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“Mirror” PowerPoint Presentation
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  1. “Lady Lazarus” “April 18” “Mirror” SYLVIA PLATH Michael Nanchanatt Brian Kenez Jillian Arezzi

  2. “Mirror” I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.What ever you see I swallow immediatelyJust as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.I am not cruel, only truthful---The eye of a little god, four-cornered.Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so longI think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.Faces and darkness separate us over and over.Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,Searching my reaches for what she really is. Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.I am important to her. She comes and goes.Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old womanRises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

  3. Plath’s life • Born on 1932 in Massachusetts • Her drive came from her parents • Resented her father • Lutheran until converted to Darwinism

  4. Plath’s life • Published The Colossus in 1960 • The Bell Jar published under the name of Victoria Lucas • The Bell Jar published in 1963 • The Bell Jar was the only novel that she published • Ariel published 1965 (after death)

  5. Plath’s life • Died on February 11,1963 • Set food in her children’s room • Locked the door and went down to the kitchen • Turned on the gas in the oven and stuck her head in it

  6. Plath’s life • “Outcast on a cold star, unable to feel anything but an awful helpless numbness. I look down into the warm, earthy world. Into a nest of lovers’ beds, baby cribs, meal tables, all the solid commerce of life in this earth, and feel apart, enclosed in a wall of glass.”

  7. style • Literary critics note her poetry shows: • Irony • Wit • Consistency • Symbols • Infants • Wombs • Flowers • Mirrors

  8. Style • Connections to the sky • First person narrative view • Somber mood • Confusion/Curiosity tone • Short stanzas • Stanzas connect seeming unrelated ideas

  9. “April 18” the slime of all my yesterdays rots in the hollow of my skull and if my stomach would contract because of some explicable phenomenon such as pregnancy or constipation I would not remember you or that because of sleep infrequent as a moon of greencheesethat because of food nourishing as violet leaves that because of these and in a few fatal yards of grass in a few spaces of sky and treetops a future was lost yesterday as easily and irretrievably as a tennis ball at twilight

  10. Criticism • The Bell Jar is the most “explicitly autobiographical” of her poems • Most of the poems focus on herself • “appealing irony, wit…” • Poems also feature reoccurring symbols

  11. Criticism • Too much emotion • Poems disliked for personal obsession with death • her poems contained “inaccessible personal allusions” • Inappropriate allusions to the Holocaust

  12. “Lady Lazarus I have done it again. One year in every ten I manage it---- A sort of walking miracle, my skin Bright as a Nazi lampshade, My right foot A paperweight, My face a featureless, fine Jew linen. Peel off the napkin 0 my enemy. Do I terrify?---- The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth? The sour breath Will vanish in a day. Soon, soon the flesh The grave cave ate will be At home on me

  13. In the Oven • among “the most influential and important poets of the twentieth century • Produced many wonderful poems despite mind corrupting depression • Struggled against societies views of women and her career • “heroine and martyr of the feminist movement” for her struggle and The Bell Jar