The fine Jew linen –Lady Lazarus, 1965 These

The child’s cry                        Meltsin the wall                        And I                        Amthe arrow,                         Thedew that flies –Ariel, 1962The poem continues on with the woman resisting a maternal call.The child’s cry that “melts in the wall” is ignored as a means of allowing thewoman to take another step towards liberating herself from the concept ofmotherhood and becoming an autonomous individual.

This section depicts Plathand her way of rejecting the society-endorsing template that all women werefilling as being a woman she dismissed the call of her maternal instincts. Bythis act of resistance, Plath was able to embed in her poetry, that the ideas ofdomesticity and marriage were concepts that paralyzed a woman’s independenceand freedom. Thepoems “Lady Lazarus” and “Daddy” both use controversial allusions of theholocaust in order to dramatize Plath’s personal plight. She uses one of themost atrocious acts against humanity as a way of articulating her personalemotions and depicting the power enforced on women in a patriarchy.

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Sheidentifies herself as a Jew, although she is not Jewish to depict herself asthe victim much like how Jews were victims of concentration camps in NaziGermany.  Plath manages to use such historical contexts as metaphors tocompare her struggles at the same level thus allowing readers to see relevancein her story, her emotion and her literary works.                         A sort of walking miracle, my skin                        Bright as a Nazi lampshade,                         My right foot                        A paperweight,                         My face a featureless, fine                        Jew linen –Lady Lazarus, 1965These few lines from “Lady Lazarus” depict a female speaker whom Ibelieve is Plath identifying herself as a Jew as they have historically beenvictims of Nazi aggression. She describes herself as an object such as a “Nazilampshade” as they were famously known to be composed of the ashes of theholocaust victims. This signifies Plath feeling like an object, one used by mento fulfil their sexual desires as she is living as a woman in the sixties.

Byconstantly referring to herself as a Jew and as an inanimate object she is ableto rage at an environment where she is forced to compromise her talents andthus feel the disempowerment and loss of identity as a woman.                         Ihave always been scared of you,                         Withyour Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.                        Andyour neat mustache                         Andyour Aryan eye, bright blue.

                        Panzer-man,panzer-man, O You –Daddy, 1962In the poem “Daddy”, Plath is mostly referringto her father however, I believe that “daddy” symbolizes all males in a 1960American society. She associates her dad and therefore all males with the Nazisto depict them as the oppressor and her sole authority. By attaching the Nazimetaphor to the males in her life she indicates to readers the power enforcedon her living as a female in a male dominated society. It depicts thehelplessness of women as they are expected to be obedient leaving them to feeltrapped much like a Jewish prisoner in a concentration camp. “Because Plathassociates power so exclusively with men, her conviction that femininity issuffocating and inhibiting comes as no surprise”1and as a result the theme of patriarchyresurfaces in much of her literature.1  


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