In Sylvia Plaths poem, “Metaphors,” the speaker describes a negativeevent in which she is experiencing pregnancy. Her choice of words and phrasesexpress 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 thatthese metaphors were describing something that she was not enjoying or lookingforward to. The objects she chose to use to express her feelings gave me anuncomfortable 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 issheltering something, but has to think deeply about sheltering this object. Thespeaker doesnt sound sure of what she is sheltering, and feels confused. Italmost seems like a feeling of regret.
The line, “Boarded the train theresno getting off,” supports her feelings of regret. She sounds as if she has noother choice or option other than to be or remain pregnant. The line almosthints that she is stuck, so she has to continue with the decision.
Thesefeelings of regret seem to be alongside her mixed feelings. The line in whichshe refers to eating “a bag of green apples” gives me the impression thatshe 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.
Hermetaphor of ” a cow in a calf” could mean two things. The speaker is havingher 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 herfeelings of not being ready to handle the situation.
One line that supports hernot experiencing pregnancy is where she writes, ” Moneys new minted in thisfat purse.” Along with referring to herself as “fat”, she is saying thatthis is all new to her. The pregnancy is newly “minted” and that shedoesnt know what to expect. Another feeling that I received from reading thispoem was that the speaker did not like the pregnancy because she was becominglarger.
In the second line, she refers to an elephant. Being pregnant, a persongains 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 asher pregnancy progresses.
These metaphors all are in reference to her size. Herreference to these objects gave me the impression that along with her unsurefeeling, she resents getting larger. The way that Plath chose to form her poemis also relevant to why the speaker is not enjoying the pregnancy. The beginningline, ” Im a riddle in nine syllables,” begins the pattern of ninesyllable lines.
Each line having exactly nine syllables and containing ninelines is in reference to her length of being pregnant. This reference to thelength 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 aboutthe time she is pregnant and is excited until nine months is over. Sylvia Plathand the elements she chose to describe a pregnancy gave me the feel ofdiscomfort. Most of the metaphors she used conveyed mixed feelings, issues ofweight gain, and impatience with the pregnancy. The speaker seemed toconcentrate on the symptoms and things that happened to her during thepregnancy, rather than on the fact that she was bringing another life into theworld.
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.