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Among The Narcissi Analysis

Author: poem of Sylvia Plath Type: poem Views: 19

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Spry, wry, and gray as these March sticks,

Percy bows, in his blue peajacket, among the narcissi.

He is recuperating from something on the lung.

The narcissi, too, are bowing to some big thing :

It rattles their stars on the green hill where Percy

Nurses the hardship of his stitches, and walks and walks.

There is a dignity to this; there is a formality --

The flowers vivid as bandages, and the man mending.

They bow and stand : they suffer such attacks!

And the octogenarian loves the little flocks.

He is quite blue; the terrible wind tries his breathing.

The narcissi look up like children, quickly and whitely.


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

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among the narcissi ostensibly tells the story of an elderly and incapacitated man walking through a field of daffodils. there is an underlying contrast between the man's inevitable nearing of death, reflected through the numerous references to his worsening health (something on his lung) and his valiant efforts to carry on with life (and walks, and walks). one can interpret the ending as perhaps the death of Percy itself, as his complexion turns blue and his breathing is tested to the limit. The narcissi watch, bow and 'look up' to him 'like children' in recognition of his perseverance and heroic dignity.

| Posted on 2017-03-17 | by a guest

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The colour white (stars, bandages, flocks, whitely) reoccurs throughout the poem, meaning it is reasonable to infer that the narcissi are also white (they are described as 'gray). Although the colour white has pure and innocent connotations, it may not be the case in this poem. Apparently, white daffodils are associated with death; in fact they have been described as a warning of death and the Underworld in Greek mythology. This gives a more bleak outlook to the recovery of the sick man in the poem, who seems part of the narcissi.

| Posted on 2015-09-28 | by a guest

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I think that this poem conveys the true extent of Plaths mysterious writing. Clearly, through the loss of her Father at a young age and her husband Plath finds it hard to come to terms with everything happening for a particular reason, therefore she compliments this by contrasting her ideas of 'flowers' by using them as 'bandages' therefore anti-personifying them. Similarly, it is also clear that 'Percy' feels at one with the nature and it is a place of security for himself as in the final stanza the 'flowers' are described as his 'children' personifying them gives the impression that they mean a lot to him.

| Posted on 2014-02-03 | by a guest

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This poem could also be about a man that is seriously injured and finds help amongst the narciss'. This is emphasized upon when Plath describes them as 'bandages'- bandages help to heal wounds and flowers represent life and thus, they keep the man alive. Just an idea

| Posted on 2013-11-20 | by a guest

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Sorry, my mistake. I didn\'t realise Narcissi was a daffodil.

| Posted on 2012-05-03 | by a guest

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I have no clue where everyone is getting daffodils from, she only mentions \'flowers\', could mean anynumber of things really.

| Posted on 2012-05-03 | by a guest

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Personally, i think this poem is really simple. Percy is an 80 year old man who\'s had a problem with his lungs and is dying. He obviously loves plants and so he\'s dying among them- whether that\'s metaphorical or physical is not clear. It goes along with Plath\'s unorthodox view of heaven, because to Percy, the heaven is his flowers (\"it rattles their stars\"). Right at the end is when he dies and its quick and clean and simple. Percy has loved flowers all his life, which must have seemed very easy to Plath in comparison to her trauma with her father and husband, and he is happy and calm and at peace with the world in his death, which must also seem enviable to her. I think she\'s just painting a picture of how death is supposed to be, really.

| Posted on 2012-01-02 | by a guest

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I too find this very perplexing. what I got out of this poem was that there is an 80 year old man who has just had some sort of procedure on his lungs. he is trying to recover, both mentally and physically, because he now feels weak and obsolete. he therefore goes to see the daffodils, who heal him, bandage his wounds and almost keep him company (personification of flowers as children). it is almost a psychological issue, seeing flowers as friends...

| Posted on 2011-04-25 | by a guest

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I want to know what it's all about- for and English assignment. Help anyone?

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

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I believe that the first comment is correct, Among The Narcassi has to be one of Plath's greatest mysteries.The paradoxical contrast between light and dark and young and old help to emphasise the ongoing life that is nature. Alternate stanzas, 2 and 4, have the last line centred around repitition. The constant representation of 'and' symbolically emphasises how his fight for survival amongst the daffodils doesn't stop to cease, even if the 'attack' has no exit in sight. The use of simile in Stanza 3 again shows Plath's amazing ability of anti-personifying anything. Taking something as full of life as flowers and contrasting it to being like 'bandage' outlines for the reader how for her nature is threatening because even the most beautiful aspects of nature are seen as harmful in her eyes!!
Hope that helps

| Posted on 2009-04-14 | by a guest

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The poem is about an old man that is resuperating from an operation and has stiches.
There is a link between the old man who is struggling to survive, with the daffodils (an eternal symbol of spring, growth, life, innocence, and purity) show this ephemeral feeling that life is short and will not last forever.
The comparison in the last line shows how vunerable the old man is and again, emphasises the ephemeral nature of life.

| Posted on 2009-02-27 | by a guest

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this poem is a complete load of rubbish what the hell is it about???

| Posted on 2008-11-16 | by a guest

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