International Journal of English Literature and Culture

International Journal of English Literature and Culture

Vol. 4(7), pp. 123-125, August, 2016

 ISSN: 2360-7831

DOI: 10.14662/IJELC2016.057


Review paper


Plath’s Ambivalence to Masculinity: an Evaluation of Her Three Poems


Noshaba Kanwal


Research Scholar, Lahore. E-mail: noshikanwal60@gmail.com


Accepted 17 August 2016



Sylvia Plath, an American Poet, had evolutionary ideas. Her poetry contains bulk of intense images and her ambiguous language conveys variety of ideas. Plath is considered a confessional poet but it will be underestimation of her work to confine her within a particular frame of reference. She wrote about many issues in which gender role were also included. Her concept of masculinity had nothing to do with sex (males). Masculinity referred to gender roles; the role that is set by society that how males and females have to move in society in order to be recognized. Plath’s battle was not with male (sex), her basic conflict grew with masculinity (gender role). In her poetry, I have found ambivalent attitude of Plath, for masculinity. I find that she loved male authority but at the same time, had strong hatred for their dominance. Her poems; “A Secret” and “Full Fathom Five” are potent example of Plath’s ambivalence for masculinity. In both poems, she admired males, but in very next line/stanza, contradicted her own view. The riddle has not been solved even after her death.

Key terms: ambivalence, gender roles, masculinity, masculine image, confessional

Cite This Article As: Kanwal N (2016). Plath’s Ambivalence to Masculinity: an Evaluation of Her Three Poems. Inter. J. Eng. Lit. Cult. 4(7): 123-125



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