Known did not want her mother to feel
Posted On June 9, 2019
Known for the confessional style of her work, Plath often used her real life, personal experiences as a theme for her literature. It was mainly the result of her marriage to Ted Hughes that drove Plath to her suicide, which we can identify from her poetry, in particular, the ‘Ariel’ collection (1965) released after her death. Her interest in writing arose from a young age, where she kept a journal, and soon after publishing some work, Plath won a scholarship to Smith College.After recovering from her mental breakdown during college, Plath and Hughes had two children, although their marriage was failing. She wrote her semi-autobiographical novel, ‘The Bell jar’ following their split and Hughes leaving Plath for his mistress. It reveals several dark aspects of her life. Specifically about her mental breakdown and how she led a very suicidal life shortly after beginning college. Plath published the novel under the pseudonym ‘Victoria Lucas’ as she did not want her mother to feel ashamed since everyone would discover her personal traumas. Although a month before her death (her lowest point in life) the novel wasn’t receiving the reaction that Plath expected.Plath took her own life by putting her head in the oven and inhaled carbon monoxide. ‘The Rival’ is only one example of the many poems in the ‘Ariel’ poetry collection mentioning the deadly gas. Perhaps, she’d been considering to commit suicide with the gas for some time. Moreover, ‘Ariel’ was based on the last few months of her catastrophic life. For instance, her poem ‘Medusa’ is based on her unfaithful husband. The poems are personal accounts of her resentment, anxiety, terror, and have a constant theme of loneliness and death.Overall I identify Sylvia Plath as an example of a talented but traumatized author, who used her tragic experiences to create deep and descriptive literature. Nonetheless, because she was such a strong writer, this could have been a reason for her depression and due to her overthinking/analyzing many disastrous aspects in her life, she was perhaps impelled to commit suicide.