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Searching for A Feminist Rights: A Postmodernist Analysis of Selected Poems by Sylvia Plath

Asst. Instr. Salman Hayder Jasim, Asst. Instr. Adnan Taher Rahma

Volume: 11 Issue: 3 2021


Sylvia Plath is one of those American poets who left their thumbprints on early postmodernist writings in America. Though, she lived a short life concluded by a horrible suicide, she produced a large body of poetry whose importance could have competed with later postmodernist poetry such as that written by Adrienne Rich, Maya Angelo and Harriet Mullen. The form and content of Plath's poetry demonstrated a new way of writing in comparison to the modernist poetry that preceded her time. When postmodernism meant the ultimate end of previous metanarratives and philosophies of form and content of writing and when postmodernism advocated selfgeneration over self-understanding, Plath appeared as a newly generated poet with a feminist message. Her appeal for a feminist position found support in the rapidly developing public sphere, which America witnessed during 1960s, as well as in the artistic and literary postmodernist sphere that accompanied it. To make an account for Sylvia Plath's achievement in this respect, the researcher divides the present paper into an introduction, three sections and a conclusion: The introduction of the paper sets the background of Sylvia Plath's literary rise and significance in her posthumous literary American scene. Section One discusses Plath's fight for a feminist role as it started early inside her family. The researcher selects a couple of poems to define the different sides of this internal struggle. Section Two moves out to the larger social scene which Plath choses to confirm her feminist demand on an external level. Here, she re-introduces the images of the 'bee' and the 'spider' to support her feminist stand. Section Three sheds light upon the theme of suicide and how it allures Plath as a means to define her feminist self. The Conclusion sums up the findings of the paper.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.37648/ijrssh.v11i03.012

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