Abstract


SMITH COLLEGE YEARS OF SYLVIA PLATH: LABYRINTH OF LONELINESS
Sylvia Plath is one of the best women poets, novelists and short story writers of the twentieth century. It’s shown that the author had acquired a mythical status inspiring of dozens of biographical studies after her suicide on 11 February 1963. Plath began writing at an early age and continued to write until her suicide at thirty years old. Many of the studies of her writing were reflected episodes in her own life. The most productive writing period of her life was the last years before her death. After her early death, not only poetry book titled The Colossus, a novel titled The Bell Jar, many published poems, short stories and unpublished Ariel poems remained, but also her diaries and (696) letters. The author started to write these diaries and letters during Smith College years and continued writing until her suicide in 1963. In this study Plath’s journals and letters were examined from a psychological viewpoint. Especially feeling of loneliness that she experienced in Smith College years was discussed in detail. According to analyses, Plath confronted to loneliness and isolation for the first time in freshman year of college, and also she felt homesickness. Analyses revealed that the competitive educational atmosphere, fear of failure, personality traits (sociotropic, autonomic tendencies, neuroticism, introversion), desire for admiration, lack of social skills (initiating and maintaining a friendship relationship or conversation) and sense of belongingness, narcissistic tendencies of Plath have fostered her loneliness.

Keywords
Sylvia Plath, Smith College, Loneliness, Homesickness, Creativity