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Added by: Jaron
The poem is about her imminent birth, the mushroom is her unborn baby. It is about the growth of a child in her womb, like the growth of mushrooms in a dark and airless room. The whole poem is an extended metaphor. She is terrified about what is going on in her body with the 'soft fists' 'hammers' and 'rams'. The baby is taking over her life just as mushrooms take over everything in their path.
Added by: Adda
I think that the endin of the story "Our foot's in the door" is not about the double meaning. Plath is trying to stress out that women will keep fighting for their chance to become more than just women. Plath wrote this story in 1960, which was the the time that the women's movement was most noted for. The foot at the door is just saying that she is going to propel the door of opportunity and equality open no matter what.
Added by: Thomas Weatherell
This is one of Plaths more strange poems, it has a softly sinister edge without being dark or overbearing (like daddy, and Lady L). it instead forces us to see how the weak and soft who watch from the back row, will eventually "inherit the earth" as it will be the strong ones who destroy themselves.
Added by: Dan
This poem is not specifiically about feminist groups, but rather the whole of the underclass in society. The outcasts, the racially segregated, the disabled. This poem reflects the needs of these people and also that they world will one day open up it's eyes and see that they aren't going away. These "mushroom" (don't ask me why she chose mushrooms as a metaphore for people) will present themselves and strike back against the facist society in which we live.
the meaning of mushroom
Added by: tazzy
i learnt this in my literature class. "mushroom" is all about war, how the nuclear wbomb, when it goes off looks like a mushroom. I think plath is talking bout the effects of war, how we often do not realize it until it is too late. i guess so. i got an A in Lit. class :)
Added by: Sleepy
there's no one meaning - each perosn can an see it how it makes sense to them individually.
The mushrooms, though, we can gather, aren't mushrooms. They are symblic. Symbolic of what? Women said someone here? Plath herself?
That's up to speculation, but obviously a person or group who are "meek" in society, the oppressed, the undervalued, underappreciated, overlooked. Plath suggests that these people, contrary to their meek appearance, have hidden reserves of force. Throughout the poem the verbs get stronger and stronger... first they're merely asserting their presence, reasonably, the meek are showing that they are there, "taking hold", and "aquiring," recognition. But as the poem goes on the verbs became more aggressive, they are forcibly taking charage, "shouldering" and "shoving," actually causing harm to others, and becoming dominant over others, until they are, at the end of the poem, threatening to become all powerful, to "inherit the earth."
Don't mess with the meek!! Frustrated, downtrodden, they have hidden reserves of strength.
People, people, people
Added by: Peter Carter
Quit Finding the Hidden Meanings, and quit making Horse Gods, you Horses. It's about Mushrooms, not A-Bombs or Feminism or the rise of Japanese culture. If there's a human message -- and I think there is -- it's to be humble. The littlest of all creations has its place, and in the subtlest of ways, they outpace us.
Added by: Aurora
Having experienced depression and studied this poem in my English textbooks and classes, I would have to say that's it's definitely about how depression takes a hold over oneself without even recognizing its coming. ("Nobody sees us / Stops us, betrays us; / The small grains make room.") Additionally, "We / Diet on water, / On crumbs of shadow, / Bland-mannered, asking / Little or nothing. / So many of us! / So many of us!" clearly displays that it takes very little for depression to start and that it multiplies over and over and it doesn't take much to control you. Perhaps the most frightening part is the last three lines: "We shall by morning / Inherit the earth. / Our foot's in the door." Wow. Depression will inherit and take over, because once it starts, it's hard to make go away.
Definitely biographical and controversial, but wonderful.
Added by: Kathryn
I think Plath is combining a personal life with the social politics of the time. For example, she writes 'Mushrooms' in 1959, a time when her first pregnancy begins, and when she is trying to battle depression and also during the Cold War. Her pregnancy, like her depression, occurred "overnight" and "discreetly" with little warning. Plath realises that she and her baby will soon become "nudgers and shovers" in the world - just like everyone else - trying to survive the tension and danger of the Cold War. By claiming that "our foot's in the door", Plath accepts that the war - like her depression - is a reality where only the individual can concur it and "by morning/inherit the earth". I agree that Plath uses the symbol of the mushroom to reflect the mushroom clouds given of by the bombs of the Cold War.
Added by: A. Ayres
Sylvia Plath's daughter, Frieda, owns the rights to this poem.
I think that, considering the way that Sylvia Plath commented on this poem in her journals, there were no allusions to women or to the downtrodden. She is simply giving a voice to mushrooms; comparing their state to the irrealities of Christian doctrine.
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