The fact that there is even a question of her mental stability astounds me. From her ravings about a wasted life to the fact that she committed suicide, nothing about her proves the opposite. Not only does it anger me deeply that liberal students idolize her, perhaps if they knew the depravity and inner turmoil within her wasn't just there for here literary benefit they would understand. It wasn't a joke. It wasn't a game. It wasn't a false persona used to gain popularity. She actually was "crazy".
To say Sylvia Plath was crazy would probably be undermining her actual mental conditions. Every writer is insane and has "crazy" methods. She undoubtedly had a mental condition that interfered with her life, but a writer by trade has some kind of mental incapacity. Her craziness is what made her who she is, though.
I don't think that anyone can really sit here and argue with any hope of success that this women was in the right frame of mind. She was more than just a little bit crazy, and needed a lot more help than anyone ever really gave her, I do say.
However Sylvia Plath has been known to have shown bouts of severe depression that could have been treated with intervention by psychiatric evaluation as well as medication. It is quite strange how many artists suffer from depression, and yet during these bouts of depression is when the most creative energy is utilized.
Despite being very delicate and fragile looking it does seem as though she was suffering from some sort of dysfunction. She may have benefitted from a mean of help through mental medicine, or have had a watchful eye on her when she was alone, due to the fact it is said she had committed suicide.
Though Sylvia Plath presents an alluring romantic vision of a delicate creature too delicate for the rough world, she was clearly dysfunctional. We should not view intervention into the life of a person similarly suffering as an undue intervention. Ms. Plath committed suicide, and this is evidence of the necessity of intervention.
Completely destabilized by a controlling mother and pressure to excel and then by her marriage to Hughes. While the Plaths did not have money they had cultural capital and Sylvia was under immense pressure to add to that, to be distinctive. In addition she also had to conform to all the other bourgeois externalities placed on Amercan women coming of age in the fifties. She was cracking up early and despite the suicide attempts and hospitalization she was still expected to perform, her collapses explained by her specialness. Her mania was confused with genius. The poems are uneven and weakened by floridity. Plath does deserve to be taught but in a completely different critical way, with full examination of her reputation and the zeitgeist that produced it.
I honestly don't understand why people even discuss her poetry as if it had even a little merit. It bothers me that so many people are "moved" by her "work." I think it's the accumulative rantings of a totally self-absorbed neurotic lunatic. "Daddy" is an extremely disturbing scrabble of hatred and fear of abandonment and just plain negative energy on paper. She was negative energy on paper. And yes, she was crazy.
Its just this thing we do, we manufacture stories as others make cars, maybe a poor example, but its our work, we love it, hate it, do it, think or don't think of it when the days writing is done.
We don't (and I've spent time with many of our kind) say things like Plath did about our genius or consider our every comment and thoughts of great interest, nor do most of us consider ourselves the unpublished wunderkinds of our generation. We don't blow up events large and small any more than others do.
If you are paranoid, suspicious, grandiose and prone to threatening and attempting suicide, and shred the work of other writers, all of which Plath did, yup you don't need a DSM IV to tell you the sad truth. I wonder if she had been say an attorney or a forklift operator if this would have ever been debated at all?
I do believe that she was crazy but not because she killed herself by sticking her head into an oven. Her suicide was the result of a deep unhappiness/sadness/depression she carried with her because she felt like she wasted her life, potential and talent by being a housewife an mother in the 50 and 60s.
I do got the impression of Sylvia Plath though that she was in some way skrewed up, so to speak. I believe this because I get bad vibes from her writing and I have seen pictures in the internet of her (not the one on this page though) where she looked crazy.
Though i'm not fully familiar with her yet, from what i've read, I don't think she was crazy. I think she's just as sane as anyone reading this. 'Crazy' isn't a good word for this, it's much more complicated. Yes, she did struggle with many things in her life including depression, the loss of her father etc. But I feel like she was just pushed to her limits. Yes, I do believe she could've had some help but I would not call her crazy.
Keep in mind, we really didn't actually know her (personally) so who are we to decide if she was crazy or not ?
Well, i think she was a great person weather anyone calls her crazy or not. Calling her crazing is not a right term to use. She had some problems like being depressed. She wrote poems against feminist criticism, people need to know what she was against, what she was fighting for, and how much stress she had and out of all her husband was cheating on her when he should be supporting her. She committed suicide due to her depression not because she was going mental or like other people use the term crazy. So, stop judging people and stop saying they were crazy, Look deep and inside their history and find out what she did for people, how she helped everyone and what was her life like?
Sylvia Plath inspires me to be the woman I am today. She's not crazy, sticking your head in an oven is not even that bad. Germaine Greer has done crazier stuff and people fully admire her. I really don't think it's fair to call her crazy just because she committed suicide, like heaps of people do it. Do you even know her? If you don't know her personally you can't make assumptions about her mental state. You know her name, not her story.