Sylvia Plath - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Sylvia plath l.jpg
1 / 9

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Sylvia Plath. 1932-1963 “The blood jet is poetry / there is no stopping it.”. A brief biography: childhood. After discovering poetry, Sylvia said I “had fallen into a new way of being happy.”. Born in Boston on October 27, 1932, to Aurelia Schober and Otto Plath

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.

Download Presentation

Sylvia Plath

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Sylvia plath l.jpg

Sylvia Plath


“The blood jet is poetry / there is no stopping it.”

A brief biography childhood l.jpg

A brief biography: childhood

After discovering poetry, Sylvia said I “had fallen into a new way of being happy.”

  • Born in Boston on October 27, 1932, to Aurelia Schober and Otto Plath

  • Her father was German-Polish; uni professor and bee-keeper

  • A precocious child- knew insect names in Latin!

  • Her mother introduced her to poetry which she loved

  • Idolised her father and longed to please him

  • In 1930s he developed diabetes, but refused treatment. Gangrene of leg led to amputation.

  • In 1940, when Sylvia was 8, her father died and she published her first poem.

Sylvia plath as a young woman l.jpg

“I still do not know myself. Perhaps I never will. I am afraid of getting older. I am afraid of getting married…I want, I think, to be omniscient…I think I would like to call myself the girl who wanted to be God. . . . Never, never, will I reach the perfection I long for with all my soul. . . .” (diary, age 17)

Sylvia Plath as a young woman

  • At school she was a top student, excelling in English

  • 1950 recieves a scholarship to Smith College

  • 1953 won a competition to guest-edit Mademoiselle magazine in New York.

  • Suffers mental & emotional exhaustion

  • Is rejected for a Harvard writing course

  • First suicide attempt –overdose. Receives electric shock treatment.

  • She writes about these experiences in her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar

Sylvia goes to england l.jpg

Sylvia goes to England

  • 1954 Plath went to Harvard summer school, graduates summa cum laude in 1955

  • Wins a Fulbright Scholarship to England

  • 1956 She met Ted Hughes, a poet, at a Cambridge University party

  • According to her journal, at this meeting he kissed her and she bit him on the cheek, drawing blood.

  • It was an intense courtship and they were married within months.

He was “very simply the only man I’ve ever met whom I could never boss.” (Sylvia to friends)

Motherhood writing l.jpg

Motherhood & Writing

  • After a 2 year teaching stint in America the couple decided to commit to writing full-time and return to England

  • In 1960 Plath had her first child, Frieda, and published her first book of poetry, ‘The Colossus’.

  • In 1962, following a traumatic appendix operation and the birth of their son Nicholas, Plath's writing became more frantic.

Sylvia plath ted hughes l.jpg

Sylvia & Ted’s relationship was passionate and tumultuous

She was attracted to his physical power, his way with animals esp owls, his reputation as a poet, and appreciated his encouragement of her poetry

She feared losing him

1962 – the beginning of the end

June: 2nd suicide attempt – driving car off the road

July: Discovers Ted’s affair with Assia Weevill.

Sept: They separate

Oct: She writes 26 poems in one month

Dec: She takes her 2 children and moves into a maisonette in London

She prepares Ariel, a collection of 41 poems

Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes

The end 1963 l.jpg

The end: 1963

  • The Bell Jar is published under a pseudonym and receives good reviews

  • She is depressed, isolated and mentally unstable

  • February 1963, in one of the coldest winters in English history, she succeeded in taking her life

  • Her body was discovered the following morning.

  • She was survived by her 2 children.

  • 1965: Ariel was published.

  • 1982 she is posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature.

In our study of sylvia plath we will consider these questions l.jpg

In our study of Sylvia Plathwe will consider these questions…

  • What are the distinctive characteristics and strengths of her poetry?

  • How much should the author’s biography be considered when interpreting their work?

  • Was she a great poet, or simply famous because of her tragic life?

  • In what ways was her poetry affected by her relationship with Ted Hughes?

  • To what extent does her work ‘fit’ categories such as ‘confessional’ poet, Feminist poet etc?

Resources l.jpg


Biographical information




  • Login