Why The Works of Sylvia Plath Should Only be for College Students

Compared to other poets, Sylvia Plath’s style of writing is incredibly dark and sometimes gruesome. Additionally, throughout the complexity of her poetry, there is a recurrent disconsolate theme of suicide and death. A lot of the topics that are mentioned in her poetry would not be appropriate for a juvenile audience because they would be incapable of grasping and comprehending such harsh nature.

Her poem “Old Ladies Home” is one of the prime examples of why her works would not be suitable for a younger audience. Plath comments on elderly women in a nursing home and how they are living day by day waiting to die. Sylvia Plath states, “Sons, daughters, daughters and sons,/ Distant and cold as photos,/ Grandchildren nobody knows” ( lines 10-12). They are experiencing daily isolation from their loved ones, such as their children and their grandchildren. Therefore, they are very much abandoned and detached from their families. In the last stanza of the poem Plath writes, “From beds boxed-in like coffins” (17). Comparing where they sleep to coffins symbolizes that their deaths will soon be approaching. Their beds no longer signify a place of comfort and sleep, but rather a place where they will eventually become lifeless. A few lines down she writes, “Stalls in halls where the lamp wick/ shortens with each breath drawn” (20-21). She is indirectly stating that their lives are getting shorter with every breath that they take. While this is a phenomenal poem by Sylvia Plath, it is also an ideal demonstration of how her poetry acknowledges sensitive topics that should not be exposed to younger individuals due to its gloomy, deathly nature.

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