Sylvia Plath: Life of a Mad Girl Analytical Essay by gnossos

Sylvia Plath: Life of a Mad Girl
An analysis of the life, works and suicide of famous poet, Sylvia Plath.
# 153627 | 2,442 words | 21 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on Jul 29, 2013 in Literature (American) , Literature (Poetry) , Women Studies (Historical Figures)

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This paper discusses the background, personality, and influences on Sylvia Plath, and examines how Plath deals with the difficult theme of death and suicide often in her poetry. The paper also demonstrates, however, how Plath's work is still relevant today and not always melancholy; her poetry is full of vivid imagery and imaginative metaphors and analogies. The paper questions what drove her to madness and what inspired a sadness so profound and deeply-rooted, and discusses how her son many years later also killed himself at home. The paper therefore suggests that Sylvia Plath's insanity was inherited, and she passed it down to her son.

From the Paper:

"In literature, the tragic drama - next to poetry - stands the test of time above all others. As humans, we are enthralled by tales brimming with drama, especially when they end tragically. Perhaps that is why the story of Sylvia Plath has reached a legendary, if not almost mythological, interest even long after her captivatingly shocking suicide. What would her reaction be if she knew that today she is better known for the tragedy of her death rather than the 230 plus poems that make up her abbreviated life's work (Beckmann 3)? Her outlandish life story full of madness and perpetual depression was one of the first of its kind to be made public, generating delightfully offbeat, melancholy themes for her rigorously written compositions.
"In order to truly take Plath's body of work, which is very extensive for such a short life, for what it was written to convey, one should learn of her story, personality, and influences. Sylvia, also called "Sivvy" or "Siv" by family and husband (Wagner-Martin 16), was a driven, extremely ambitious, studious young woman who always held herself to exceedingly superior standards. Describing herself as "The girl who wanted to be God" in a journal entry (60), one might say she was a perfectionist, maybe even a little too ambitious. Like the peers and fellow classmates she surrounded herself with, she always had a writing schedule, always had to be doing something and was very rarely idle except when sunbathing, which she loved to do (16)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Author Unknown. Phyllis Haver. 28 April 2009. 2009.<>
  • BBC. On This Day: 5 August 1962: Marilyn Monroe found dead. 28 April 2009.
  • 5 August 2008. <>
  • Beckmann, Anja. Sylvia Plath Homepage. 27 April 2009. 1996 - 2009.<>
  • Folsom, Jack. Death and Rebirth in Sylvia Plath's "Berck-Plage". 01 May 1994. <>

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Sylvia Plath: Life of a Mad Girl (2013, July 29) Retrieved February 06, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Sylvia Plath: Life of a Mad Girl" 29 July 2013. Web. 06 February. 2023. <>