An Analysis of the Suicidal Tendency in Sexton’s Confessional Poems: A Reading of “Sylvia’s Death” and “Suicide Note”
Noor abu Madi, Shadi Neimneh

This paper argues that Anne Sexton unfolds many psychological patterns in her confessional poems “Sylvia’s Death” and “Suicide Note” to express the dilemma of a woman caught up in the trap of domesticity, irrationality, and death desires. Sexton’s poems are analyzed to explain the reasons that stand behind the persona’s strong eagerness to die. We closely examine the suicidal tendencies that are found in the deep psyche of a troubled woman, paying attention to the basic problems women have always suffered from, theoretically not clinically. This analysis tackles issues like depression, domestic slavery, and death wish. We discuss why this analysis is relevant and why Sexton was chosen for this kind of analysis. In addition, we prove through such poetic confessions the persona’s profound depression that is a result of the social oppressions practiced against women. Our choice of textual evidence highlights the lines that show the persona’s irrational fears and suicidal tendencies in the form of a death wish and as a way out of the social, domestic, and familial imprisonment. The language Sexton uses in describing the way Plath succeeded in her suicide mission in “Sylvia’s Death” is full of envy and reproach, and it paves the way for Sexton’s “Suicide Note” to come out as a real note left by the author before her actual suicide eight years later.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v3n1a18