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Thread: Sylvia Plath

  1. #31
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    I think a lot of her S ness comes from her culture. She was well brought up and wanted desperately to fulfill what she was told were her roles, but she kept being thwarted one way or another from being a happy wife and mother, sorority sister, pretty girl without a care in the world/let the men do the heavy lifting, etc. It's why she always shows up on the feminist poet list. I don't think she was all that mentally ill. I think she was extremely bright and perceptive and could see what she was not supposed to see -- and developed a habit of examining what she was not supposed to look at -- and that made her unadaptive. I feel like it's possible if she were young now, she wouldn't be considered crazy.

    P.S. I think she's a T. Very intellectually competitive. And between hers and Annwn's poems, above, I prefer Annwn's. Sylvia's is so contrived. There's so much device going on. You can see the work.

  2. #32
    Member EnflamedHeartofSand's Avatar
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    Well her psychotherapist concluded she was definitely an NF, overusing her T, making her able to be competetitive and intellectual. In one of Sylvia Plath's last interviews she stated that she believed that most of her poems came directly from her sensuous and emotional experiences, and then went on to say that she can't sympathize with the cries of the heart from individuals who have these experiences but cannot articulate them intelligently.

    This to me, indicates someone who felt the need to, and seemingly in her case, a very strong need to be able to relate her inner experiences to others, and the only way she felt that she could do that without it sounding like an incoherent "cry of the heart" was by forcing herself to deconstruct those intense experiences she felt by developing a precise method by which she could make those experiences somewhat coherent. Though it came across as contrived, ultimately the desire to make her work so precise came from an overwhelming desire to be honest.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    I think it came from an overwhelming desire to be a famous poetess, too.

  4. #34
    Member EnflamedHeartofSand's Avatar
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    Yeah, but that's not really saying much, the desire for fame is never an end in itself.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Ratsimoan's Avatar
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    She's an infj 4w5 sp/sx or sx/sp.
    [SIGPIC] [/SIGPIC]

    Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace."
    — Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)

    "Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted."
    — Sylvia Plath

  6. #36
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnflamedHeartofSand View Post
    Yeah, but that's not really saying much, the desire for fame is never an end in itself.
    Good point.

  7. #37
    Member EnflamedHeartofSand's Avatar
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    INFJ makes sense to me, but it's hard to imagine an infj having so many people involved in your personal life as Sylvia Plath did. She is known to have been very adept at introducing herself to neighbors, becoming well acquainted with them, and establishing regular contact with them, in each of the neighborhoods she lived in England. That doesn't seem like a very infj quality to me, but more like an enfx. Also, before an after her suicide attempt, she was definitely a very outgoing person who had a large group of friends or at least acquaintances. That doesn't seem very infj either....but more enfx..

    I still want to believe infj though because it seems to make the most sense, when taking her whole life into account. A very deep, intelligent person who had profound insights into humanity.

  8. #38
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    To me, there is a big difference between a natural inclination to socialize and establish a large circle of acquaintances (ENXP) and having this inner force driving you to make "these sorts" of friends and connections in order to achieve your ideal vision of yourself. The latter sort of behavior, from my own experiences, is very Ni (and even more true if you consider the Fe). It involves a lot of behind the scenes orchestrating and planning, but can appear very organic.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Not to be Johnny One Note, but again, it's the times ... you were expected to visit new neighbors and they were expected to visit you ... it was not unusual to take over a cake or cookies ... and I bet Sylvia hated the whole thing, which is another kind of reason for her self-hate, like, "Why can't I get with it? Why don't I really want what everybody else really wants, what everybody says I should want and what would be 'good for me'."

  10. #40
    Member EnflamedHeartofSand's Avatar
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    Maybe she did think along those lines, but necessity always prevented her from completely indulging those self-hating, envious thoughts. She, up until the very end, sought out people to help her care for her children, and possibly just spend time with. It seems that she somehow knew that on her own, she would be in trouble....which also would explain her need to write letters to others, especially her mother, all the time. This kind of behavior tells me that she was the type that gained energy in the company of others. It was only when she moved in to her last home, with her only neighbor being someone who at first was antagonistic towards her, and seemingly unsympathetic towards her on the whole, that she finally gave in to those destructive thoughts.

    [of course that's not the only reason: the circumstances before her death, are those of a woman who has been almost completely cut off from the relationships she had with others, and I would argue that this was not a voluntary action on her part, but maybe an idea penetrated her thoughts which perhaps could have made her believe that the world would be better off without her.]

    In one of her last correspondences with her mom, she admitted that as long as someone could tell her that things would be okay, she was willing to believe them and continue to fight off the depression. Therefore, despite the fact that she may have hated herself for not being able to be like others, beyond that, she must have intuitively felt the immense importance of establishing relationships with others.

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