The influence of African folktales on Sylvia Path's 'Ariel voice'

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Young, Sandra en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Earl, Jennifer en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-05-26T14:07:42Z
dc.date.available 2015-05-26T14:07:42Z
dc.date.issued 2014 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Earl, J. 2014. The influence of African folktales on Sylvia Path's 'Ariel voice'. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/12847
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract In this study I trace the influence of Paul Radin’s collection of African folktales on Sylvia Plath’s Ariel poems. Elements from these tales have been identified by various critics in Plath’s “Poem for a Birthday” sequence which, according to Hughes, she wrote around the same time as she was reading the African tales. However, the importance of the tales to her later poetry has not yet been fully explored in Plath criticism. “Poem for a Birthday” marks an important stage in the emergence of what has become known as Plath’s “Ariel voice” and it is my contention that the influence of the African tales is significantly present even in this later work. The Ariel poems manifest a preoccupation with motherhood which merges thematically with creative fruitfulness. I examine how Plath adopts and uses the concept of “the African” in Ariel to represent repressed aspects of the human psyche which must emerge into consciousness in order for creative expression to attain a level of deep resonance. This engagement is repeatedly presented as a vital “primitive” force emerging from beneath a stony silent reality. The Africanfolktales provided Plath with a novel set of imagery and resources with which to portray this explorative process. I therefore explore Plath’s interest in “primitivism”. I also argue that the orality of the African tales inspired Plath to focus on the oral nature of her later writing. I hope in this study to free Plath’s Ariel voice from the shadow of her suicide. More importantly, I hope to show that her own collection of Ariel poems represented an important moment in her creative development that envisaged a vital spirit of possibility, activated dramatically by an engagement with Radin’s African tales. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other English Language and Literature en_ZA
dc.title The influence of African folktales on Sylvia Path's 'Ariel voice' en_ZA
dc.type Master Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of English Language and Literature en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationname MA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Earl, J. (2014). <i>The influence of African folktales on Sylvia Path's 'Ariel voice'</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/12847 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Earl, Jennifer. <i>"The influence of African folktales on Sylvia Path's 'Ariel voice'."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature, 2014. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/12847 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Earl J. The influence of African folktales on Sylvia Path's 'Ariel voice'. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature, 2014 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/12847 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Earl, Jennifer AB - In this study I trace the influence of Paul Radin’s collection of African folktales on Sylvia Plath’s Ariel poems. Elements from these tales have been identified by various critics in Plath’s “Poem for a Birthday” sequence which, according to Hughes, she wrote around the same time as she was reading the African tales. However, the importance of the tales to her later poetry has not yet been fully explored in Plath criticism. “Poem for a Birthday” marks an important stage in the emergence of what has become known as Plath’s “Ariel voice” and it is my contention that the influence of the African tales is significantly present even in this later work. The Ariel poems manifest a preoccupation with motherhood which merges thematically with creative fruitfulness. I examine how Plath adopts and uses the concept of “the African” in Ariel to represent repressed aspects of the human psyche which must emerge into consciousness in order for creative expression to attain a level of deep resonance. This engagement is repeatedly presented as a vital “primitive” force emerging from beneath a stony silent reality. The Africanfolktales provided Plath with a novel set of imagery and resources with which to portray this explorative process. I therefore explore Plath’s interest in “primitivism”. I also argue that the orality of the African tales inspired Plath to focus on the oral nature of her later writing. I hope in this study to free Plath’s Ariel voice from the shadow of her suicide. More importantly, I hope to show that her own collection of Ariel poems represented an important moment in her creative development that envisaged a vital spirit of possibility, activated dramatically by an engagement with Radin’s African tales. DA - 2014 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2014 T1 - The influence of African folktales on Sylvia Path's 'Ariel voice' TI - The influence of African folktales on Sylvia Path's 'Ariel voice' UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/12847 ER - en_ZA


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