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The Thin People

Sylvia Plath

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Plath and eating disorders
Added by: Caitlin
This poem is strikingly odd. None of Plath's other poems seem to touch on the subject of "

thin people" Is she envious, disgusted? Did Plath have a body image disorder?
The Thin People
Added by: Jane
That is one of the most ignorant things I've ever heard... If you had made an attempt to read into the poem more deeply, you may have realized that it is actually about Holocaust victims, famished races, starvation of war... Although this poem is often interpreted as having anorexia as its main theme, there is nothing in it that can cause us to conclude that Sylvia Plath had a "body image disorder".
now now play nice
Added by: Katherine
Just because you believe that you know more about the poem than Caitlin does, which seems to be more true than it is false, remember that everyone interperates poetry differently. there is hardly ever just one right answer. What you may see as being about the Holocaust may infact be as simple, to another, as saying that "the speaker in the poem has image problems." In saying that the speaker has image problems could mean that Plath herself had image problems and this was her way of suddely expressing that or it could be taken that Plath was simply using anorexia as a theme addressing the problem through first person for impact. Now I realize that Caitlin did infact address the question of Plath herself having image problems which you said "there is nothing in it that can cause us to conclude that Sylvia Plath had a 'body image disorder.'" This is correct in this particular poem there is not much of anything that would suggest that Plath had image problems but if you are going to make a statement like that maybe you should try to back it up with some solid evidence like reading her Biography and doing research to find out whether Plath acctually did or did not have an image issue.

Next time try reading the poem two or three times before even starting to attempt to analysis it. It might help you get a better grasp of the really message of the poem.

My analysis:
though there happen to be alot of references to war times and the use of the word "scapegoat" in the poems make it seem to be about the Holocaust times I am not so sure that that is the most accurate analysis of the poem. I believe that this poem deals with the Holocaust victims but i also believe that there is more to it than just that though I have not thought of what it might be. So for now yes Jane i suppose that you are almost right on with your analysis of this poem. Just don't be so judgemental of others who do not understand poetry as well as you do.
Yes she did have an image disorder
Added by: Amanda
Sylvia Plath was anorexic, it is a fact. Everyone has opinions, which should be respected.
Added by: saara
the first half of the poem seems to be directly related to the Holocaust, starvation, war victims, but the focus changes where Plath writes, "But so thin, so weedy a race could not remain in dreams, Could not remain...rind of little light." Does that mean Plath herself was a "thin" wannabe? Did she go on a diet, cutting the fat out of herself?

The fact that she describes the moon (a symbol of everlasting, natural beauty) having the "fat" cut out of it reflects the annorexic aspect, (natural beauty, and health being shredded down to the bone) and then she goes on to say that the thin people "simply stand in the forest, making the world go thin as a wasp's nest"...there is no escape from the thin people of the media, and this would definetly bother someone who had a body image disorder

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