Giving Birth to Ourselves

By Székely, Zsófia | PSYART, January 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Giving Birth to Ourselves


Székely, Zsófia, PSYART


abstract

This paper presents concepts about women's self development, closely connected to the issues of time, and also demonstrates these women's issues through certain poems of Sylvia Plath (Lady Lazarus and Tulips). It is discussing birth-giving - also the time before and after - as being real milestones on our way, literally 'crucial points'. These experiences in one's life should be called initiation. Internal time and timelessness are very important for women. Women have to ask themselves - when to develop, how to map out my time, where am I, where to go? How women, fairy-tales, modern myths and psychoanalysis could be connected in the light of the former questions? This could be familiar from fairy tales - it is like Cinderella picking and choosing seeds. It is familiar from modern biographies - Sylvia fighting in the kitchen with the meat and timelessness.

Introduction

Women and time are exceptionally attached to each other. Internal time and timelessness are interacting real time - personal lifetime and the time of civilization. Women's history is strongly connected to time - it does matter in what century, or even what decade lives a woman. In the times of a society, there are always certain groups where all problems or tensions are being exposed, emblematically dramatized. Women and women's body are usually shows us what is "wrong" at a time - see hysteria at the end of the XIX. Century or its heritage: eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia) in our time in the XX-XXI. Century (Csabai -Eros, 2000).

Every single women have to ask themselves in her personal lifetime - when to develop, how to map out my time, where am I, where to go?

We know that timing of self-development is appearing symbolic form in fairy tales - it is like Cinderella picking and choosing seeds; or the poor girl working at Aunt Holle (Grimm, 2009). Modern biographies (let us say - real women's actual lives) can also show us something to learn: see Sylvia Plath fighting in the kitchen with the meat and timelessness.

In this paper I present some ideas about women's self development, closely connected to the issues of time, and I also demonstrate women issues through poems of Sylvia Plath.

I have chosen to analyze Lady Lazarus (1962) and Tulips (1961). My concept is not based directly or cited classic feminist critics, or literature, although there is no doubt I think and write in a kind of feminist way about women.

Women and self-development

Fairy tales

Fairy tales are usually representing a developmental process - an individual, or collective; at the end of the story, through turns and transformations, the hero/heroine stands changed before us. He or she has to fight various enemies, accomplish countless deeds. Fairy tales are hiding meta-stories mediated by symbols, bearing meanings of life - an ontological message (Csabai - Csörsz - Szonyi, 1997).

We can also recognize that in fairy tales, women have different tasks from men. It follows that self-development in women differs from in men. This phenomenon is well known in itself. Women's journey to their self is not the kind of a heroic journey to overpower evil enemies - as it is with men; but it is the kind of special issues: helping, holding, feeding and maintaining nature's values (von Franz, 1995).

We can look for these differences easily in fairy tales - a good example is Cinderella, where at first glance, the girl looks like a victim of her environment, but if we look through the lines, we can see a little witch (planting a magic tree, summoning birds to help her), who is really knowing when to suffering silently (or crying gently), and when to summon magic power learned from her mother. The original Grimm fairy tales does not contain a fairy aunt, but a mother who teaches every important thing to get on well (Grimm, 2009).

Fusion and Union

Lívia Mohás (1998) concerned about women's self development speaks about the creative woman and the desire for union. …

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