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by Sylvia Plath

Tulips Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why is our speaker is so sick of baggage? Do you think she loves her family, despite the fact that they feel like a burden to her, or do you think she just straight-up hates them? And what about you: do you think you can be truly free and also have a family and possessions and a job and all those other things?
  2. What do you think about the speaker's idea of peacefulness? What's your idea of peacefulness? What makes you feel completely relaxed and safe?
  3. What's your favorite image in the poem? Why is it your favorite? Why do you think it stands out from the rest?
  4. What do you think has happened to our speaker? What was her surgery? Plath had a miscarriage the same year she wrote this poem: do you think this is why she's in the hospital? If so, how does that affect your reading of the poem?
  5. Why do you think this poem is about tulips, and not some other flower, like daisies or roses or lilies?

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