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Ariel

Ariel

by Sylvia Plath

Man and the Natural World Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch, (8-9)

In this moment, the speaker is trying to get a grip on Ariel. She's trying, desperately, to rein in nature. It's an epic fail, though.

Quote #2

Berries cast dark
Hooks—

Black sweet blood mouthfuls, (11-13)

It's not just Ariel who represents the wilds of the natural world in this poem. Even the berries are threatening. We're gonna think twice next time we reach for those blackberries in the supermarket aisle.

Quote #3

I unpeel—
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child's cry

Melts in the wall. (20-25)

In this moment, the speaker begins to transform. She throws off her human cares—those "dead stringencies" and "the child's cry"—and imagines herself as "a glitter of seas." She's finding peace with this wild ride by seeing herself as a part of nature, not as something opposed to it. This is some radical acceptance of the world that we're witnessing.

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