The rain set early in tonight, The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite, and did its worst to vex the lake: The opening four lines provide the setting and the tone. It was evening, and the rain began to fall.
I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root; It is what you fear. I do not fear it: I have been there. Is it the sea you hear in me, Its dissatisfactions? Or the voice of nothing, that was you madness?
Love is a shadow. How you lie and cry after it. All night I shall gallup thus, impetuously, Till your head is a stone, your pillow a little turf, Echoing, echoing. Or shall I bring you the sound of poisons?
This is rain now, the big hush. And this is the fruit of it: I have suffered the atrocity of sunsets.
Scorched to the root My red filaments burn and stand,a hand of wires. Now I break up in pieces that fly about like clubs. A wind of such violence Will tolerate no bystanding: The moon, also, is merciless: Her radiance scathes me. Or perhaps I have caught her. I let her go.
I let her go Diminished and flat, as after radical surgery. How your bad dreams possess and endow me.
I am inhabited by a cry. Nightly it flaps out Looking, with its hooks, for something to love. I am terrified by this dark thing That sleeps in me; All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.
Clouds pass and disperse. Are those the faces of love, those pale irretrievables?
Is it for such I agitate my heart? I am incapable of more knowledge. What is this, this face So murderous in its strangle of branches? It petrifies the will. These are the isolate, slow faults That kill, that kill, that kill.
This is further made evident through the extensive use of metaphors and natural imagery, the main being the title of the poem where she uses the metaphor of the Elm tree to represent herself.
This leads to her mental instability which eventually leads to the shattering of the self. This sheds light to her belief that true love cannot be achieved. This could have been because the persona may have felt that the notion of love is deceptive and the feeling of love cannot be trusted.
The initiation of such a feeling could have been the outcome of multiple ways in which the persona would have been cheated in her relationship. The realisation of the death of true love results in the persona slipping into a state of depression which is eminent throughout the poem.
This could perhaps have been the outcome of a complete detachment of all those objects and institutions that help the persona reinstate her identity namely loss of love and trust in her relationship.This study guide and infographic for Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text.
Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs. The writing of Sylvia Plath () in the context of English, American culture and history in relation to her own self has brought an undefeatable personal as well as social self.
"Sylvia Plath, my favourite female writer of all time." "Sylvia Plath" See more "Ernest Hemingway speaks to my soul" "If it's the only way, at least I'll live a full life in my mind.
Maybe I'll live a hundred lifetimes in my mind." // From the poem Elm by Sylvia Plath. Angela. Words. What others are saying. A Terrible Fish is Born - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Summary The Works of Sylvia Plath: Passionate Apocalypses of a Phoenix A fter her suicide at the age of thirty in February , the image of Sylvia Plath, Anglo-American poet and prose author, achieved a level of fame and mythological amplification few could have hoped to achieve before her.
In her poem Elm Sylvia Plath expresses her sense of despair and loneliness. Of course, to perceive ones own self in a reflecting surface, either in a mirror or on water, or a lake, is to recognize ones Jungian shadow as the dark underside of a shining surface.