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Metaphors

Metaphors

by Sylvia Plath

Women and Femininity Theme

It's all but impossible to write a poem about pregnancy and not tackle the theme of women and femininity head on. That's just what Plath does in "Metaphors." In her slew of comparisons, she paints a picture of what it means to be an expectant mother in her day and age, and let Shmoop tell you: that picture? It ain't pretty.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. What do you think the woman this poem is describing is like? Do you think she's married or not? How can you tell? Do you think it matters?
  2. Why do you think the speaker keeps referring to valuable items? How do you think this relates to the idea of a pregnant woman? 
  3. What's with all the fruit?
  4. How do you think this poem would be different if its author were male, not female?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The metaphors in this poem show that the speaker feels as if, as a pregnant woman, she's become a valued commodity rather than a human being.

The references to fruit in this poem connect the speaker to the biblical first woman, Eve, and her perceived sin of eating the forbidden fruit.

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