As a mother of two,Plath’s stages of motherhood had a great impact on her poetry. She was notafraid to examine the darker concepts of motherhood where “maternity is not apositive revelation in some women’s lives” or address a woman’s “realexperiences”. Through her short life, she was continuously conflicted on thematernal topic as she was aware she could not “have it all”, implying a familyand a career as a successful writer. For her existed only two options, eitherto take control of her life but fail to live up to society’s expectations onthe roles of a woman and potentially live a lonely existence or give all powerto a man and lose herself to domesticity. Therefore, Plath viewed motherhood asa very black or white concept with no middle ground and to her it was aconstant battle for power, power to the self or power to the man. It wasevident through many of her poems that she loved her children dearly, howeverwhat she opposed was the ideology set by a male-dominating society.
She did notwant to be resigned completely into the role of a mother by the manipulativesociety. Plath was able to live her dream when she was given opportunities topursue a career in writing and she did not let her marriage to Ted Hughes atthe age of 24, get in the way of her academic career. However, then came thearrival of their first baby together and Plath was now forced to take on therole of the typical American housewife. Although she considered herself agifted writer, and was very keen to continue pursuing a career in the field,she was tied down by domesticity and motherhood. Through Plath’s poetry on thetopic of motherhood, her conflicting attitudes towards the concept are quiteevident with many switching perspectives within a matter of years.
Motherhoodled Sylvia Plath to create some of her most optimistic as well as some of herdarkest pieces of poetry ranging from maternal love to resentment.