Sylvia Plath’s poem, “Mushrooms”, might seem to be about nature, plants and what’s outside but is in fact about her struggles in life. Then her life turned upside down.

Plath tried killing herself by taking sleeping pills. She wanted to fall asleep forever. This device gives an object or action several layers of meaning, often concealed at first sight pills. She received treatment and stayed in a mental health facility.

Her voice was perfectly voiceless. Nobody saw her the way she wanted to be seen. She returned to Smith college and finished her degree in 1955. Plath directly equates two ideas, which is her struggles in life and her career.

Plath and Hughes got married in 1956 and did not have a wonderful relationship.The couple’s marriage was falling apart. After she had her two children Hughes left her for another woman in 1961.

Plath fell into depression. When she fell into depression started struggling with mental illness. She wrote a book to get her thoughts out of her head.

Plath planned to commit suicide on February 11, 1963. Now she is in a safe place where she does not have to worry about bad things and does not have to suffer. This is why I think her poem is based on her life. 


CC BY-SA 4.0 “Mushrooms” by Sylvia Plath by Gezebel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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