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The Peanut-Crunching Crowd and the Rubber crotch: How Sylvia Plath’s legacy has suffered by the hands of sexism, over-eager feminists, schadenfreude, and gender politics?

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  1. Introduction.
    1. Plath's poetry - abstract, symbolic and distant from the confessional poets.
  2. The sexist dismissal of Sylvia Plath's work.
  3. Domesticity and family as political minefields for a female poet.
  4. The role of Plath's husband in bulding her sentiments.
  5. Description of Plath in Hughes's interviews and personal anecdotes.
  6. Marginalization of Plath's work by scholars in two ways.
    1. Wholeness of body.
    2. Wholeness of mind.
  7. The first feminist approach to Plath's poetry.
    1. The focus on Plath's body.
    2. Narbeshuber's preference to contain her interpretation of Plath's poetry to the realm of the physicality.
    3. Plath's feminine body as an uncomplicated whole.
  8. The other argument that has resulted in the general dismissal of Sylvia Plath's poetry.
    1. The unconscious cultural and social conceptions which influenced her.
  9. The ambiguity of her work.
  10. Conclusion.

O'Rourke goes on to say that although poems like ?Daddy? or ?Lady Lazarus? seem ?crudely self-involved,? the majority of Plath's poetry is abstract, symbolic, and in general quite distant from the confessional poets with whom she is grouped. Despite this, Plath's poetry is often viewed today as overwrought, histrionic, or hysterical, when in fact it was symbolic, calculated, and often purposefully stripped of specific biographical references. The poems are often described in overly emotional or psychoanalytic ways: ?neurotic,? ?savage emotion,? ?pathological,? and ?sadistic.? Plath's fantastical life and death lend her to a type of literary celebrity that polarizes her work, creating both profound love as well as profound distaste. As celebrities are products of the cultural landscape, they become archetypes or ideals; they are no longer individuals, but representations of culture, race, or nationality. They become the property of the society who grants them popularity.

[...] of Ariel: The Restored Edition, by Sylvia Plath. Iris-A Journal About Women 67.March (2005). RDS Contemporary Women's Issues. Rutgers University May 2007 . Gill, Gillian. ?Before her final infamous decay'? Rev. of The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, by Karen Kukil. Christian Science Monitor 92.235 (October 2000): 19. RDS Contemporary Women's Issues. Rutgers University May 2007 . Ostriker, Alicia. ?Visions and revisions [Part 2 of Rev. of Birthday Letters, by Ted Hughes. Women's Review of Books 15.9 (June 1998): 8. [...]


[...] of Ariel: The Restored Edition, by Sylvia Plath. Iris-A Journal About Women 67.March (2005). RDS Contemporary Women's Issues. Rutgers University May 2007 . Ostriker, Alicia. ?Visions and revisions [Part 2 of Rev. of Birthday Letters, by Ted Hughes. Women's Review of Books 15.9 (June 1998): 8. RDS Contemporary Women's Issues. Rutgers University May 2007 . Broe, Mary Lynn. ?Plathologies: The 'Blood Jet' Is Bucks, Not Poetry.? Belles Lettres 10.1 (Fall 1994): 48-52. RDS Contemporary Women's Issues. Rutgers University May 2007 . [...]


[...] of Sylvia Plath and the Theatre of Mourning, by Christina Britzolakis and Sylvia Plath: A Critical Study, by Tim Kendall. Modernism/modernity 8.4 (November 2001): 675-79. Peel, Robin. Ideological Apprenticeship of Sylvia Plath.? Journal of Modern Literature 27.4 (Summer 2004): 59-72. Project Muse. Rutgers University May 2007 . ?Although Plath has been associated with confessional poets like Anne Sexton, and the therapeutic revelations of their heirs, she is not in any true sense like them. Her poems are actually hard to parse; they take place in an abstract, symbolic world, and the of each is purposefully left ambiguous? (O'Rourke). [...]

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