Christmas Carol Poem Analysis

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Poetry is used as a device to convey confronting concepts to the reader and explore human encounters, which the author communicates through poetic language. In Margaret Atwood’s ‘Christmas Carols’ and Sylvia Plath’s ‘Stillborn’ the application of extended metaphor, persuasive language and juxtaposition generates thought and feeling through poetry. In Sylvia Plath’s potent emotive work examines the conflict in her writing process through the metaphor of a stillborn child, while ‘Christmas Carols’ a political piece is centralized on the sanctification of motherhood. These poems use the symbolism and theme of birth to provoke emotion and change in different contexts.

Margaret Atwood’s ‘Christmas Carols’ uses historical examples of different contexts, to shock and
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Whilst Margaret Atwood’s poem uses pregnancy as the central issue the poem ‘Still born’ extends the metaphor of a stillborn child to represent her personal struggle of writing poetry. Though both pieces use specific reference to authentic occurrences, Plath’s work uses the comparison to establish the disillusionment of writing in which one put time with no “lack of motherly-love” only to fail. The imagery of a child slowly forming in the womb and exclamations of “O I cannot understand what happened to them” accentuates the overwhelming despair and frustration felt both when giving birth to a lifeless child, as to write an unsuccessful and imperfect poem. Symbolic imagery of the lifeless children in “pickling fluid” affirmed by the repetition of “and smile” expresses the haunting of Plath’s own writing process and failures that can be kept but will never thrive. The metaphor of a stillborn pregnancy as a portrayal of the deterioration of a poem is a startling yet effective way to engage the reader into the emotional mood of the

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