Conflicting Perspectives - Wit, Atonement

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Conflicting perspectives are used to create diverse and provocative insights into human experiences. Composers of such texts attempt to stimulate a particular response from their audience through the comparison of contrasting perceptions about events, personalities or situations. The anthology Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes and the film Atonement directed by Joe Wright emphasise a particular perspective on such experiences in an attempt to have the audience understand the manner in way …. _____ Perceptions of an individual vary leading to the formation of contradicting beliefs. This is demonstrated in the poem, “Red” by Hughes, where his perspective of Plath as a passionate but tortured individual contradicts the view of her gentle and happy persona. Hughes uses the colour red to symbolise Plath’s torment such as “poppies thin and wrinkle-free as the skin on blood” where Hughes connects Plath to poppies which have connotations of blood and death. The effect of this compounds the symbolism of the colour red, ultimately depicting Plath as a tortured soul. However, in contrast, Hughes reflects that at times Plath was untroubled by her psychological issues, such as when “kingfisher blue silks from San Francisco/ folded your pregnancy”. The poet’s use of the kingfisher uses the bird in flight as a symbol for the freedom which Plath occasionally experienced when separated from her obsession with her father. Hughes encompasses his overall judgement about Plath in the final lines, “in the pit of red/.. But the jewel you lost was blue”; where he supports his argument that Plath was suffering, through the symbolism of the ‘pit of red’ which conjures images of hell. This contrasts with the symbolism of the ‘jewel of blue’ where the valuable nature of a jewel emphasises the value which Hughes places upon that aspect of Plath. As a result of comparing the different aspects of

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