| Literal Comprehension
“Metaphors” poem is about comparing pregnant women with various kinds of physical things to relate to the mental state and physical state of women during the course of pregnancy. The pregnant speaker feels like an unsolved mystery because she is confused about the gender of the baby. Her body is big and rounded like an elephant, a big ponderous house, or a melon. She considers the baby residing in her belly as precious as ivory and hopes for the good of the unborn baby.
The state of the poem then changes to doubt and darkness. She calls her baby a loaf that seems to be rising because of yeast. Likewise, she feels like a fat purse, with newly minted money inside as the baby, which will be new to the world when born.
Then the environment of the poem shifts to extreme sadness and a lot of negative emotions. She feels that she is helpless like a pregnant cow because she is only a means. She has eaten green apples to satisfy her desire to eat something sour. The baby is inside but she doesn’t know when it comes out.
This poem has a very negative meaning on average. It is very creative to compose a poem in nine lines as the period of pregnancy is also nine months. She might be trying to explain it is how difficult to sustain a period of pregnancy. Females can feel or compare their bodies to many identical objects when they are pregnant.
Similarly, she feels like she has eaten a bag of green apples, which mythically refers to the forbidden fruit and we can say that she is not ready to be pregnant and lose her freedom.
| Critical Thinking
I must say, the ability of Plath to describe the entire period of pregnancy using metaphors and limiting the poem to just nine lines is just an amazing work of art. But actually, I am not impressed.
I have some issues with this poem:
- A mythical meaning of the green apple is sin in the “Book of Genesis”. So, does she feels as if giving birth to a baby is against god?
- How any woman can curse herself for being pregnant because it’s a natural phenomenon created by a god?
Women are also a big part of literature and can render a great contribution. Now, I realized how difficult is it to give birth to a baby for them. I came to know that it takes nine months for a baby to be born.
I also knew how helpless she feels because she cannot do anything about this inevitable thing. She feels like a means, that is used to satisfy somebody else’s desire.