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Death & Co. Analysis



Author: Poetry of Sylvia Plath Type: Poetry Views: 542

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The Collected Poems1962Two, of course there are two.

It seems perfectly natural now--

The one who never looks up, whose eyes are lidded

And balled¸ like Blake's.

Who exhibitsThe birthmarks that are his trademark--

The scald scar of water,

The nude

Verdigris of the condor.

I am red meat. His beakClaps sidewise: I am not his yet.

He tells me how badly I photograph.

He tells me how sweet

The babies look in their hospital

Icebox, a simpleFrill at the neck

Then the flutings of their Ionian

Death-gowns.

Then two little feet.

He does not smile or smoke.The other does that

His hair long and plausive

Bastard

Masturbating a glitter

He wants to be loved.I do not stir.

The frost makes a flower,

The dew makes a star,

The dead bell,

The dead bell.Somebody's done for.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

written around the time of World War two the persona is clearly distressed by the events going on and depressed. The persona describes death as two people, \'Two, of course there are two.\' the first being demonic, evil and ugly- the persona refers to it as \'Bastard\', the other death character is charming, he smokes and smiles (unlike the other death who cannot smile as he has a \'beak\') the second death \'wants to be loved\'. The poem talks about the struggle with death, she craves death and to begin with she does not give in \'I am not his yet\' but eventually he seduces her, \'I do not stir\'. As if death has made love to her and now she is dead. In order to seduce the persona the first death character threatens killing her children, \'hospital icebox whilst wearing \'Ionian death gowns\' which has dark connotations of the Greek underworld Hades he then continues to make the persona feel weak and vulnerable, the adjective \'nude\' represents these emotions. The persona feels cheated and used by death, she feels like \'red meat\' to death which has Vampiric connotations, like many of Plath\'s other poems.

| Posted on 2011-12-05 | by a guest


.: :.

The imagery of this poem is suggestive of someone is unsure of whether death is what they want. Though it appears to be ‘glitter[ing]’ she is ‘not [death’s] yet’ which indicates that she craves death but is still unsure if she is ready to end her life. There is a strong sense of isolation in the poem as the narrator appears removed from the two vultures which regard her and though they are together, united against her, it is made clear that there are also great differences between the two of them, and that one of them just ‘wants to be loved’. The repetition of ‘the dead bell’ in the penultimate stanza of the poem gives a sense of impending doom and the fact that the final stanza is just one sentence on one line indicates that the threat of someone being ‘done for’ which it contains is not something to be taken lightly, as the narrator appears to know that even if it is not her who will die this time, it is not long until it will be.
-Becca-

| Posted on 2008-12-11 | by a guest


.: :.

The narrator starts the poem by personifying death as two characters: 'Two, of course there are two.' Possibly schizophrenic it outlines Plath's two key figures in her life: her father and Hughes.
She describes the first as 'one who never looks up', signifying that this character is dead, just 'like Blake' who the narrator compares to this first character. Naturally this could be assumed to be Plath's father, as she seems to have an obsession with him and his death, as can be seen in some of her other poems, including 'Daddy' and 'Full Fathom Five'. She also talks of how she is 'not his yet' which could also link to how she cannot wait to be with her father in heaven which can also be seen in the siad poems.
The second character however is not seen in such a positive light. Presumably Hughes, the narrator describes him as a 'bastard' and takes note of his 'long plausive [hair]' which shows how she thinks he is lazy and nonplussed by her he is. Language such as 'masturbate' and 'wants to be loved' also show that she has a sexual connection with this character, confiming that it is probably Hughes.
The narrator also notes how she feels like 'red meat' to him. Thhis links to the vampiric imagery which crops up time and again in Plath's poetry as well as showing how vunerable she feels about her father even though he is dead.
The last line is particularly ominous. Somebody is 'done for'. This could show how she wishes to punish Hughes, the second character for being such a 'bastard' or that the narrator could be in trouble from her dead father, the first character.
Lewis

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

In this poem, the narrator personifies death as two characters, in this case whom are seemingly male. Perhaps in doing this, the idea of death is brought closer to home, it is no longer an invisible threat but is standing before the narrator. Both characters appear to be unappealing to the narrator. One bears 'his trademark- the scald scar of water,' which implies a gross disfigurement, perhaps a burn. He also seems rather sinister, never looking up, '[his] eyes are lidded.' The inability to see his eyes, shrouds him with mystery.
The other figure is a contrast to the first. He seems to be rather crude, insulting the way the narrator photographs. Similarly to the first character, he is sinister, presenting the narrator with images of children in hospital, presumeably they are ill?
This poem seems to represent death trying to grip the narrator and the fight that is put up against it, 'I am not his yet.' Death is the carnivorous force after the narrator who is the 'red meat.'
- Nikki

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

In the first stanza, the narrator refers to ‘two, of course there are two. It seems perfectly natural now’ which could imply that she is referring to the two main people in her life, her lover and her father. She interprets that ‘It seems perfectly natural now’ this may suggest that she is comfortable with what she has been through with the two important characters in her life. She has came to accept the grief and is taking matters into her own hands, possibly taking her own life.
In the second stanza, the narrator refers to ‘the scald scar of water, the nude’ which reflects her desire to cause herself pain. The adjective ‘nude’ expresses how the narrator feels vulnerable and exposed. Her vulnerability is also shown in the poem ‘Cut’ when she describes herself as a ‘dirty girl’ and perhaps the adjective ‘dirty’ shows how violated she feels.
Vampiric imagery is used throughout ‘Death & Co’ with reference to blood, she says that ‘[she is] red meat’ the adjective red is associated with blood which the narrator refers to in many of her other poems.
Jenni

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

In the first stanza, the narrator refers to ‘two, of course there are two. It seems perfectly natural now’ which could imply that she is referring to the two main people in her life, her lover and her father. She interprets that ‘It seems perfectly natural now’ this may suggest that she is comfortable with what she has been through with the two important characters in her life. She has came to accept the grief and is taking matters into her own hands, possibly taking her own life.
In the second stanza, the narrator refers to ‘the scald scar of water, the nude’ which reflects her desire to cause herself pain. The adjective ‘nude’ expresses how the narrator feels vulnerable and exposed. Her vulnerability is also shown in the poem ‘Cut’ when she describes herself as a ‘dirty girl’ and perhaps the adjective ‘dirty’ shows how violated she feels.
Vampiric imagery is used throughout ‘Death & Co’ with reference to blood, she says that ‘[she is] red meat’ the adjective red is associated with blood which the narrator refers to in many of her other poems.

