Friday, March 13, 2020

Compare and Contrast of Sylvia Plath and Sharon Olds Essays

Compare and Contrast of Sylvia Plath and Sharon Olds Essays Compare and Contrast of Sylvia Plath and Sharon Olds Paper Compare and Contrast of Sylvia Plath and Sharon Olds Paper Essay Topic: Sharon Olds Poems Sylvia Plath vs. Sharon Olds A traditional American household has changed throughout the years to the point where ‘traditional’ isn’t even politically correct to depict anything about a family anymore. But if we look back to the standard traditional household and there was always a father, a mother, and a 2. 5 children. The father has always been designated as the head of the household and something that Sylvia Plath and Sharon Olds have in common is just that, that they grew up during a father-dominated time, in a father-dominated family, and this lifestyle is reflective in their poetry as well. The Colossus† by Sylvia Plath is about the pain and hardships she experienced with her father’s death. Sylvia’s daddy was never around for his family and as someone whose father was always working and never had time for me either I can understand Sylvia’s feelings of unrequited love in her and her father’s relationship. In â€Å"The Colossus† the character’s efforts to rebuild the fallen Colossus of Rhodes are similar to her own personal efforts to build up the relationship she never had with her daddy. Saturn†; the poem by Sharon Olds also deals with her father issues. This poem is emulating his alcoholism and the effect it had on his own family compared to the Roman story of the god Saturn devouring his children. Both of these poems are making mythological gods as a metaphor for the father dominating role in their families. The slight difference is that Plath’s poem is about restoring a relationship and Olds’ is the psychological damage in both life and death that her father had on her. This Colossus interpretation is not only a metaphor for Plath’s daddy but also a hypothetical replacement for him, which makes sense considering the aspects of the father-daughter relationship. A girl’s relationship with her daddy is a very important part of a childhood development. â€Å"The desire to be loved by dads is a deep emotional need,† Shari Jones said this and goes on to say that if a girl is rejected in a father-daughter relationship she will try to fill the role of father with her romantic relationships. In Plath’s poem she replaced her father, not with a lover or romantic interest but with a Colossus. Shari Jones also says that never bonding with your father could make you feel as if there is a whole in your life which you will be trying to fill your entire life. After reading this it just makes sense that the Colossus is Plath’s coping mechanism and her way of filling that whole created by her father. Colossus is an â€Å"oracle, mouthpiece of the dead† through which her father can speak to her, fulfilling the dominant role he has neglected her entire life. In â€Å"Saturn† Olds uses her father to evaluate the male role in society and through this patriarchal structure how a father’s addiction (in her father’s case alcoholism) can have a disturbing effect on a family. The poem begins with her father literally passed out drunk: â€Å"He lay on the couch night after night, mouth open†¦big hand, fallen away from the glass†. The reference to her father being an alcoholic and then the later comparison to Saturn eating his sons is a metaphor for causing a family’s life to â€Å"slowly, disappear down the hole of the father’s life†. The cannibalism is also a metaphor for the damaging teaching style that the father used to make sure it was known he was the dominating male in that household, in that family. The father is devouring his son’s source of life, emotionally damaging and weakening him in order to show him what a man was to do in society. Both of these poems are showing the severe and overwhelming impact on family members when we have a father dominating family and society. With using these mythological gods as metaphors for the father’s we can take a step back and see how damaged these women were from their relationships. Olds’ had to deal with an alcoholic father, something that I know is not easy and what’s worse than alcoholism is what Plath had to go through, being completely ignored and neglected from your father and that wound will take longer to heal. Both poems come from terrible relationships from young women with their fathers. And again, this can go to show that no matter how absent a father may be from your life and how he might treat you, when you are part of a father dominating family structure, you cannot escape his influence on your life and these emotional damages will follow you forever. Jonas, Shari. â€Å"The Effects of the Father Daughter Relationship on Self Esteem – From First Love to Self Love. † EzineArticles. com. 22 Apr. 2009. Web. 13 Nov. 2010. Olds, Sharon. Cheap. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. http://b2bwise. blogspot. com/2002/04/saturn-by-sharon-olds-he-lay-on-couch. html. The Colossus A Poem by Sylvia Plath American Poems.   American Poems YOUR Poetry Site. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. americanpoems. com/poets/sylviaplath/1441. A Celebration, This Is Www. sylviaplath. info. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. sylviaplath. info/biography. html.

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