor of ? a cow in a calf? could mean two things. The speaker is having
her first child and doesn?t feel sure of this decision, or that she, herself,
is a child trying to bring another child into this world. They both convey her
feelings of not being ready to handle the situation. One line that supports her
not experiencing pregnancy is where she writes, ? Money?s new minted in this
fat purse.? Along with referring to herself as ?fat?, she is saying that
this is all new to her. The pregnancy is newly ?minted? and that she
doesn?t know what to expect. Another feeling that I received from reading this
poem was that the speaker did not like the pregnancy because she was becoming
larger. In the second line, she refers to an elephant. Being pregnant, a person
gains a large amount of weight, and I can see her feeling as an ?elephant.?
?This loaf?s big with its yeasty rising,? refers to her getting larger as
her pregnancy progresses. These metaphors all are in reference to her size. Her
reference to these objects gave me the impression that along with her unsure
feeling, she resents getting larger. The way that Plath chose to form her poem
is also relevant to why the speaker is not enjoying the pregnancy. The beginning
line, ? I?m a riddle in nine syllables,? begins the pattern of nine
syllable lines. Each line having exactly nine syllables and containing nine
lines is in reference to her length of being pregnant. This reference to the
length gives me the impression that the time she has to be pregnant is an issue.
Instead of cherishing this ?miracle? time, she seems to be bickering about
the time she is pregnant and is excited until nine months is over. Sylvia Plath
and the elements she chose to describe a pregnancy gave me the feel of
discomfort. Most of the metaphors she used conveyed mixed feelings, issues of
weight gain, and impatience with the pregnancy. The speaker seemed to
concentrate on the symptoms and things that happened to her during the
pregnancy, rather than on the fact that she was bringing another life into the
world. She didn?t convey that she was fortunate to be involved in a miracle.
Instead she focused on her misfortunes and afflictions due to the pregnancy.
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