Metaphors By Sylvia Plath In Sylvia Plaths poem, “Metaphors,” the speaker describes a negative event in which she is experiencing pregnancy. Her choice of words and phrases express her feelings about the pregnancy as well as the structure of the poem. In her poem, Plath chooses many metaphors to describe her pregnancy. I felt that these metaphors were describing something that she was not enjoying or looking forward to. The objects she chose to use to express her feelings gave me an uncomfortable feeling of the pregnancy. The line in which she refers to a”ponderous house” brings me to a vision of shelter.
I feel that she is sheltering something, but has to think deeply about sheltering this object. The speaker doesnt sound sure of what she is sheltering, and feels confused. It almost seems like a feeling of regret. The line, “Boarded the train theres no getting off,” supports her feelings of regret. She sounds as if she has no other choice or option other than to be or remain pregnant.
The line almost hints that she is stuck, so she has to continue with the decision. These feelings of regret seem to be alongside her mixed feelings. The line in which she refers to eating “a bag of green apples” gives me the impression that she feels sick. The color green, to me, represents sickness or ill feelings. Green apples also could refer to their ripeness. The unripe “green apples” could be describing her feelings of not being ready for the pregnancy.
Her metaphor of ” a cow in a calf” could mean two things. The speaker is having her first child and doesnt feel sure of this decision, or that she, herself, is a child trying to bring another child into this world. They both convey her feelings of not being ready to handle the situation. One line that supports her not experiencing pregnancy is where she writes, ” Moneys new minted in this fat purse.” Along with referring to herself as “fat”, she is saying that this is all new to her. The pregnancy is newly “minted” and that she doesnt know what to expect. Another feeling that I received from reading this poem was that the speaker did not like the pregnancy because she was becoming larger.
In the second line, she refers to an elephant. Being pregnant, a person gains a large amount of weight, and I can see her feeling as an “elephant.” “This loafs big with its yeasty rising,” refers to her getting larger as her pregnancy progresses. These metaphors all are in reference to her size. Her reference to these objects gave me the impression that along with her unsure feeling, she resents getting larger. The way that Plath chose to form her poem is also relevant to why the speaker is not enjoying the pregnancy.
The beginning line, ” Im a riddle in nine syllables,” begins the pattern of nine syllable lines. Each line having exactly nine syllables and containing nine lines is in reference to her length of being pregnant. This reference to the length gives me the impression that the time she has to be pregnant is an issue. Instead of cherishing this “miracle” time, she seems to be bickering about the time she is pregnant and is excited until nine months is over. Sylvia Plath and the elements she chose to describe a pregnancy gave me the feel of discomfort. Most of the metaphors she used conveyed mixed feelings, issues of weight gain, and impatience with the pregnancy. The speaker seemed to concentrate on the symptoms and things that happened to her during the pregnancy, rather than on the fact that she was bringing another life into the world.
She didnt convey that she was fortunate to be involved in a miracle. Instead she focused on her misfortunes and afflictions due to the pregnancy.