Sylvia Plath’s Different Shades

Brunette Sylvia was certainly the way Plath felt a serious woman writer should present herself. In any case, a representation of Plath is still a blank slate on which readers, curators, observers, and fans project their views of her and their assumptions about the proper portrait of the young female artist. Plath anticipated that she would become famous for her sexuality and her suffering, as well as for her poetry. In “Lady Lazarus,” she speaks in the voice of a terrifying alter ego, a suicide survivor and femme fatale who rises from the ashes with her red hair and eats men like air. Lady Lazarus angrily warns the voyeuristic spectators that they must pay to see her.

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