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Conflicting Perspectives Essay Representation And Text

2083 words - 9 pages

Conflicting perspectives are different points of view expressed and influenced by ones context and values. “Birthday Letters” by Ted Hughes is an anthology of poems challenging the accusation that he was responsible for his wife, Sylvia Plath’s death. The three poems Fulbright scholars, The Shot, and Red are an insight into Hughes justification of the death of Plath using a very subjective and emotive poetic form. The poems hold many deliberate techniques such as extended metaphors, connotations, diction and juxtaposition to encourage the audience to accept his argument that he was not the one to blame for this world renown tragedy. The film “Forbidden Lies” (Palace Films 2007) covers the ...view middle of the document...

The frequent use of personal pronouns conveys a sense of subjectivity and personal perspective. Word techniques such as alliteration and repetition are used also within the phrase “sore-footed, under hot sun, hot pavements. This is used to put the audience in the position of the day he experienced her photograph and brings discomfort to the poem through the ‘s’ sound reminiscent to a burning sensation. Connotations and allusions as a major part of Hughes poetry are evident within Fulbright Scholars predominantly with the image of the peach, the peach highlights the perspectives of appearance versus reality. The image of a peach, as soft and sweet on the outside, but with a hard centre. It seems he is implying the peach is Plath as in those days an attractive young woman was a ‘peach’. Another connotation is when Hughes speaks of her luggage; this is a connotation to the emotional luggage Plath Brought to the relationship. Within the poems he also alludes to her problems, he implies her grin is fake and held its own purpose, “grim for the cameras, the judges, the strangers, the frighteners.” The frighteners are an allusion to the demons that haunted Plath. Fulbright Scholars is when Hughes establishes his argument to further be built upon throughout the anthology. The argument that there were many contributing factors to Plath’s death and he was not the sole benefactor.
The Minotaur is one of the many poems in “Birthday Letters.” The title of the poem ‘the Minotaur’ is an allusion to a Greek mythological creature. It is half man-half beast that feeds on flesh and is found within a labyrinth. Within the poem the focus on two personalities, Plath and Hughes and the dialogue between them. There is also reference to other family members such as their children and Plaths deceased father. Hughes implies that Plaths father is the Minotaur and establishes how her father has slowly eaten away at her soul and flesh. The opening of the poem is of a violent nature, showing Plath in a fit of rage, “the mahogany table top you smashed,” for Hughes the action went beyond the physical, the line “mapped with the scars of my own life” suggests that Hughes also has emotional scars with memories held within this heirloom. The poem has a fast pace, this is enhanced through the use of limited punctuation coupled with enjambment. The effect of impulsive and rapid action is given by the enjambment; this is accompanied by extreme emotions which are triggered by the actions conveyed. Sarcastic dialogue is used as Hughes words within the context of the incident. “Get that shoulder in your stanzas and we’ll be away” is focusing on the anger within her personality and suggests she fails to incorporate these tendencies in her poetry. Hughes positions himself as calm and encouraging her in her art. The image of a “bloody skein” hints of Plath’s connection to her father and that it is what lead her to her destruction. The skein is a strong image conjuring notions of an in tact...

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