The Confltct between Self and Society
Sylvia Plath’s attractive personality, academic achievements and rigid mental makeup did not allow her to compromise and take failures. Self imposed restraint, both in her life and in poetry as well leads to despair. The wonderful years of her life with Ted which she writes and tells her mother, could not find a place in any of her poems. This camouflage forces her to lead double role in life, psychologically, a split personality. In art, this can lead to silence but in real life to suicide. She comes to stage where death and birth mean one and the same. She wanted to go back to the womb in exposition of “lost self”. This strain runs throughout her poems and gives a feeling that she might have died to give authenticity to her poetry. She could neither live with the mask on nor was prepared to expose her real self to the society in which she was an alien and here comes the breaking point. Kamala Das too fought with the society which looks upon women as sexual objects. She was a rebel and does not make any attempts to hide it. She fought with herself to become a unique person and articulated it through poetry.
Ibid., p. 58.
Peter Ackroyd, Notes for a New Culture (Plymouth, 1976), p.80
Ibid., p. 82.
Edward Butoher, “Sylvia Plath’s Defiance: The Bell Jar” from Charles Newman’s The Art of Sylvia Plath (London, 1973), p.161
Kamala Das, My Story (New Delhi, 1977), p.126.
Ibid., p. 97.
Ibid., p. 202.