Compare And Contrast Sylvia Plath And Ted Hughes

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For thousands of years, women were told that they were inferior to men. Men wanted to control women to make themselves look good. Specifically, Sylvia Plath was oppressed in her literary life by Otto Plath and Ted Hughes. These two men influenced her writing in many different ways. Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy,” reflects the biographical context of how growing up with her father and her relationship with her husband affected her writings. Sylvia Plath’s father inspired her writings by their “bond” and his death. Otto is always spoken about in a negative way. In John Rietz’s article, Sylvia Plath states, “He was an auto-crat. I adored and despised him, and I probably wished he were dead. When he obliged me and died, I imagined him that I killed him” …show more content…
Ted Hughes mentions Sylvia’s hatred toward Otto Plath. Ted discusses in “Birthday Letters” how Plath is the bullet in her father’s gun, Otto Plath tells Sylvia what to do, and Otto is Sylvia’s “god”. Ted writes “[y]our Daddy, / the god with the smoking gun” and “[I] was the real target” (Churchwell 129). Ted then continues with “’high velocity bullet’ that killed ‘[t]he elect / more or less… on impact’ ‘[y]ou were undeflected’ ‘[y]ou were gold-jacketed, solid silver, / nickel-tipped. Trajectory perfect’” (Churchwell 129). This is Ted’s way of showing how easily influenced Sylvia was by her father. Churchwell also writes, “Plath becomes merely the bullet in her father’s gun. If she is murderous, it is not her fault. Hughes leaves it to patriarchs to pull the trigger” (129). This is a different view on how Otto is Plath’s muse. She writes and acts because of her father. She is a living version of Otto Plath, but she wants no attachment to him. This is where the readers can assume why Sylvia wants to kill Otto Plath or why he is already dead in her poetry. Meyers states that Plath kills Otto in her poems to punish him for dying in real life and then later says that “[s]he had to kill her father to kill the German in herself” (78 80). This shows more evidence of Sylvia’s hatred toward Otto Plath. Sylvia does not want to be like her German father. In Plath’s most famous poem “Daddy,” she writes, “[d]addy, I have killed …show more content…
He was the person to fill the void in her heart after her father died, but what she did not know, is that he would soon leave her the way her found her – broken. Ted was a fellow poet Sylvia met in Paris. While married to Ted Hughes, Sylvia became a client under Olwyn Hughes, Ted’s sister and editor (Churchwell 112). Churchwell writes, “Hughes was subsequently charged with ‘silencing Plath,’ an accusation with related closely to other, concomitant charges of censorship” (112). This came from Hughes withholding Plath’s writings and Olwyn editing Plath’s writings so that nothing negative about Ted was released. Churchwell continues with, “[t]he Estate did not agree with the point of view being expressed” (112). People began to question whether what was published was actually her version of the story. What also came into question is why Plath never had a narrative of autobiographical poetry like Hughes does (Churchwell 113). Hughes states that he was “defending” Sylvia from her “medicalized disorder” while Plath accuses Hughes of “mind rape and body rape, infidelity, abduction, and brainwashing of her children, plagiarism of her imagery, hiding of her most reveling indictments against her jailor, [and] making a mint by becoming her posthumous editor[.]” (Churchwell 115). When Churchwell writes, “hiding of her most reveling indictments” this rose many concerns in the literary world. Why has there been no proof of this mistreatment?

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