Analysis Of Plath 's Poem ' Barren Woman ' Essay

918 Words May 12th, 2016 4 Pages
One prominent example that demonstrates the theme of the pressure that accompanies motherhood is found in Plath’s “Barren Woman.” As indicated by the title, this poem tells the story of a woman who can’t conceive. The narrator paints a picture of feeling, “empty” (line 1), and further makes an allusion to a life without grandeur like, “a museum without statues” (line 1). Just as an empty museum has no function, a barren woman cannot fulfill what is often perceived as the greatest purpose in life, procreation, and thus becomes outcast from society. The image of, “a fountain” that has no outpouring, merely, “leaps and sinks back into itself”(line 3) is further symbolism of isolation. The fountain is contained within itself, does not interact with the outside world - a barren woman can never send her child into the world. The narrator is comparing the dull loneliness of a fountain to that of a woman with no children. The poem continues to compare infertility to imagery of cold, lifeless stone; “marble lilies” (line 4) are representative of isolation from the natural as the cold marble can only imitate what a real lily looks like, but is never able to function as one. Apart from her own internal feelings, however, there is another aspect to a barren woman’s infertility, which is how the, “great public”(line 6) perceives her. The narrator expresses the notion that having children will call positive attention to her in a public setting. If the narrator were, “mother of a white…

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