Conflicting Perspectives Ted Hughes' Birthday Letters Sylvia Plath's Ariel's Gift
English and Literature
Submitted By amb161
Truth in society today whether we choose to believe it or not, dangles from strings, strings that are firmly and possessively gripped by the composers of poetry, movies, and even documentaries and biographies. It is these forces that have shaped my understanding of the representations of events, personalities and situations, or rather, the manipulation of the truth surrounding them. The strings behind such truths are often twisted, knotted and complex due to conflicting perspectives.
A relationship between two successful people that finds its way into the public eye will always reveal conflicting perspectives. Think about TomKat or Branjelina, the media jumped on speculations and rumours about their relationships immediately. The same thing can be said about Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Hughes remained silent about their relationship until he published Birthday Letters (hereafter BL) in 1998, thirty five years after Plath’s death. BL is a suite of poetry which commemorates Plath, their life together and gives Hughes’ perspective. This can be contrasted with the views of Erica Wagner’s Ariel’s Gift (AG) and Sylvia Plath: The Poetics of Beekeeping by Frederike Haberkamp.
AG attempts to make all sides of the story clear, allowing readers to make their own perspective of Hughes’ and Plath’s relationship. Wagner approaches the topic with an objective view to establish ideas and reveal the complex nature of their relationship by exposing the conflicting perspectives. Sylvia Plath: The Poetics of Beekeeping is a critical analysis of Plath’s life and literary works in reference to her relationship with her father and Ted Hughes. This analysis focuses on Plath’s poetry and her silence. By electing the form of an analysis and biography both Haberkamp and Wagner provide reliability and validity for their opinions, persuading readers to believe that their perspective is the...