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Even in her earlier poems Sylvia Plath displays an unhealthy preoccupation with sex madness morbidity and obscurity Discuss There seem to be a number of common themes running through all of Plaths poems which encapsulate her personal attitudes and feelings of life at the time she wrote them Of these themes the most prevalent are sex madness morbidity and obscurity The whole concept of sex to Plath appears to be a very disturbed and resentful one This is conveyed strongly through the poem Maudlin a poem about self-pity in which Plath evokes her bitterness toward masculinity with the aid of the two characters the Virgin and Jack Jack is described as having a crackless egg and being navel-knit ie cold hearted and impregnable He is given an arrogant macho image too With a claret hogshead to swig he kings it Plaths sourness becomes apparent when Jacks lifestyle of luxury is compared to the repressed and disturbed life of suffering which the sleep-talking virgin leads The idea of sleep-talking evokes her pain and suffering leaking from her subconscious Her torment does not end on the inside however according to Plath who describes further physical and mental torture endured by women who painfully beautify themselves for the pleasure of men like Jack at the price of a pin-stitched skin fish-tailed girls purchase each white leg Furthermore Plath justifies the virgins choice to endure the pain The sign of the hag the virgins fear of aging Another poem which is strongly sexually orientated but in a more mechanical and lustful sense is Night Shift The brute physicality conveyed through onomatopoeia in the poem impregnates the feeling of primeval sexuality in which violence is interlaced This overall effect arises as a result of the images conjured up by words and phrases such as heart beating drumming up sound ground pounding thudding source vertical tonnage of metal and wood stunned the marrow greased machines Her feelings
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