Sylvia Plath’s poetry gives us an insight into the bell jar of depression. This is especially true in the poems ‘Finistere’, ‘The Arrival of the Bee Box’ and ‘Elm’
‘Finistere’ is a landscape poem describing the landscape of ‘Land’s End’. This is a metaphor for Plath’s depression and ‘Lands End’ refers to how Plath feels like she can never come back from this place. This is a disturbing image compared to how weak she is ‘knuckled and rheumatic’. She doesn’t want to go on, she doesn’t know how to get back from this place. Plath cannot even find refuge in religion because ‘Our Lady is three times life size’ and she is wearing ‘marble skirts’. She is ignoring the prayers of the fishermen because to her they are only annoying insects that don’t need to be listened to. This is a scary image because Plath has no one to turn to in her time of need when she cannot find a way.
We do see a sign of hope however, when she talks about the quaint coastal village that is ‘tropical and blue’ but the sea is still a dangerous and gloomy place. Plath dreams of tasting’ such a life but she has never experienced it herself.
‘The Arrival of the Bee Box’ is a poem about Plath’s repressed emotions and the dread of what might happen if she gives way to her depression. The ‘bee box’ is a metaphor for her depression and how it is uncontrollable. The word ‘I’ is used throughout the poem to show that Plath is referring to her own personal feelings and how she blames herself for her illness, ‘I ordered this’. Plath is terrified of what might happen if the metaphorical bees escape, but she can have solace knowing that ‘the box is locked’. The hum and ‘noise’ makes her feel afraid of the bees and what they might do, but also of what might happen if her depression reappears again. Plath uses a five-line verse throughout the poem whish makes the final stanza stand out as it is only one line ‘The box is only temporary’. This is worrying to the reader as we don’t know if Plath’s planning to get...