26. The Cold War Gothic Poetry of Sylvia Plath

  1. Charles L. Crow
  1. Kathleen L. Nichols

Published Online: 13 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch26

A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic

How to Cite

Nichols, K. L. (2013) The Cold War Gothic Poetry of Sylvia Plath, in A Companion to American Gothic (ed C. L. Crow), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch26

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470671870

Online ISBN: 9781118608395

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Keywords:

  • Sylvia Plath;
  • cold war;
  • gothic;
  • nuclear winter;
  • holocaust;
  • vampire;
  • poetry

Summary

Plath was trying to write a new kind of gothic in a new gothic sub-genre – the Cold War gothic poem as opposed to the traditionally dark romantic gothic novel of the past. Her gothic poems explore the anxieties and fears of a post-holocaust/Cold War generation not sure its civilization, much less human life itself, would survive a nuclear explosion or the subsequent radioactive fallout. Gothic conventions, updated, provided Plath with a dramatic way to express those modern horrors.