Virgin In A Tree

1276 WordsJul 17, 20186 Pages
This poem was written in 1958, after Sylvia Plath left her job at Smith College to write for a living. It was during this time she found writing extremely difficult and resorted to set themes and deliberate exercises in style, in her efforts to find a release. The poem is based on a drawing "The Virgin in a Tree" by Paul Klee. Sylvia Plath expresses her feelings about the concept of virginity, virgins etc. She holds their morals and values accountable, for what they believe to be right and what they believe to be wrong. Sylvia Plath uses great many mythical allusions to illustrate her perceptions about virgins, especially in Ancient Greek mythology, many of which have been a direct bearing on the title of the poem; 'Virgin in a…show more content…
' root to top Unfaced, unformed, the nipple flowers Shrouded to suckle darkness?' Part of this, she believes, is in the belief of others that virginity is a sign of purity and holiness; for it is only them that talk tediously in the praise of; 'virgins for virginity's sake.' This is also a significant image in her poem, the religious images that are supposedly to symbolize holiness and purity are employed by Plath as a means of mockery; 'And put on barks nun-black habit which deflects' 'Who keep cool and holy make A sanctum to attract Green virgins, consecrating limb and lip To chastity's service: like prophets, like preachers,' In Plath's point of view, the reason virginity is given the meaning it is today, is due to the fact that virginity is declared sacred and pledged to sexual abstinence in the name of all that is holy. This underlines her faith in a woman's role as a partner in marriage, as a wife, mother, daughter especially in a family. She thinks that virginity does not deserve the fame and glory it has, in fact it will ultimately lead to the spoil of a woman's soul, how the essence will be destroyed if they are kept prisoners and constricted. 'She, ripe and unplucked, 's Lain splayed too long in the tortuous boughs: overripe Now, dour faced,' 'Askew, she'll ache and wake Though doomsday bud. Neglect's Given her lips that lemon tasting droop: Untongued, all beauty's bright juice sours.
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