Plath Essay

922 words - 4 pages

Gianna Sacco Pursuit – Sylvia Plath This poem begins with a vivid image of someone being followed by a panther. Plath feels like “there is a panther stalking” her down. The title of this poem, being “Pursuit” summarizes the poem. It is the pursuit of her doom, she is trying to get away from the panther which is chasing her until the end, however, at times she feels guilt and a sort of drive towards him. She is attracted to this panther which will eventually lead to trouble. Hence, Plath uses many themes in this poem such as color and feelings and the aggressiveness of nature, which leads to the way she feels about being followed. The pursuer is double faced, as the first two lines ...view middle of the document...

He is “appalled by (her) secret want”, her “want” meaning her attraction towards him, his evilness appeals to her. Several attempts to humanize the panther's behaviors can be found in the poem, thus reinforcing the hypothesis of a passionate connection between the pursuer and the pursued. While the beast versus human approach highlights the split between the panther and the author, by humanizing the pursuer the author appears to be putting the two on the same level. Plath humanizes some aspects that relate to the panther. She refers to the “voice” of the panther and to the “kisses” of the panther which make the reader reflect upon the fact that the panther is not an animal, but a person. She uses it as a metaphorical panther for a real human lover that she had. As Plath states that she “hurled my heart to halt his pace”, one can see a vivid image of her throwing her heart at the panther but he does not stop for her. “Total sacrifice” is also a metaphor she uses to express how she gave her lover all of her love, “her heart”, and he still comes for more. Essentially the poem expresses Plath’s feelings towards a hurtful love story that she went through in her life. Plath uses many references to fire, red and blood. Red being the color of passion, she is articulate about her passion towards the panther. As she describes the panther to setting “the woods aflame” and he is “more loudly than the sun”, “red network of his veins”, “what fires run, torches”. Her passion for him is very strong, however, she never feels good enough and...

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