In the Bell Jar, she wrote of marriage:
"I tried to imagine what it would be like if Constantin were my husband.She published many stories and articles during her young adulthood for publications such as Mademoiselle, Varsity Magazine, Harpers, The Spectator and the Times Literary Supplement, but most impressively was first published at the age of eight in the Boston Herald.
It would mean getting up at seven and cooking his eggs and bacon and toast and coffee and dawdling about in my nightgown and curlers after he'd left for work to wash up the dirty plates and make the bed, and then when he came home after a lively, fascinating day he'd expect a big dinner, and I'd spend the evening washing up even more dirty plates till I fell into bed, utterly exhausted.
This seemed like a dreary and wasted life for a girl with fifteen years of straight A's,"
Plath battled depression during her adult life, but this battle was accompanied by the struggle for women's equality in the fifties. Not only did she suffer depression, but she endured it in a time in which married women were expected to abandon their work, stay at home and focus on raising a family; portions of her later scholarships and grant funds were spent on childcare for her children, so she could take an hour or two out of the day to write. She was a true feminist, fighting for her art and her own identity as a married woman. If she couldn't write, she couldn't be.
She also had to contend with the English stoicism and awful British winter of 1963 alone with two young children. Rollyson suggests this may have tipped her over the edge. She was an outdoorswoman, an avid beachgoer and had worked on a farm - which she cycled to and from - as a student. I can attest to the fact that British winters are permanently overcast and enough, in themselves, to make anyone depressed.
Her poetry reflected her turbulent life and was later called confessional poetry or autobiographical. Her marriage was also tumultuous and, separated from her husband and having custody of her children, she ended her life by gassing herself in her kitchen in London in 1963 while her children slept in an adjacent room. Her last collection of poetry, Ariel, which was published by her husband posthumously, received critical acclaim and strongly influenced a generation of young women during the early sixties, a time of revolution.
Sylvia Plath was the first poet to have been awarded a posthumous Pullitzer Prize for her last work of poetry, Ariel.
Her death, at 30 years old, exactly 50 years ago today, was an enormous loss to the world of poetry and literature.