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Sylvia Plath

Poet and novelist Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1932 to Otto and Aurelia Plath, both educators. From the time Plath was the age of five she was writing complete poems. She was a brilliant and gifted high school student, having her response to an article in The Atlantic Monthly published. In PlathÆs response to the article that was titled A Reasonable Life in a Mad World, she argued that ôbeyond reason, one needed to connect with and embrace inner divinity and spirituality to fully liveö (Mondragon 1). It was a connection Plath would never fully make.

One of the most dramatic events in PlathÆs early life was the untimely death of her father. Thinking he had lung cancer and there was no help for him, Otto Plath neglected his health and refused to see a physician. Once his suffering became unbearable he was ordered to see a doctor and discovered he did not have lung cancer but an advanced case of diabetes. His leg was amputated and his conditioned deteriorated rapidly, bringing about his death in November, 1940. Plath considered her fatherÆs death a form of suicide since he refused to seek assistance, and when told of his death at the age of eight she responded, ôIÆll never speak to God againö (Mondragon 1).

PlathÆs college experiences were quite influential on her, in terms of both her writing and influences she would meet. Her works found publication at times, but a continual stream of rejection slips created depression in her which she seemed to suffer from inherently. By the time she was 19 she would have a nervous breakdown. In the 1950s, she attended Cambridge University on a scholarship. It was here she would meet the single most important male influence in her life other than her father, her future husband and father of her two children, poet Ted Hughes. Their relationship would be one of ups and downs, with Hughes being abusive physically and emotionally to his wife even though Plat...

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Sylvia Plath. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:22, December 07, 2021, from