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by Sylvia Plath

Metaphors Women and Femininity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: line

Quote #4

Money's new-minted in this fat purse. (6)

Again, we see pregnant women as commodities, items of value. But the comparison gets more awkward and unfortunate when you remember that "purse" can be used as slang for a vagina, especially for a prostitute's vagina, because that's how they make their money, or fill their purse.

Quote #5

I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf. (7)

Now the speaker is coming straight out and saying that she feels used—she's just a means, a way to get to an end, a stage in someone's master plan. Perhaps most degradingly, she compares herself to a cow in calf. No one wants to think of themselves as a big smelly pregnant cow—but our speaker dares to. Why? Probably to illustrate just how used she feels, as if she's livestock rather than a human being.

Quote #6

I've eaten a bag of green apples, (8)

The speaker sounds a little guilty in this line, which reminds us of the female famous for eating fruit that she wasn't supposed to—Eve. And remember, part of Eve's punishment was the pain of childbirth.

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