The poem opens with a speaker complaining about "excitable" tulips, which are totally out of place in a snowy, wintery world. Then the speaker tells us a little more about herself. We learn that she is lying alone in a hospital bed after surgery, and that she doesn't have a whole lot to do.
She is most definitely not a happy camper. She watches the nurses go by all day, and occasionally one of them stops to give her an injection. She feels disgusted by the few possessions she has with her, and even hates the family picture by her bed. Her mind wanders back to the moment just before her surgery. After that, she thinks about how pure and clean she feels now.
Mostly, though, she thinks about how much she hates those hideous tulips. She feels like they are watching her, torturing her, stealing her air. She imagines them opening their mouths, growing eyes, breathing like animals or babies. Then, gradually, even those dark, painful thoughts fade away as she focuses instead on the calm rhythm of her own heart.
Tulips and Cut by Sylvia Plath
903 WordsJan 31st, 20184 Pages
Sylvia Plath was diagnosed with depression, but recovered when she first attempted suicide in college. In her marriage to Ted Hughes she fell back into depression, which led her to attempt suicide and again this time she died .During the twentieth century, women in American culture were treated as objects without a voice, and male dominance suppressed them. Plath uses allusion, symbolism and metaphors throughout her poems “Tulips” and “Cut” to demonstrate the theme of women in American culture.
Plath uses allusions throughout her poems “Tulips” and “Cut” to display women’s culture in America. In “Tulips” she uses the biblical allusion of “Shutting their mouths on it, like Communion tablet” to illustrate how the dead and herself come close to pure tranquility by staying utterly still as a rock (line 35). The biblical allusion demonstrates women’s culture in the United States by women accepting the opportunity for tranquility, to flee from their social duties as mother and wife. In the last stanza of “Tulips” Plath says, “The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals; /They are opening like a mouth of some great African cat” allocates how her social restrains are eating her like a African cat (lines 58- 59). This demonstrates how women in American culture like Plath, are compelled to social boundaries by a lack of freedom.…