Sylvia Plath - a woman between Eros and Thanatos

Barbara Galle
2005 Acta Neophilologica  
The opposition between the Hughes family and the radical feminists led to the emergence of two diametrically opposite Plath myths: a mentally disturbed, manipulative woman, unstoppably driven towards suicide, or an innocent victim of a treacherous husband? Both sides interpret Plath's life and works in view of her untimely death, neglecting the underlying life force that pervades her poetry and prose. Relying on the psychoanalytical theory of instincts, the author shows how Eros complements and
more » ... ros complements and even makes use of Thanatos on different levels of Plath's writing: on the level of language asa meaningful structure, on the level of meaning, and in the function of language as therapy. The duality of instics is particulary evident in Sloveirian criticism; where the physicar and temporal distance from political scandal enabled the development oftwo distinct critical currents: one following Hughes's morbid determinism, the other concentrating on Plath's intelligence and joyful observation of nature.
doi:10.4312/an.38.1-2.97-112 fatcat:za62qccmkfhzhmyu5djh4qnbq4