The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath consists of the journal fragments that she composed within the different periods of her life. Each entry consists of its own distinct characteristics, which further reveal Sylvia Plath’s disposition, as well as the essence of her existence.
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath is a collection of the various journal entries by Sylvia Plath. These entries categorize the early, as well as the later periods of her life. At the beginning, her entries consisted of the experiences that awaited her upon entering Smith College. She spoke of the desire to become educated at such a wonderful college, and her gratitude toward this prospect. Sylvia Plath made even the most prosaic occurrences resonate with such depth and emotion. In her dorm, she would look out the window and write about the snow falling, or how she would much rather compose more poetry than study for the Botany exam. Another aspect of this part of her earlier work focused on her lack of fear in expressing herself and her desires. She would date many different boys, often recording each of these experiences within her entries. A prominent motif in these particular passages consisted of her fear of not finding stability. She often wondered what would become of her life, or if she would ever achieve the happiness so common to the facade of society.
Within the second half of The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, her life begins to change. She is no longer in college, but is now beginning her career as a writer. She occasionally has random positions in hotels, and discusses the extent of these experiences. In these entries, she focuses mostly on how she wants to develop her writing to its fullest potential. She also speaks of her desire to travel to Europe, and to meet someone that she will be able to love forever, still not knowing whether or not this is possible. Within this part of the book, her emotional experimentation with different boys remains.
The remainder of The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath is different from both the second and the first parts. At this point in her life, she has met Ted Hughes. During the beginning of their relationship, she taught at Smith College, however, teaching did not bring her the same joy as writing. Therefore, she eventually forsakes this position in order to stay at home and write. However, she finds that she cannot always find the outlet to her creations. There is a prominent tone shift within this section. It consists mostly of her stating that circumstances change, that she used to teach and no longer does, but that regardless, she loves Ted and thinks he is wonderful. The open experimentation and fearless child are no longer evident in these entries. Ted Hughes definitely allowed Sylvia Plath to concentrate on something other than her act of not teaching. The epilogue of the notes section states that Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes eventually separated. Unfortunately, things really do change.
This book, although based on journal fragments, is so much more than just accounts of past events. Rather, it personifies emotion, it foreshadows the outcomes of the life of Sylvia Plath, and it provides insight into her beliefs and values. A better understanding of her personality can be obtained by taking the time to read this book, which is well over six hundred pages. This piece of literature is real. It states how life really is, through the quotidian experiences of a renown author and poet.