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Plath and Larkin Use of Persona to Address Death

Autor:   •  May 14, 2019  •  Essay  •  2,028 Words (9 Pages)  •  98 Views

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Plath and Larkin Use of Persona to Address Death

Plath theatrically portrays death ensuring that the audiences become awed and shocked. On the other hand, Larkin trivially presents death as an end to the lives of people in his poems. Moreover, Larkin uses symbolism like “old fools” to express his fear of aging as it is associated with near death. "Lady Lazarus," acts as an oxymoron of the poem when narrating how a man raised from the dead by Jesus turns into Lady Lazarus. Plath portrays death in her poems as a dramatic moment and leaves her audience wondering about her state of mind. On the hand, Larkin poem like "High window" and "Sad steps portrays the author's views that death is the ultimate destination that everyone ends.

Consequently, Plath summarizes her feelings by stating, “the terrible gift of being reborn.” In Larkins poem “High window,” the author believes that the only thing that will unite them on their journey to death is love. Larkin believes that everyone will die including priests as he watches young children, “About hell and that, or having to hide” ("High Windows by Philip Larkin," Stanza 4, Line 1).  The author believes that lack of love results in death. In the poem the "Tulips the Plath expresses the desire to live and not die. The "Tulips act as symbolism for life and mentions that "the water I taste is warm and salt like the sea and comes from a country far away as health (Plath, Stanza 9, Line 1).

Plath choice of the title, “Lady Lazarus” expresses her feminism and that women should excel in their undertakings more than their male counterparts should. On the other hand, Larkin choice of title "Ambulance" is a symbol used to associate with bad things in the society such as death, injuries, blood, hospital, and most significantly death. Both Plath and Larkin employ the use of lexical techniques to portray their opinion and outlook of death. The techniques used by the writers include their choice of vocabulary, which acts as symbolism, rhetoric devices, and rhymes. In the poem "The old fools," Larkin uses the old people as symbolism to show their near death. He fears becoming old due to the fear of death. The author equates getting old and closing on death to fools with statements such as "and you keep posing yourself and can’t remember (Larkin, Stanza 1, Line 4). Larkin in the poem expresses her feelings that growing old are an indication of near death.

On the other hand, Plath's poem Lady Lazarus, the author believes that one should have the ability to die on their terms. Plath's poem "Edge" the write personifies barefoot as the reason for death due to lack of protection by the society. The author depicts death as a means of self-destruction. Moreover, Plath uses statements “The dead children are there with her, each dead child coils a white serpent” ("Edge Summary." n.p). Plath uses the statement to show how individual death is the ultimate event in life. On the other hand, Larkin in his poem “This be the verse” shares a different view to death by stating that it comes as result of misery shared from parent to their child ("Short Analysis of Philip Larkin's 'This Be The Verse?").


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