Sylvia Plath Mushrooms Poem Analysis Essay

I'll answer a few of the questions here.

1.The mushrooms are people who are kept down, oppressed in some way, the 'perfectly voiceless' ones who are slowly rising up to make their mark on the world. (The type of oppression is not specified, the poem could apply to any group of people who are victimized, or in some way suppressed by society.) The mushroom image is extremely effective in conveying the sense of their quietly...

I'll answer a few of the questions here.

1.The mushrooms are people who are kept down, oppressed in some way, the 'perfectly voiceless' ones who are slowly rising up to make their mark on the world. (The type of oppression is not specified, the poem could apply to any group of people who are victimized, or in some way suppressed by society.) The mushroom image is extremely effective in conveying the sense of their quietly gathering strength. Metaphorically speaking, these people, like mushrooms, are growing slowly, silently underfoot, unnoticed by the world at large, but gradually gaining a secure foothold. They do not need much to survive, they subsist on little (water and 'crumbs of shadow'), but there is strength in their great numbers, which cannot fail to effect a revolution in the end.

2.The mushrooms are given personality in the way they address the reader directly, telling their own story. They describe in some detail their struggle to survive, to establish themselves.  The tone they adopt is of quiet persistence, all the more effect for appearing muted and understated. Because the poem is given entirely from their perspective, the reader can identify with their struggle. They are normally denied a voice in society, but here they assert themselves.

3.The sense of impending revolution is effectively created by Plath. All through the poem there is a sense of the mushrooms gradually gaining strength. 'Overnight' they have begun to sprout, they then 'take hold', other grains have to 'make room for them, and so on. Their 'fists', though 'soft', have force; they 'insist' on taking their place. The quiet tone of the poem is deceptive. There is no overwhelming impact on the reader, to begin with, but the sense of the mushrooms' hidden strength builds up inexorably.  It is a cumulative effect, concluding in the triumphant note of the final verse: 

We shall by morning

Inherit the earth

Our foot is in the door.

The mushrooms have already described themselves as the 'meek', whom Christ declared would 'inherit the earth'. The final line drops to a more everyday register: to have one's foot in the door means to finally arrive, to be noticed, to begin to stake one's claim to a higher position in society. This final verse, therefore, is an interesting mix of the religious and the colloquial. Overall, with her memorable image of the mushrooms, Plath evokes a striking picture of the downtrodden slowly gaining a foothold in society.

 

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means that they’re either not touching at all, or they’re having sex for the wrong reasons. Sheuses imagery to explain how the couple is so distant, almost like strangers, yet close at the sametime “Strangely apart, yet strangely close together” (120). They stay close because they aremarried and have a daughter, but in reality that’s the only thing they share in common. Thedaughter’s voice in this poem illustrates how she feels, not just what she sees. She watches her  parents who have grown out of love—watches the way they no longer touch, no longer love, andseemingly stay together because of her. Elizabeth Jennings uses excellent imagery in the line“Whose fire from which I came, has now grown cold” (210) to portray the daughters feelings. Inthis line she means that the passion, love, and sex that the daughter was conceived from, hasvanished and is no longer visible. She was born out of their love, but now that love is gone andit’s been replaced with chastity, books, and dreams of childhood. Overall this poem uses greatimagery to show the daughters pain as she watches her mother and father become strangers of each other.Wild Geese by Mary Oliver is a poem about combining the past with the future in order to bring out the best in you. In the first line, she tells us “You do not have to be good”. In thisline she means that we don’t need to be perfect, good at anything, or good in a moral way, butthat just being alive is a precious thing. The next couple lines, “You do not have to walk on your knees, for a hundred miles through the desert repenting” tell us that we don’t need to spend our lives being sorry and asking for forgiveness. Instead, “You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves”. In this line, she uses soft animal as a metaphor for our hearts. Shemeans to tell us that we need to let our hearts guide us, and to do what we love. Things won’talways be easy though, “Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine” is a line in whichshe portrays hardship and sadness in ones life. She means to say that she will be there to listenand talk, but “Meanwhile the world goes on”. She tries to show us that while we are busy

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