Portrayal of nature and natural world in Plath's poem 'Tulips'
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Explore the way Sylvia Plath presents nature and the natural world in her poem ‘Tulips’
‘Tulips’ is a poem that was written by Sylvia Plath in 1961 and was published after her death in 1965. Plath wrote this poem while recovering in hospital after recently having a miscarriage and having an appendectomy. This poem, set in the hospital, expresses Plath’s feelings and emotions at this time in her life. Nature and the natural world are themes, which are portrayed, in a negative light in many of Plath’s poems, ‘Tulips’ included. She saw nature as a threat, and something that oppressed her, exposed her or caused her pain. In her poem ‘Tulips’ nature, specifically the tulips themselves, are personified which causes her to be reminded of…show more content… Sylvia Plath sees the tulips as ‘dangerous animals…opening like the mouth of some great African cat,’ Once again the adjective ‘dangerous’ highlights the threat that the tulips pose to Plath and it is as though the tulips will devour her when they open.
Because the tulips are a representation of life to Sylvia Plath they cause her to think about it,’ they concentrate my attention’, this shows that these flowers are a constant reminder to Plath about her ‘husband and child’ and her responsibilities and commitments. The constant interruption by the tulips and how the poet personifies them makes the flowers seem as though they want to be acknowledged and Plath’s acknowledgement of the tulips draws her attention away from her peaceful and quiet state of mind to the life that she so desires to escape from. From studying the poem ‘Tulips’ it is evident that Plath is intensely disturbed by nature. Plath is paranoid about nature as she sees it as a danger or a threat, it is also something that oppresses her and that she feels is obtrusive. She also resents nature as it often reminds her of her troubled and unhappy life, this upsets her and causes her pain. Conventionally the theme of nature is a positive and pleasant one but her negative presentation of this theme in this poem effectively shows her hatred for certain elements in the natural