Sylvia Plath Effect Essay

911 Words 4 Pages
Poets, writers, and artists have suffered with the monsters of mental illness for decades; however, the theory that there may be a correlation between creativity and mental illness goes all the way back to Aristotle’s time. Although there have been many different surveys conducted over time testing the connection between mental illness and creativity, it is still unclear if there is a distinct connection between the two. Many believe that mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and depression, aid in creativity. While there are certainly creative people who are not mentally ill, correlations can be drawn between mental illness and creativity; resulting in many famous artists who are mentally ill and many mentally ill artists who are more …show more content…
Many poets and other artists tend to experience melancholy more than the average person. The Sylvia Plath Effect coined by famous psychologist James C. Kaufman in 2001 explores the idea that poets are often more susceptible to mental illness than other writers (Bailey). Many say that poets are more susceptible to depression due to their more realistic outlook on life however, it is more likely that creative people are more depressed due to how much time they spend ruminating on their thoughts.
One of the most recognized artist that suffered from mental illness was, in fact, Sylvia Plath. Throughout Plath’s short life, she produced brilliant yet immensely troubled writing. Plath’s struggle with both bipolar disorder and depression is communicated within her writing through her use of creativity, visceral language, and emotional rawness. Her inner turmoil can be interpreted in her brilliant and vehemence evoking poetry as well as her novel, The Bell Jar (Plath). Although in Plath’s time she was considered tortured, she is held in the highest esteem in today’s literary
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He published his first and most influential book, Bildnerei der Geisteskranker (Artistry of the Mentally Ill) in 1922. This book was mainly concerned with the thin line between mental illness and self-expression. It was one of the first attempts to analyze the art of the mentally ill (Hauschild). Along with Prinzhorn, 20th century French philosopher and sociologist Michel Foucault had been doing some research of his own. Foucault suggested that, “‘madness’ was socially constructed to scapegoat and control people whom society found deviant”

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