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?Morning Song? By Sylvia Plath Essay, Research Paper

????????? The main

theme of this poem could be generalized as ?birth? but the poem aims to explore

not only the physical aspect of the process but the maternal bond between a

mother and her child. Subsequently the mixed emotions that arise from such an

event are also examined as the poem progresses. The poem does not appear to be

descriptive at first; the scene is only set when the midwife appears in the

first stanza and the new arrival is announced. This is the only part of the poem

where the actual birth is described and in the rest of the poem the main

apparent theme develops into the mothers perceptions of the birth rather than

the birth itself. The manner of the piece is quite formal in the form of a

first person narrative, which is used because it is more engaging for the

reader emphasising the mother?s personal experience. ????????? ????????? Structurally

the poem is formed into four separate stanzas? of which the first and the last

are the longest. Each stanza conveys a separate outlook or feeling on the birth

but I believe that the most significant parts of the poem are the three major

similes that punctuate the poem. These three similes are used by the author to

express complex ideas or emotions regarding the child by comparing them to

feelings the reader may be familiar with. The first of these major similes is

in the first line of the poem. The image of love starting the life of the child

is followed by its comparison to a ?fat gold watch?. This line can be

interpreted in many different ways depending on whether the watch is mentioned

in a materialistic context or in a metaphorical context. In a physical sense it

can be said that the gold watch was a catalyst for the love that resulted in

the conception of the child.?Love set you going

like a fat gold watch?????????? The

phrasing of the sentence could suggest that the love was only present because

of the gold gift, which, if interpreted in this way, could cast shadows of

doubt about how much the mother really wanted the child. The metaphorical use of

the watch does not have to be materialistic; the author could be using the

watch as a comparison to the beginning of the baby?s life. The ticks of a watch

could mirror the heartbeat of a newly conceived child and the starting of time

in a new life. A gold watch can also be considered as a prized possession that

is passed down from generation to generation, this could be compared to the

newborn baby that is the new prize of the family. The gold watch also has

connotations of an object that is present to be shown off to the world and the

mother is so proud of her child that she wants it to attract attention. In

general the first line reveals many of the mothers feelings for her child using

symbolisms and comparisons but also unveils the fact that it was love that

brought about the birth of the child.????????? After this

the scene is described as the onlookers cheer the baby into its new life. This

part of the poem shows that excitement of the audience to the birth but the

next significant part is the comparison of the baby to a naked statue in a

drafty museum.?New statue / In a

drafty museum, your nakedness / Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as

walls.?????????? This simile

emphasises the beauty of the newborn child but also highlights the mother?s

prior anticipation before the birth of the child. These lines compare the child

to an exhibit, a created form of art that is beautiful but perplexing. The

mother finds the newborn child amazing but she must deal with so many emotions

that it is bemusing. The comparison of the child to a statue is used to make

sure that it is recognized as the centre of attention but the surroundings of

the ?statue? are also significant. The family are compared to blank walls, this

is interesting because walls are only blank in a museum when awaiting new art

so this line illustrates that the family have been eagerly anticipating the

arrival of the child. Yet, when the statue is mentioned the walls remain blank

demonstrating that the attention of the entire family will be focused only on the

child now. ????????? The

likeness of the drafty museum is also considerable because its cold image could

represent resentment from some areas of the family. The old established family

could be losing strength as the new statue (child) is being brought into the family.

The drafts could also merely illustrate the fact that the baby is now exposed

to the life that awaits him and the drafts could represent the reality of the

outside world.????????? The third

major simile follows on from the second but is the most complicated of the

three. In this second stanza the attention turns away from the baby and the

mother begins to think what the baby is taking away from her. Will the baby

change her life? What will happen in her marriage? These questions affect

mothers and this stanza reflects that mood. The author uses the technical term,

?distil?, this means, to purify or refine and the use of this word creates an

almost clinical tone to the line. ?Than the cloud

that distils a mirror to reflect its own slow / Effacement at the wind?s hand? ????????? This line

conjures up an image of rain clearing away the impurities on a mirror and

doesn?t seem to make perfect sense but it can be interpreted in a way that

comments on the relationship between the mother and the child. Throughout its

life the baby will be refined by its mother as it learns from her. As the

mother raises the child she will slowly move into the background as the child

moves into the foreground. I believe that this line is commenting on the fact

that the mother?s role in the child?s life will slowly diminish until she no

longer plays a part in its life. The ?wind?s hand? is the force that moves the

whole process and the mother is reminded of her gradual ?effacement? as she

will slowly fade away.????????? The rest of

the poem is less metaphorical and concentrates more on the everyday aspects of

life that become affected by having a child such as sleeping patterns and the

feeding of the child etc. The image of the child?s ?moth breath? emphasises its

innocence because of its size, this almost pathetic image of a tiny breath can

be contrasted with the gusty draft in the museum that brings with it the

troubles of the outside world. ?? Later, the mother refers to

herself as cow-heavy, which isn?t very pleasant but illustrates the downside of

motherhood. This line conjures up an image of a tired, lumbering figure,

struggling to reach the shouting child on time. Yet from the last line we can

see that despite the trials and tribulations of motherhood, even the most

uninvited babies cry can bring a smile to a mother?s face. The ?handful of

notes? is probably only a muffled gargle but to a mother they ?rise like

balloons?. This last line shows that the mother has contemplated the child?s

effects on her as a mother but she still feels undying love and admiration for

it solely because it is her own creation that she has anticipated for so long. Without such poignant use of

figurative language the author couldn?t so easily convey the mixed emotions of

the new mother and I believe that Sylvia Plath has successfully used language

and imagery to convey these feelings to the reader.?


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