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Sylvia Plath's FictionA Critical Study$
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Luke Ferretter

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748625093

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625093.001.0001

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The Politics of Plath's Fiction

The Politics of Plath's Fiction

(p.90) Chapter 3 The Politics of Plath's Fiction
Sylvia Plath's Fiction

Luke Ferretter

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses Plath's political views and her expression of these views in her fiction. After a discussion of the development of her political thought, the chapter examines Plath's conflicted representations of race in ‘The Perfect Setup’ and The Bell Jar. Her representations of the Cold War are considered next, from the story ‘Brief Encounter’ to the role of the Rosenbergs, the UN and Esther's romantic encounter with the Russian interpreter Constantin in The Bell Jar. In the novel, as in her diaries and in her Cold War collage of 1960, Plath sees American militarism and anti-Communism as against the interests of women, children and families. The chapter concludes with an examination of Plath's short stories on the racism experienced by German-Americans like her own family in the Second World War.

Keywords:   politics, 'The Perfect Setup', The Bell Jar, racism, Cold War, 'Brief Encounter', Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, anti-Communism, World War II, German-Americans

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