Sylvia Plath Mushrooms Essays

The poem “Mushroom” discusses the persistent struggle as the central theme. The lines that depicts the struggle are “our hammers, our rams, earless and eyeless, perfectly voiceless” as personified by the mushrooms. Plath’s made use of allusions in the form of the last stanza “our foot’s in the door” The structure of the poem has 23 lines, with nursery rhyme quality along with many repetitions of phrasing and sounds to depict fertility. Plath used the style of poem for younger children.

The persona of the poem is the author herself who had two failed suicidal attempts and re-evaluated by the persona in the poem either from a perspective of a rebellious present. The literary devices used in the poem are personification, metaphor and allusion. Plath personified mushrooms by giving them human characteristics, found in the lines of “earless and eyeless, perfectly voiceless”. The author also used metaphor of the mushrooms as tables, together with their meekness. The subject mushrooms, as a metaphor for people who are often underestimated people.

The poem also showed the allusion of found in the last line “our foot’s in the door” based o the Beatitude “the meek shall inherit the earth. ” It conveys the dilemma of the oppressed (or mushroom) wherein personification of the poor and voiceless are found as mushrooms. The overall meaning of the poem for contemporary reading audience is to know how to have a deep desire to gain power and control regardless of how oppressed, struggling these people are. Works Cited Plath, Sylvia, The Journals of Sylvia Plath, edited Karen V. Kukil, Faber and Faber, London, 2000.

Sylvia Plath's "Mushrooms" uses a variety of poetic devices, but the central device is personification.

She personifies mushrooms, and by extension the personification is then reversed back to humans.  In other words, the speaker gives mushrooms human characteristics, to then reflect ways in which humans are like mushrooms.

The mushrooms possess toes and noses, and "take hold" of dirt.  They have "soft fists," they use tools--hammers and rams--and are "bland-mannered."  The mushrooms possess quiet power and...

Sylvia Plath's "Mushrooms" uses a variety of poetic devices, but the central device is personification.

She personifies mushrooms, and by extension the personification is then reversed back to humans.  In other words, the speaker gives mushrooms human characteristics, to then reflect ways in which humans are like mushrooms.

The mushrooms possess toes and noses, and "take hold" of dirt.  They have "soft fists," they use tools--hammers and rams--and are "bland-mannered."  The mushrooms possess quiet power and work unseen at night.

The fertility of the mushrooms, together with metaphors of the mushrooms as shelves and tables, as well as their meekness, possibly suggests an identity with women.  And, using a New Testament allusion, woman will, reveals the poem,

Inherit the earth.... 

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