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Lady Lazarus

Lady Lazarus

by Sylvia Plath

Suffering Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen. (4-9)

Here Lady Lazarus compares herself to a Nazi lampshade (that the Nazis supposedly made out of the skin of Jews). There is a serious contrast here—she is "walking," but the Jewish people she's referencing are very much dead. Is she being callous? Or is this an accurate expression of her pain?

Quote #2

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot—
The big strip tease. (25-29)

Lady L's suffering isn't just related to the Holocaust. Here, she portrays herself as a circus attraction who has no control as the crowd strips and humiliates her.

Quote #3

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real. (43-47)

Here Lady L gives us a new window into her suffering; she does it "so it feels real." She tries to commit suicide so that she can feel something—it seems like her life has left her numb and void of feeling. Suicide, for her, seems like a way to get that numbness to go away. But at what cost?

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