Analysis Essay on Psychology, Symbols and Concept of Memory in Poetic Works

2021-05-27 10:50:37
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Middlebury College
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Psychologist in the poem "Daddy"

Throughout Sylvia Plath's poetic work, psychology plays out strongly as the author goes through stages of the emotional wreck and traumatizing experiences in the hands of her German father, Otto Plath. Her poetic work "Daddy." churns out quite some psychological states of the mind which affect the author to the extent of developing a bitter and antagonistic feeling towards a certain group of people, in this case, men. In the poem, Sylvia Plath suffers from father complex. She develops a very strong negative feeling of distrust and fear towards her father due to the experiences that she remembers having while her father was still alive. She uses some metaphors, imagery, and symbolism throughout the poem to describe her father and show how fearful she was of him.

Plath refers to her father as a Nazi and considers herself a Jew to bring out her victimized status in the relationship that she had with her father. She goes further to use the mustache as a metaphor comparing her father to Hitler who was a ruthless German ruler as a way of creating images in the reader's minds of who her father was. Plath also feels small and traumatized in the poem as she directly refers to herself as a foot and her father as a shoe in which she has been living in for years. The shoe metaphor depicts her as being a victim of her father and the suffering she's been going through always living under the shadow of her father who she considers huge. She goes further to refer to her father as a giant whose toe covers the entire Atlantic and later as a vampire who's been sucking her blood throughout the years. These symbolic representations of her father point out to the psychological effect that the author's relationship with her father had on her and how they had changed her overall perception of men in general.

Imagery and Symbols in the Poem "Do not go Gentle into that Goodnight."

The author, Dylan Thomas, uses metaphorical statements and imagery to reflect symbolism and how it has been used to portray the main theme of the poem, in this case, the rage towards death. Sunrise and sunset have been used by Thomas as symbols representing different phases of life. He uses an extended metaphor in line 1 where he compares sunset as the time a person is born, daytime as the life of a person, sunset as death and the night as the afterlife. Through this line, the author intends to show how life easily slips away between our fingers. Thomas also uses the first line as a refrain, being repeatedly used four times in the poem. He successfully manages to put a definition to life through the use of the "Sunrise and Sunset" symbol.

In lines 10 to 11, the author says "Wild men who caught and sung the sun in flight/ And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way." (Thomas, 10-11).The rapid flight of the sun across the sky has also been used as an extended metaphor to depict how short life is. Falling things from the sky, meteors and lightning have also been used by the author to show the intensity with which people should live life. Thomas uses the imagery of a lightning bolt not split by wise men's words to depict how fast things in life happen. Thomas, on the other hand, uses the sun as a symbol to signify the beauty of the world and all that is to be enjoyed and celebrated while alive. According to him, once the sun appears, it speeds across the sky and quickly disappears giving way to darkness. This symbolizes how short lived good things are in life and how inevitable darkness is.

The Concept of Memory in the Poem "The Piano."

Lawrence uses the poem to travel back in time to when he was a little child. The metaphorical use of the Piano" embodies the nostalgic feelings that the author has about his past with the piano's rhythm directly connecting him to the hay days. Though the past appears faint, the rhythm of the music the woman sings manages to bring back the childhood memories vividly into the author's mind. The personification of memory holding the hand of the author down memory lane shows that the author is now an adult.The author states that the piano was their guide and that it served as the glue that held his family close together through the hymns that it produced.

The poet's use of the phrase "In spite of myself" indicates that he is trying not to be taken down memory lane, but nevertheless, the songs manage to remind him of him back in the days during winter when the piano would be played in their cozy parlor. In the last stanza, the poet becomes melancholic when he says that it is in vain for him to burst into clamor to suggest that his memories of the past are lost and that the childhood music cannot be able to bring them back. This causes him to weep like a child due to his longing for the memories that he had when he was a child.

 

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