The Politics of Plath's Fiction

Luke Ferretter

in Sylvia Plath's Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780748625093
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671694 | DOI:
The Politics of Plath's Fiction

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This chapter discusses Plath's political views and her expression of these views in her fiction. After a discussion of the development of her political thought, the chapter examines Plath's conflicted representations of race in ‘The Perfect Setup’ and The Bell Jar. Her representations of the Cold War are considered next, from the story ‘Brief Encounter’ to the role of the Rosenbergs, the UN and Esther's romantic encounter with the Russian interpreter Constantin in The Bell Jar. In the novel, as in her diaries and in her Cold War collage of 1960, Plath sees American militarism and anti-Communism as against the interests of women, children and families. The chapter concludes with an examination of Plath's short stories on the racism experienced by German-Americans like her own family in the Second World War.

Keywords: politics; 'The Perfect Setup'; The Bell Jar; racism; Cold War; 'Brief Encounter'; Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; anti-Communism; World War II; German-Americans

Chapter.  12301 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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