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

‘Death & Co’ personifies death as schizophrenic and split into two different figures, possibly inspired by the two businessmen who tried to convince Hughes to live abroad and away from his wife. The first figure of death has a ‘beak’ and does not ‘smile’, showing him to be serious and determined to carry out his job without unnecessary fuss. He tries to frighten her into submission by talking about her children, implying that he will also kill them and put them in an ‘icebox’ while they are wearing their ‘death-gowns’. The second man, more approachable in his appearance as he ‘does [smile]’, is dismissed without much concern as the narrator refers to him merely as a ‘bastard’. The idea of death, and of her being ‘red meat’, does not disturb the narrator at all, perhaps implying that death is not her fear.
Samantha

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

In the poem the narroator speaks of two figurs of death. On the first line of the first stanza 'Two, of course there are two' could represent the two major figures in her life, her father and her husband. One of the figures of death is traditionaly threatening, whereas the other 'wants to be loved'. Plath uses water in her themes of death in a lot of her poetry as the narrator talks about the 'scald of water' in this poem. The language is also vampiric as she describes herself as being 'red meat'.
Sophie C

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

In the poem the narroator speaks of two figurs of death. On the first line of the first stanza 'Two, of course there are two' could represent the two major figures in her life, her father and her husband. One of the figures of death is traditionaly threatening, whereas the other 'wants to be loved'. Plath uses water in her themes of death in a lot of her poetry as the narrator talks about the 'scald of water' in this poem. The language is also vampiric as she describes herself as being 'red meat'.

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

Death is alluded to frequently in the poem; although the narrator is not afraid of death she mentions the pain of ‘the scald scar of water’. The poem is referring to two figures of death, they are trying to appear threatening and frightening but fail to scare the narrator. The narrator seems unfazed by both their arrival and their intimidating appearance describing it as being ‘perfectly natural’. The final stanza suggests that the narrator has accepted their request and has died; the repetition of ‘the dead bell, the dead bell’ makes the reader think this and the final line as ‘somebody’s done for’, also suggests death.
Sophie B

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

The narrator discusses two representatives of death. They are both men and both have different characteristics, one is traditionally threatening while the other is more flamboyant and unconventional but equally repulsive. The opening line ‘two of course there are two’ could be interpreted in one of several ways. The ‘two [people]’ the narrator speaks of could simply be made up characters chosen to represent how she views death or they could represent two prominent figures in her life, for example, her father, Otto and her husband, Ted Hughes. Throughout the poem Plath uses vampiric imagery; she describes herself as ‘red meat’ suggesting that the figures of death find her tempting in some way.
Sarah

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

When Plath talks about 'two, of course there are two.'i think this is reference to her father and Hughes. When Plath refers to 'the one who never looks up, whose eyes are lidded.' this could be her father because he is dead so '[his] eyes [would] be lidded'. later on she then talks about another male figure 'i am not his yet'. This could be talking about Hughes before she became his partner, or it could be talking about her Father because to be his she would have to die, and this poem is all about death. Plath also uses very vampiric images 'I am red meat.' this is very common in her poetry.
Ashleigh K.

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

When Plath talks about 'two, of course there are two.'i think this is reference to her father and Hughes. When Plath refers to 'the one who never looks up, whose eyes are lidded.' this could be her father because he is dead so '[his] eyes [would] be lidded'. later on she then talks about another male figure 'i am not his yet'. This could be talking about Hughes before she became his partner, or it could be talking about her Father because to be his she would have to die, and this poem is all about death. Plath also uses very vampiric images 'I am red meat.' this is very common in her poetry.
Ashleigh K.

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

When Plath talks about 'two, of course there are two.'i think this is reference to her father and Hughes. When Plath refers to 'the one who never looks up, whose eyes are lidded.' this could be her father because he is dead so '[his] eyes [would] be lidded'. later on she then talks about another male figure 'i am not his yet'. This could be talking about Hughes before she became his partner, or it could be talking about her Father because to be his she would have to die, and this poem is all about death. Plath also uses very vampiric images 'I am red meat.' this is very common in her poetry.
Ashleigh K.

| Posted on 2008-12-10 | by a guest


.: :.

not photographed in the nude i'd say. look at the title, its about death, these guys seem to be photographers of the dead, hence the line about the babies in gowns. plath often imagines her own death, she is completely passive in this poem

| Posted on 2008-05-05 | by a guest


.: :.

not photographed in the nude i'd say. look at the title, its about death, these guys seem to be photographers of the dead, hence the line about the babies in gowns. plath often imagines her own death, she is completely passive in this poem

| Posted on 2008-05-05 | by a guest


.: Pornography? :.

I belive this poem is about Plath being photographed in the nude. The references to the man who is lidded and never looks up, I assume means he never looks up considering he is the one in the poem doing the photographing. The other thing that leads me to this assumption is the part about 'masturbating a glitter.' The end is so perfect, 'somebody's done for' it's like she just died a little inside.

| Posted on 2007-02-22 | by a guest




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