The Sow Essay

This essay has a total of 391 words and 2 pages.

The Sow

Sylvia Plaths poem, Sow, depicts a beast of mythic proportions through various images,
comparisons, and specific word choices. By presenting the sow from both the point of view
of its owner, neighbor, and of the speaker, Plath paints a vivid picture of farmyard
decadence that the reader can relate to.

The first three stanzas present an image of neighbor as a secretive, but shrewd farmer. He
is shrouded in mystery to the narrator and her companions, as is his great prize-winning
sow, impounded from public stare. He obviously views the sow as a source of great pride,
but also something very secret and personal. Even his barn takes on a mystical quality as
the narrator wanders its lantern-corridors as if in a maze. In fact, the speaker will only
venture in at dusk to try and catch a glimpse of the wonderous beast.

Upon seeing it for the first time (and throughout the remainder of the poem), the speaker
describes the sow using a number of comparisons to which the reader can easily relate.
First, this was no china piggy bank it had to be taken seriously nor a dolt pig ripe for
heckling; it was much too prized to eat. Due to the sows obvious majesty, the narrator is
assured that it will never meet the fate of its parsley- haloed; cousins (dinner). Nor is
the sow like other common; sows, content just to raise their litters. Finally, the speaker
compares the sow, through a literary allusion, to the massive Brobdingnag race of
Gullivers Travels, effectively assessing its massive frame.

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