[Honors-in-Discipline (Choose below)], Honors in English
Date of Award
Thesis Professor Department
Literature and Language
Darryl Haley, Jesse Graves
Though Sylvia Plath’s poems and novel undergo frequent scholarly research, her short fiction is often overlooked. Plath’s journals influenced her short fiction writing, and her stories reflected Plath’s lived experiences. Plath’s short fiction, like her other works, explore themes of identity and detachment. Each of her protagonists exist in a personal limbo, and they strive to find their identities and to fit the roles in which they occupy. This thesis focuses on “Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom,” stories from Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, and additional research from scholarly journals and biographies, with comparisons to identity struggles shown in The Bell Jar and The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. I found the catalysts for their identity crises stem from observations surrounding femininity, societal roles, and psychological wellness. Furthermore, this research shows Plath’s subjective writing habits and highlights her protagonists’ commonalities throughout her writing career.
East Tennessee State University
Honors Thesis - Open Access
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Lyons, Kristin, "THE CASE OF LIMBO: THE SEARCH FOR IDENTITY IN SYLVIA PLATH’S SHORT FICTION AND THE BELL JAR" (2020). Undergraduate Honors Theses. Paper 556. https://dc.etsu.edu/honors/556
Copyright by the authors.