“Metaphors,” Written By Sylvia Plath, Is A Riddle Poem.

1067 WordsApr 19, 20175 Pages
“Metaphors,” written by Sylvia Plath, is a riddle poem. Throughout the poem, Plath uses figures of speech, alliteration, and other literary devices to reveal her central theme. Like a riddle, the reader must use Plath’s literary devices to unveil the answer to the riddle. While “Metaphors” does not use a traditional form or meter, its unusual structure also points to the main idea Plath presents. Plath’s “Metaphors” is a riddle poem whose solution, pregnancy, is solved using literary devices and other clues within the poem. Plath’s poem is classified as a riddle poem. “Literary Contexts in Poetry: Sylvia Plath’s ‘Metaphors’” defines riddle poems as “built on the fundamental referential power of language, or the power of a word, or groups…show more content…
Plath’s use of the number nine is yet another key to solving the riddle. Continuing the descriptions of the physical transformation of pregnancy, Plath uses another metaphor in line two: “An elephant, a ponderous house,” (2). The first metaphor of the elephant displays the physical transformation a pregnant woman undergoes. The obvious transformations of “weight gain” and “unflattering associations of slow and difficult gait” (Devi, p. 2, 2006) are reflected in the elephant metaphor. The ponderous house refers the bulky figure of a pregnant woman (“Metaphors: Lines 1-4,” 2008). G. Devi also points out that the woman is like a house as “the speaker sees herself as a shelter for the child growing inside her” (p. 2, 2006). Plath again portrays the physical changes of pregnancy in line three: “A melon strolling on two tendrils” (3). The line’s imagery allows the reader to gain a mental picture of a large melon carefully walking on two thin legs. This line also employs personification as the melon is given the human quality of walking (“Metaphors: Lines 1-4,” 2008). The melon is also metaphor of fertility. Like a fetus, a “melon fruit is the most valuable part of the plant” (Devi, p. 2, 2006). Plath continues the value of pregnancy in line four: “O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!” (4). The items listed in this line are all of high value. The red fruit is the most valuable

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