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Tulips

Tulips

by Sylvia Plath

Isolation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly (3)

Some of the speaker's ideas about happiness don't seem all that well-adjusted to us, but there is something oddly appealing about this quiet, meditative space she's in. It's also the perfect set-up for the crazy tulip stuff at the end, because it makes the tulips' intrusion all the more invasive.

Quote #2

My husband and child smiling out of the family photo;
Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks. (20-21)

Most people worry about being alone, about not having a family to turn to in hard times. But this speaker is not most people. Her family portrait, like the tulips, is interfering with her precious alone time.

Quote #3

I am a nun now, I have never been so pure. (28)

Nuns are supposed to live peaceful and calm lives, separated from the world. They can't get married or have children. One of the things our speaker wants to get away from is the attachment to her family (20-21), so being a nun probably sounds like a good deal to her.

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