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The Themes of Love and Sex in the poetry of Sylvia Plath and Kamala Das

Author(s): Khandekar Surendra S.

Journal: The Criterion : an International Journal in English
ISSN 0976-8165

Volume: II;
Issue: III;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Sylvia Plath | Kamala Das

The present paper is an attempt to focus on the theme of Love and Sex in the poetry of Sylvia Plath and Kamala Das .They have handled the themes of Love and Sex in their poetry a brilliant way. The contrast, which is glaring between these poets, is ‘the restraint’ Sylvia Plath has maintained towards these themes. Further, while Kamala Das is preoccupied with these themes, they are only two of the many concerns in Plath. She gains more sympathy from her critics for this quality of restraint than Kamala Das, who cries about her failure in love. The ‘self pity’ in Kamala Das’s poems is completely absent in Sylvia Plath’s poetry and she has very few poems on this theme of love, compared to Kamala Das. Sylvia Plath had an advantage over Kamala Das, if she wanted to emphasize this aspect. She belongs to the permissive society of the west where no brows are raised either at extra or premarital relationships. She had more opportunities to mingle with opposite sex. Sex was not a taboo, at last conversationally. Like other teenagers with a literary background, they relished an image of themselves as mature, adults capable of discussing sex with intellectual detachment.

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