Clifton and Plath on the Feminine Identity

College
Essay
Miscellaneous
Pages 3 (753 words)
Download 0
American poets have long grappled with the topic of identity-both personal and cultural. What is the American identity, and what is the individual within the American identity Such questions gave rise to the confessional poets, to whom Sylvia Plath and Lucille Clifton belong…

Introduction

While they both appear to be in agreement on the nature of the feminine identity, their American perspectives differ vastly. Clifton, as an African-American, alludes to African themes, and brings into her poem questions about the duality within the African-American experience, and ultimately celebrates herself as a symbol of endurance. Plath's is decidedly different in its paradoxical nature. While her poem focuses on the vivacious and enigmatic legacy that she will leave behind, it is wholly centralized around her death, which creates a somewhat doomed undertone. But while both poets differ in their cultural perspectives, they both produce similar portrayals of the feminine identity as being one of strength, passion, and survival.
Clifton brings many symbols to her poem that speak to the African-American, as well as the female experience. She describes herself as a "jungle girl/quick as a snake/a tree girl," (4-6). In aligning herself with such images as a jungle, a snake, and a tree-dweller, she is making a direct allusion to the African identity. Throughout American history, the image of the "African savage" was utilized as a means of persecution, keeping black-Americans under an oppressive rule by larger society. Africans were believed to be tribal jungle-dwellers, savage and uncivilized, and particularly dangerous for their lack of Christianization. ...
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related papers

Identity Theft
Identity theft victimizes nearly 10 million Americans each year and costs businesses and individuals an estimated $53 billion (Crosby, 2005). A person's identity can be stolen either in the real world or in the digital world (online).…
Identity.
Therefore, our identity is then defined by how we think we fit in to the world around us, and how we feel we stand out (positively/ negatively). …
IDENTITY paper
The word agency in this context refers that 'agency is directly tied to social structures' in so far as they interact and produce society together. Obviously, Agents have complete knowledge of their society and this mutual information that therein produces structures. The everyday ordinary life of an agent leads is simply a part of reproduction in society. The important thing is here that Levine…
Representation of the Feminine in American Feminist Cinema
The film "Rebecca" shows how women who strayed outside the lines of pre-defined social roles were generally demonized by society, which includes opposition from other women who are comfortable in fulfilling their traditional roles, but occasionally worshipped by other women who longed for freedom of being. The film captured Rebecca’s loss of identity as a woman who is expected to live according…
Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Path had a way of making words change into pictures and imagery. Her works have been very beautifully cited as works of art in the field of literature.…
Clifton and Plath on the Feminine Identity
While they both appear to be in agreement on the nature of the feminine identity, their American perspectives differ vastly. Clifton, as an African-American, alludes to African themes, and brings into her poem questions about the duality within the African-American experience, and ultimately celebrates herself as a symbol of endurance. Plath's is decidedly different in its paradoxical nature.…
Nationalalism identity
The United States of America boasts as sole superpower of the world also identifies their self with all prides of national identity.…