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Balloons by Sylvia Plath

Essay by   •  March 28, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  567 Words (3 Pages)  •  4,470 Views

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In the poem "Balloons" by Sylvia Plath, she uses life-like features to describe the balloons as souls in a quiet home. To make a better understanding of the theme, important elements are used, such as imagery, personification, and metaphor. Imagery is used throughout the poem to display the setting. Personification compares the balloons to human life and gives them human characteristics. Metaphors create comparisons of the balloon to symbols throughout the poem. All figurative language examples justify the theme. The theme confirms that the balloons represent souls.

Imagery is used to give the reader a mental picture of how the balloons brighten the setting of the poem. "Instead of dead furniture/ Straw mats, white walls/ And these traveling/ Gloves of thin air, red, green/ Delighting." That term shows that the house, in which the floating souls live, is a dull place. It portrays a vivid picture of the balloons and shows that they bring color to the bland house. "Yellow cathead, blue fish," gives a colorful image of the balloons, and lightens the balloons' environment. It also relates the balloons to living creatures, showing that the balloons are souls living in this house. These bright objects depict souls, because they are described to float throughout. The images supplied show that the inflatables make the room more enjoyable, as souls do.

Personification is the most important element used throughout the poem. The author shows the balloons have life-like features. "Giving a shriek and a pop," tells that the balloons give off sounds of something that is living. Also, "His balloon squeaks like a cat," allows the reader to infer that the balloons have life-like characteristics. Each example proves that these balloons act as living creatures; therefore, they seem more soul-like. As they float about, the representation becomes apparent to the reader. When the author gives the balloons sound, it is obvious that these objects are meant to be life-like. The personification of the floaters symbolizes them to be souls with each majestic movement.

The metaphors Plath uses relates the balloons to living subjects. Some examples of this are, "Oval-souled animals," "Yellow cathead, blue fish." "Oval-souled animals" compares the balloons to actual animals, and gives the reader the idea that the balloons must be of a soul-related



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