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Study Questions

The Colossus Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
  1. Compare and contrast this poem to another by Plath, like "Daddy." What similarities and differences do you see in style and theme?
  2. Some critics have interpreted the "father" in the poem as Plath's creative muse rather than her literal father. What do you think? Does the language lend itself to that interpretation?
  3. Other critics have said that the father in the poem is all men, and that the poem is about the speaker's struggle to establish her femininity in a patriarchal world. What do you think about this idea? Does it seem like an accurate interpretation of the poem? Why or why not? 
  4. What is the effect of the free verse style of the poem? How does it help the poet get across her ideas?
  5. Compare and contrast this poem to another that seems to deal with the loss of a loved one, like "my father moved through dooms of love" by E. E. Cummings. How do the poems deal similarly and differently with similar themes?
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