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In Plaster Analysis



Author: poem of Sylvia Plath Type: poem Views: 20

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I shall never get out of this!  There are two of me now:

This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one,

And the white person is certainly the superior one.

She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints.

At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality --

She lay in bed with me like a dead body

And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was



Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints.

I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold.

I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer.

I couldn't understand her stupid behavior!

When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist.

Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her:

She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages.



Without me, she wouldn't exist, so of course she was grateful.

I gave her a soul, I bloomed out of her as a rose

Blooms out of a vase of not very valuable porcelain,

And it was I who attracted everybody's attention,

Not her whiteness and beauty, as I had at first supposed.

I patronized her a little, and she lapped it up --

You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality.



I didn't mind her waiting on me, and she adored it.

In the morning she woke me early, reflecting the sun

From her amazingly white torso, and I couldn't help but notice

Her tidiness and her calmness and her patience:

She humored my weakness like the best of nurses,

Holding my bones in place so they would mend properly.

In time our relationship grew more intense.



She stopped fitting me so closely and seemed offish.

I felt her criticizing me in spite of herself,

As if my habits offended her in some way.

She let in the drafts and became more and more absent-minded.

And my skin itched and flaked away in soft pieces

Simply because she looked after me so badly.

Then I saw what the trouble was:  she thought she was immortal.



She wanted to leave me, she thought she was superior,

And I'd been keeping her in the dark, and she was resentful --

Wasting her days waiting on a half-corpse!

And secretly she began to hope I'd die.

Then she could cover my mouth and eyes, cover me entirely,

And wear my painted face the way a mummy-case

Wears the face of a pharaoh, though it's made of mud and water.



I wasn't in any position to get rid of her.

She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp --

I had forgotten how to walk or sit,

So I was careful not to upset her in any way

Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself.

Living with her was like living with my own coffin:

Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully.



I used to think we might make a go of it together --

After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close.

Now I see it must be one or the other of us.

She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy,

But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit.

I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her,

And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me.






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

.: :.

May I suggest dear 2007 writer that it is a failing on your part that you seem to think that though Plath had considerable skill as a writer, she should have suppressed her emotions. If you cannot appreciate her poetry for what it is - expressions of emotion that an ordinary human being can empathise with, expressed in the most amazing way. That is why we love Plath, she does not write depressing poetry about her thoughts. She writes exceptional, inspirational poetry. It is just a pity that the likes of you cannot see that. However we who can will enjoy it while you waste your time.

| Posted on 2015-12-22 | by a guest


.: :.

when you are in a plaster,your hand that is cast in a white bandage becomes alien to you.here the bandaged hand and the normal one take on the mantle of two opposing personalities.the hand in plaster is obliterated at the end.symbolically the new self which wants to subsume you has been laid to rest.a brilliant poem

| Posted on 2011-01-14 | by a guest


.: :.

To the person who despises Sylvia Plath and her poems. May I write to you that she had chronic depression that means it was an actual illness and telling her to supress it is like telling a cancer patient to stop growing cancer. It just does not happen without medical help, which she didn't recieve enough of. If you do not like people writing their true emotions may I suggest you stop reading poetry as that is what it is all about. Sylvia Plath is a talented writer who sought to find herself in a way that would bring no pain to others. This poem is about how when you have lived so long in the one body, you donít know how to be anyone else, even though you might not be able to stand who you are or who you have become. You grow to need it, but despise it at the same time

| Posted on 2010-03-23 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is a response to the poem "Mirror" also by Sylvia Plath.

| Posted on 2009-03-08 | by a guest


.: :.

actually, it's about a mother and her daughter...

| Posted on 2008-11-14 | by a guest


.: a CAST :.

Its about her being stuck IN PLASTER. A CAST. the cast at first is helping her, but then begins to hinder her.

| Posted on 2008-05-04 | by a guest


.: :.

Sorry to be a hypocrite here, but does the post created on 2008-03-31 provide any analysis? This person is being critical of someone elses attempt to provide insight into In Plaster, but fails to actually contribute.
If anyone IS monitoring these posts, please delete THIS post, and the pompous and useless post underneath my own. Thank you.
Thanks to the people who have contributed here, though. You took the time to provide your own theories and ideas, and that is really appreciated(by most, anyway).

| Posted on 2008-04-16 | by a guest


.: :.

Is this message posted on 2007-04-08 serving any purpose? Is anyone monitoring these posting as the warning suggests, or do you stop reading halfway through? Aside from the poor spelling, terrible grammar, gratuitious profanities this posting contains no actual analysis or critque. Is this person ill and should you really be giving them a forum for their crazy rants?

| Posted on 2008-03-31 | by a guest


.: Plath :.

