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Fever 103° Analysis

Author: poem of Sylvia Plath Type: poem Views: 53

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Pure? What does it mean?

The tongues of hell

Are dull, dull as the triple

Tongues of dull, fat Cerebus

Who wheezes at the gate. Incapable

Of licking clean

The aguey tendon, the sin, the sin.

The tinder cries.

The indelible smell

Of a snuffed candle!

Love, love, the low smokes roll

From me like Isadora's scarves, I'm in a fright

One scarf will catch and anchor in the wheel.

Such yellow sullen smokes

Make their own element. They will not rise,

But trundle round the globe

Choking the aged and the meek,

The weak

Hothouse baby in its crib,

The ghastly orchid

Hanging its hanging garden in the air,

Devilish leopard!

Radiation turned it white

And killed it in an hour.

Greasing the bodies of adulterers

Like Hiroshima ash and eating in.

The sin. The sin.

Darling, all night

I have been flickering, off, on, off, on.

The sheets grow heavy as a lecher's kiss.

Three days. Three nights.

Lemon water, chicken

Water, water make me retch.

I am too pure for you or anyone.

Your body

Hurts me as the world hurts God. I am a lantern ----

My head a moon

Of Japanese paper, my gold beaten skin

Infinitely delicate and infinitely expensive.

Does not my heat astound you. And my light.

All by myself I am a huge camellia

Glowing and coming and going, flush on flush.

I think I am going up,

I think I may rise ----

The beads of hot metal fly, and I, love, I

Am a pure acetylene


Attended by roses,

By kisses, by cherubim,

By whatever these pink things mean.

Not you, nor him.

Not him, nor him

(My selves dissolving, old whore petticoats) ----

To Paradise.


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

.: :.

mind body dualism
death = purity
there's your poem for ya.

| Posted on 2010-03-02 | by a guest

.: :.

First the speaker I believe is a female of Japanese either ethnicity. Second the scenario is either that this woman is in an abusive relationship for she refers to herself as hurt by the audience and talks often of abusive situations such as choking, beaten skin and virginity as a question of her purity or the time period is around World War 2 and the scene is of the bombing of Hiroshima and this girl could be a victim or onlooker of the bombings.
She has some religious references from Greek mythology with Cerberus who happens to be Hades Three headed guard dog to hell and God which shadows away from the normal Japanese religions that make focus on religious figureheads such as Buddha for which is referenced by the phrase to “Paradise” and can be translated as enlightenment.
The speaker also references folklore such as “Isadora’s scarves” for which got caught in an old wheel causing her to choke to death it is represented as a punishment for “the sins”. Other sins included in the poem include the lecher’s kiss, Hothouse baby, and adulterers all of these are the “sins” that are condemned throughout the poem and in the end the speaker who is pure and finally defines it is not subjugated by the figureheads and abuse of the lecherous man, adulterer, or illegitimate child she throws away the “old whore petticoats” and goes to paradise.
Posted on 2009-11-3 by Senior in High school Jerit

| Posted on 2009-11-03 | by a guest

.: :.

In this poem Plath is freeing herself from the trap and anguishes of human suffering, She is extending the metaphor to a universal level, yet the imagery remains quite personal. The scarves, the week may not rise... I see it as ego liberation, all of her poems are a risk, a gamble as they propel you to new heights. None of the men have "held her down" she is too pure for anyone and thus not of this world, her "old whore petticoats" are rising to paradise.
From anguish, pain and suffering to the ultimate image of aceltyne, a gas( often she uses carbon monoxide another gas), to total liberation. Very Eastern in philosophy, close to buddhism...

| Posted on 2009-07-29 | by a guest

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hey I'm Courtney Salter from Duke Ellington school of the arts, can u elaborate in regards to the explanation of the previous poem by Sylvia Plath.

| Posted on 2008-02-28 | by a guest

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