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An Ecofeminist Reading of Sylvia Plath’s Poems

Author ZhaoZheng
Tutor LingJianE
School Hunan University of Science and Technology
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Sylvia Plath ecofeminist criticism women nature
CLC
Type Master's thesis
Year 2008
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Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) is an important writer in contemporary American literature. Given the prominence of nature and women in the poems, this study attempts an eco-feminist reading of her poems written and collected in The Collected Poems (1981) edited by Ted Hughes, her husband, so as to foreground her distinctive ecofeminist consciousness and her importance as such.The introduction of the thesis surveys the framework of ecofeminist literary criticism and discusses Plath’s studies at present. Beginning with a survey of nature images in the poems, the study moves from the environmental concerns to the appeal for animal right to demonstrate an extraordinary ecological concerns in the poems. Working from ecofeminist concerns of affinity of women and nature, it still clarifies in the poems the materialized nature, the mutilated female body, and symbiosis of women and nature, to make the point about Plath’s poems. With a third chapter on spiritual eco-crisis embodied in self-denial and death wish of the poetic personae, this study concludes that Plath indeed is an ecologist and ecofeminist that writes poems of rare beauty.

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