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Comparing and Contrasting the Works of Sylvia Plath and Ann Sexton

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Comparing and Contrasting the Works of Sylvia Plath and Ann Sexton

Taylor Combs

English 11B

May 28, 2014

Ms. Harvey

        Comparing and Contrasting the Works of Sylvia Plath and Ann Sexton        

        

Both Sylvia Plath and Ann Sexton were poets that were born in the early 20th century.  Although they never met until later in their careers, their works and lives were very similar.   Outwardly, both women appeared to have very normal and conventional paths.  Plath and Sexton were both married, educated and mothers.  To look at their accomplishments, one would think that their poetry was merely a creation, not a reflection of the reality they were existing in.

During this time, the feminist movement was growing.  Both poets expressed their support of women’s rights and the feminist concept.  Sexton’s work was more disturbing and provoking than Plath’s.  Whereas Plath related her work directly to her life, Sexton’s works are more dark, disturbing and almost cryptical.  Both women demonstrate the use of imagery and call deep to the reader’s emotions.  Their works are both definitely more appealing and directed to the female reader population.  

Sexton also had a tendency to cross over to the other side in her works.  Often she chose subjects that were considered very taboo, such as witchcraft and sexuality while Plath chose to write more of her personal struggles to be a wife and mother while having a career.  Both poets’ works had an edge of anger to them, a sense of resentment at having to act a certain way in society.

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