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The Colossus

The Colossus


by Sylvia Plath

The Colossus Duty Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #1

I shall never get you put together entirely,
Pieced, glued, and properly jointed. (1-2)

The speaker seems to feel a real sense of duty in putting the Colossus back together again. It seems like a pretty crazy thing to dedicate yourself to, since it's a chore that she freely admits she'll never complete. So, we ask the inevitable question: why do it at all?

Quote #2

Thirty years now I have labored
To dredge the silt from your throat. (8-9)

30 years? Dude. That is a really long time to dedicate yourself to doing something. We're starting to wonder if the speaker is truly doing this because she feels a duty to her father, or if it's just compulsive and unhealthy behavior.

Quote #3

My hours are married to shadow. (28)

Here, the speaker admits a lifelong duty by saying that she's married. What is this shadow that she's married too, though? Does it represent death? Or maybe the shadow that her father has cast over her life? Whatever it is, the speaker seems to be resigned to the fact that she will serve it for the rest of her days.

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