Sylvia Plath's poem "Metaphors".

Essay by byointellectUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2003

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Question : Read Sylvia Plath's poem "Metaphors". What is the significance of the title? Choose five of the metaphors in the poem and comment on their meaning in relation to the meaning of the poem as a whole.

Plath's "Metaphors" has a particularly significant title as it immediately makes the reader aware of what is to come in the poem. Through this title, the reader is conscious that the speaker will be writing about metaphors as well as using the literary technique to say something meaningful. The reader does not expect this kind of title, thus its use heightens interest in the poetry.

The poem's distinctive use of metaphors in the poem to describe what the speaker is feeling adds to the meaning of the poem as a whole. The speaker is portraying a feeling of confusion, awkwardness and being stuck in a particularly undesirable place and Plath uses the metaphors to illustrate this.

The first example of a metaphor used in the poem in this way would be "I'm a riddle in nine syllables" (Line 1). This suggests to the reader directly that the speaker feels confused and almost in need of decoding. A second example of the way the poet's use of metaphors relates to the meaning of the poem is "a ponderous house" (Line 2). This image suggests the speaker is awkward, large and heavy as well as illustrates the overall meaning of the poem.

Similarly, the third instance where metaphors are used in this way would be that of "A melon strolling on two tendrils" (Line 3). This particularly interesting imagery used by the poet in this metaphor, presents the idea of a large melon precariously attempting to "stroll" along two thread-like tendrils, coinciding with the meaning of the...