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Arrival of the Beebox

Uploaded by Admin on Dec 31, 2000

In a number of her poems, Sylvia Plath expresses a concern with the need to be in control. The speaker is often invested with power and is placed beside the underlying fear of being over ridden by the 'other'. In order to maintain an authorative position, she confronts with the 'enemy' and ponders on the unknown, leaving readers inexplicably drawn by the experiences described. Yet Plath's other preoccupations are contrary to the investiture of power in the poetic voice, where the main subject is placed at the victimization by the opposition - whether it be a male figure, a baby, an insect or mushroom. It is also apparent in some of Plath's poetry to begin with a lack of hope which then invert to a simple, affirming statement.

Such progressive features appear in the third extract, 'The Arrival of the Beebox'. Upon establishing a description of the 'clean wood box' which appears to be 'square as a chair' and almost 'too heavy to lift', we are immediately presented with a visual that remains consistent throughout the five-line stanzas of the poem. Already there is a sense of struggle or uncertainty with the speaker thinking ironically that 'the box is locked' but is 'dangerous' because she 'can't see what's in there' although she 'ordered' the box of bees. This supports Plath's notion of individual power, but also considers the responsibility that accompanies. As the 'owner' of the box, the speaker 'can't keep away from it'. It is as if she is expected 'to live with it overnight'. Plath also examines society's expectations of responsibility in 'The Applicant', however, in a different context. The male subject is directly confronted by the company voice, 'Are you our sort of person?' as the starting question of several to befit the role as husband. The repetitive line, 'Will you marry it' and the same words in the last line emphasizes Plath's value in society's attitudes towards wholeness in life, where marriage creates an equilibrium, therefore is the 'last resort'. But in contrast, the speaker in 'The Arrival of the Beebox' has more than one way to overcome her duty to the bees as she does not out rule 'they can die, I need feed them nothing…'. Consequently, the speaker restores her power and in personifying 'sweet God', she decides she 'will set them free'. Readers are left to wonder if one can control the world.

While the...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   12/31/2000

Category:   Poetry

Length:   4 pages (898 words)

Views:   1601

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