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Journal Article

Citation

Shulman E. Death Stud. 1998; 22(7): 597-613.

Affiliation

City University of New York, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1998, Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)

DOI

10.1080/074811898201317

PMID

10342967

Abstract

Using the conceptual framework of a developmental pathway, this study links together events in the life of Sylvia Plath, beginning with her father's death when she was 8 years old and ending with her suicide at age 30. Unresolved grief for her father led to a symbiotic attachment to her mother characterized by a compulsive drive for achievement and praise. After a near-fatal suicide attempt at age 20 following failure to meet perfectionistic ideals, she recompensated, transferring her dependency needs into a symbiotic marriage to an English poet she narcissistically idealized. Her suicide followed soon after the collapse of the marriage. Emphasis is placed throughout on her unwillingness to accept personal imperfections, as well as on the search for a father substitute.


Language: en

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