Plath talks about having two personalities and struggles of which one she should follow. The new white person is clearly superior to her and soon tries to take over and repress the old yellow one. The old yellow one struggles to be free and is weaker and depends on the white one. This shows Plath's conflict between following the personality that others seem to desire in her or her own yellow old "ugly" personality. A glint of hope is seen at the end of perhaps the old personality being liberated from the new one and being able to "manage without her." However this is nonsense; the only way this can be done is if the old personality dies and and itself perishes. This is exactly what should happen. As the poem characterizes Plath herself, she should not try to be her treacherous ugly self that resents life and is nothing short of pure Satan spawn. It is better that she represses her true self and lives behind a damn facade of the white persona which is actually a normal functioning human being. Society will accept her this way and it does not matter that she is not living life truly. Her true self wishes to defy the good and proper standards set for every person during her time and this is pure bull[censored]. Her true self is a sick and twisted and diseased individual that society does not need and deserves to be obliterated from existence. If it is hypocrisy she must succumb to to be accepted by society or seen as a normal individual then so be it. If she does not care for this and wishes to be liberated and be herself because society is restraining her then let her quickly and easily kill herself. But she should not have created such drama with her problems before she died and wasted her spectacular skills in writing poetry on such pointless and pathetic messages. This simply troubles students now who cannot relate to her problems and do not give a [censored] about her. Students are assigned such poets as her because of the great skill and craft she put into her work. Yet the ugliness and patheticness and just plain bull[censored] of her messages obscures readers from appreciating her craft and skills as a writer of poetry. If she truly wished to be recognized and appreciated by all then she should have got off her soap box, created a facade for herself, and suppressed her true personality and created a good public image with positive and interesting messages to send that those who are worthy in society could relate to and appreciate. Take such poets as Robert Frost (although it is big insult to mention his great name around the likes of scum like Plath-I shall certainly repent later); he had skill superior to Plath (although this is not the point) but his message was positive and the majority of society (those who deserve to live and be a part of humanity) can relate to and appreciate his work and also see his skills. This can not be said of Plath; her message and subject matter obscures her skill and makes readers (those who are worthy and honorable and deserve to live) not give a [censored] at all abut her or her skills. Plath should have not written such material and spent her excellent skills as a poet on better material or, if she could not stand to do this, then she should have simply ended her life quietly and simply without writing all this poetry venting about it. If she did this then she would have been able to rot peacefully in hell but this is not happening; worthy people everywhere such as the writer of this composition see the nonsense and scum and heathen and Godless of a woman Sylvia Plath was and continue to curse her beyond the grave. God willing her spirit shall never rest and she shall be condemned to the deepest fathoms of hell. Ameen.

| Posted on 2007-04-08 | by a guest


.: Plath :.

Plath talks about having two personalities and struggles of which one she should follow. The new white person is clearly superior to her and soon tries to take over and repress the old yellow one. The old yellow one struggles to be free and is weaker and depends on the white one. This shows Plath's conflict between following the personality that others seem to desire in her or her own yellow old "ugly" personality. A glint of hope is seen at the end of perhaps the old personality being liberated from the new one and being able to "manage without her." However this is nonsense; the only way this can be done is if the old personality dies and and itself perishes. This is exactly what should happen. As the poem characterizes Plath herself, she should not try to be her treacherous ugly self that resents life and is nothing short of pure Satan spawn. It is better that she represses her true self and lives behind a damn facade of the white persona which is actually a normal functioning human being. Society will accept her this way and it does not matter that she is not living life truly. Her true self wishes to defy the good and proper standards set for every person during her time and this is pure bull[censored]. Her true self is a sick and twisted and diseased individual that society does not need and deserves to be obliterated from existence. If it is hypocrisy she must succumb to to be accepted by society or seen as a normal individual then so be it. If she does not care for this and wishes to be liberated and be herself because society is restraining her then let her quickly and easily kill herself. But she should not have created such drama with her problems before she died and wasted her spectacular skills in writing poetry on such pointless and pathetic messages. This simply troubles students now who cannot relate to her problems and do not give a [censored] about her. Students are assigned such poets as her because of the great skill and craft she put into her work. Yet the ugliness and patheticness and just plain bull[censored] of her messages obscures readers from appreciating her craft and skills as a writer of poetry. If she truly wished to be recognized and appreciated by all then she should have got off her soap box, created a facade for herself, and suppressed her true personality and created a good public image with positive and interesting messages to send that those who are worthy in society could relate to and appreciate. Take such poets as Robert Frost (although it is big insult to mention his great name around the likes of scum like Plath-I shall certainly repent later); he had skill superior to Plath (although this is not the point) but his message was positive and the majority of society (those who deserve to live and be a part of humanity) can relate to and appreciate his work and also see his skills. This can not be said of Plath; her message and subject matter obscures her skill and makes readers (those who are worthy and honorable and deserve to live) not give a [censored] at all abut her or her skills. Plath should have not written such material and spent her excellent skills as a poet on better material or, if she could not stand to do this, then she should have simply ended her life quietly and simply without writing all this poetry venting about it. If she did this then she would have been able to rot peacefully in hell but this is not happening; worthy people everywhere such as the writer of this composition see the nonsense and scum and heathen and Godless of a woman Sylvia Plath was and continue to curse her beyond the grave. God willing her spirit shall never rest and she shall be condemned to the deepest fathoms of hell. Ameen.

| Posted on 2007-04-08 | by a guest




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