Bakhtin’s Carnivalesque-Grotesque Realism and the Voice of Other in Sylvia Plath’s ‘Metaphors’

Document Type : Research Paper


1 English Language and Literature, Letters and Humanities, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

2 English Language and Literature, Letters and Humanities, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahwaz, Khuzestan


The present study examines Mikhail Bakhtin’s carnivalesque-grotesque realism in Sylvia Plath’s poem “Metaphors” and shows how this technique can divert the reader from the socially constructed idealism and provide a different view and expression of reality. In “Metaphors”, Plath creates grotesque images and places them in a carnivalesque atmosphere to degrade the ideal image of a pregnant mother and let the reader hear the voice of the pregnant mother as the other. Plath’s humorous and different expression creates a carnivalesque atmosphere in which objects and creatures turn around the concept of pregnancy and the pregnant mother's body, degrade the image of ‘ideal pregnancy’, and replace it with the reality of what the pregnant mother experiences. This essay, through the carnivalesque-grotesque realism that Plath uses as a defensive technique against the dominant and idealistic language, demonstrates how much feminine writing can enrich human experiance and perception of realities. It also shows how adimrable Path’s courage and clarity are.


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