Cultural Opportunity: the movie Sylvia

Trip Start Jun 16, 2010
Trip End Jun 16, 2010

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with Sylvia and Ted

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, July 8, 2010

For my very first cultural opportunity of the summer, I traveled to a world of torment, despair, love, betrayal, and mostly poetry. I watched the movie Sylvia based on the life of famous poet, Sylvia Plath and her husband, Edward Hughs, another poet.
Right off the bat, the film disturbed me. Opening with a woman, pale with dark circles, seemingly lying dead on what is assumed to be a coroner's table. Within seconds, the woman's eyes pop open, staring into the very depths of my soul. Throughout the movie, it was obvious that Sylvia had many issues. She was a struggling poet, fighting for the credit she deserved. She was ever so misunderstood, a feeling I have related to at many different points in my own life. When she met Ted Hughs, her world changed. She found love and quickly became one hundred percent devoted to this man. A man who did not always respect her. The love Sylvia felt for Ted was very admirable, Even when her mother did not approve, she vowed to always support him. She did not care for money or a wealthy life, she simply wanted him to follow his dreams and she wanted the same. I have always dealt with the struggle of trying to convince my mother to accept the man in my life. To this day, although she has accepted him, she still makes slight comments that make me think otherwise.
Sylvia reveals in the movie that after her father died when she was nine, she tried on more than one occasion to kill herself. I myself lost my father at the age of fourteen. I became depressed and still sometimes deal with loss even 5 years later. Despite this, I have never attempted to suicide. I wish Sylvia had not been tormented so by her father's death. Life has to go on, right?
Also throughout the movie, Sylvia and her husband hit several dry patches in their writing. They both, but especially Sylvia, experience hardcore writer's block. I feel for Sylvia on this matter. Every writer experiences that annoying and heartbreaking feeling of being unable to find inspiration. We all get stuck sometimes. But Sylvia took this very hard. I can imagine it was difficult enough living the shadow of her famous husband, but not even being able to produce any work is the worst. I wanted so badly to reach through the screen and shake some life and point of view into Sylvia; especially when she began torturing herself.
You see, Ted began to cheat on Sylvia. Once a player, always a player, I suppose. She even ran back to him only to get shot down, after she kicked him out. I wanted to desperately smack her in hopes that it would wake her up and help her see the light.
In the end, Sylvia could no longer take the pain. She ended her life. But despite this, I can almost admire her. She still cared enough for her children to make them food and make sure they were safe and taken care of before she committed such a selfish act. And even though suicide is something I feel is so cowardly and wrong, I honestly understand Sylvia's choice. I just wish she could have made another one.
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stephscott on

Plath is an amazing writer and woman. You really need to read The Bell Jar. I think you'd really love it. Wait until you start reading her poetry. Hardcore. Didn't Gwnyth Paltrow do an excellent job?

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