Critical Lenses “Mushrooms”- Sylvia Plath

Mushrooms- Sylvia Plath

Overnight, very

Whitely, discreetly,

Very quietly

Our toes, our noses

Take hold on the loam,

Acquire the air.

Nobody sees us,

Stops us, betrays us;

The small grains make room.

Soft fists insist on

Heaving the needles,

The leafy bedding,

Even the paving.

Our hammers, our rams,

Earless and eyeless,

Perfectly voiceless,

Widen the crannies,

Shoulder through holes. We

Diet on water,

On crumbs of shadow,

Bland-mannered, asking

Little or nothing.

So many of us!

So many of us!

We are shelves, we are

Tables, we are meek,

We are edible,

Nudgers and shovers

In spite of ourselves.

Our kind multiplies:

We shall by morning

Inherit the earth.

Our foot’s in the door.

Please respond to the poem using the lenses provided in class today! Make sure to interact with the other bloggers in your responses.

See you next class!

42 thoughts on “Critical Lenses “Mushrooms”- Sylvia Plath

  1. I see this poem through the critical lenses dealing with social power. The “Mushrooms” in this story relate to the lower class of the nature life if you will because they are unimportant. “Nobody sees” the mushrooms, they are just there and majority of the time there’s always a group in society that is just there with a person that is oblivious to others. It’s like they don’t have a purpose besides sitting around, “dieting on water”, and consuming “crumbs of shadows”. One thing I noticed that reoccurred throughout reading the poem is how inferior the “Mushrooms” were portrayed. Lines like “Nobody sees us”, “Stops us, betrays us”, dieting on “crumbs”. It made them seem worthless. In our society many people in the lower or middle class have a desire to reach the top and that seemed to be the goal of these mushrooms in their society. The last stanza states “We shall by morning inherit the earth” and that seems like a goal to dominate. In other words, a goal to be the top in society.

  2. When I read the background information on Sylvia Plath and then read the poem “Mushrooms” I gained a better understanding of why should write this poem. To me the poem seems to discuss something small and often unnoticed, mushrooms. Just like in Sylvia Plath’s past she was not noticed much and was disciplined strictly. “Little or nothing. So many of us! So many of us!” I believe this quote reached me on a personal level because I believe that the majority of people do often go unnoticed or unaccounted for in society me being one of them. Sylvia Plath’s Husband left her for another woman and her father ruled her household with an “Iron Fist” so her voice was not acknowledged much throughout her life. I think this poem relates back to the book we are reading Invisible Man and the movie we watched Crash where people’s thoughts and feelings are not put into consideration when they interact with others. Gender has a place in this poem as well “Soft fists insist on Heaving the needles,” in this instance soft fists can be interpreted as a woman’s hands, and heaving the needles could be considered as the stereotype that woman are meant to stay home, clean, take care of children, and knit clothes. ”Earless and eyeless, Perfectly voiceless,” is an example of Sylvia expressing her desperation to have her opinions and thoughts seen and heard. Sylvia was born in 1932 which was during the Great Depression she died in 1968 which means she lived through World War 2 in which woman took a back seat to much of the fighting and their voices went often unheard politically.

  3. I looked at the poem through a social lens. I like the explanation “TooCool4SchoolCO4th” had on the poem. I can see where they are coming from after reading the poem again. Where they talk about dieting on water and crumbs specifically made me believe this outlook could be true. However, at the same time I can see it talking about invisible people, one who doesn’t have any power/authority or a person who is expected not to do much but instead just go with the way of things. These are the type of people who can be described as “perfectly voiceless.” And like the poem states, “there are so many of us!” There are many people over looked like tables, they are just something that is always there. Like a table there is much use out of it, but not a lot of praise for its abilities. More and more people are overlooked, that’s why the poem says they “multiply.”

  4. I agree with “TooCool4School” and “3Jjj1″. When I began to read the poem the author used a series of words which lead me to believe that they were mentioning a lower class; through the social class lens. They used key words such as “crumbs” “shadows”, “dieting on water”, “noboby see’s”. Also through an invisible lens, with such words like “meek”,”voiceless”. As you get to the end of the poem, it begins to shift to be uplifting when, almost as if they are standing up and fight against it and they are not taking it anymore.

  5. I agree with both “TooCool4SchoolCO4th” and “3Jjj1stpd”. The mushrooms are basically compared to those people that are invisible in society. No one pays any attention to them as said, “Nobody sees us, Stops us, betrays us”. These mushrooms hold no importance in society, besides sitting there doing nothing. In the last few stanzas, the mushrooms, want to “inherit the Earth” and mulitiply meaning there would be more useless mushrooms on the Earth.

  6. I see this poem as well from a social lens. I agree with “TooCool4SchoolCO4th” with the whole thing about the mushrooms being pretty much worthless to society and are looked upon as part of the lower class of society. The Class that gets no acknowledgement for their well being. The Mushroom as it is stated in the beginning of the poem as “No body see us, Stops us, Betrays Us…” With that line its obvious that neither the mushrooms are known nor are they important and whether it bad or good they do not have to worry about nothing and in a way in its eye that maybe a good thing. The mushrooms as “ThisGuyPJX1stpd.” said that they are invisible to society which in some way can relate to the “Invisible Man” the Novel we are reading. This poem has a lot of meaning to it although they are just mushroom they hold some kind of significance in society which is the message being portrayed in the poem.

  7. I really identify with “TooCool4SchoolCO4th” when he stated that the mushrooms are socially beneath everyone and everything. They are seen as highly insignificant objects and aren’t given much thought or concern. They perfectly represent those of an opressed minorty or class who dont possess a big role or voice..”Perfectly voicless” in our society. “So many of us” symblozes the fact that the inhabitants of the lower class largley out number the ones who occupy the upper, wealthy class. They clearly have strong intentions of soon overcoming this oppression and rising above their status as the lower class; “We shall by morning inherit the earth, our foots out the door”.

  8. Through a social class lens I do agree with “ToCoolForSchoolCO4th” in that the mushrooms represent the lower class people of society, but I do also believe that as they are numerous the mushrooms are considered outcasts because they are noticed by others but left alone because of their appearance. Through a biographical lens, Sylvia Plath was a successful student who suffered from depression and committed suicide. Because of this she says “perfectly voiceless” , “asking little or nothing….so many of us” to show that there are others that experience that pain she felt, but like the mushrooms, she goes overlooked.

  9. I viewed this poem through the social lense. The mushrooms represent the lower class and how they are invisible in the sight of society. I completely agree with TooCool4SchoolCO4th with their comment. Especially when they refrer to the text and say “nobody sees”. Which is true, in the eyes of society the lower class is seen but not seen as an importance. I believe the mushrooms also show how the lower class has to suffer and don’t have the greater things in life.

  10. I looked at this through a social lens and also a gender lens. Through the social lens, I agree with TooCool4SchoolCO4th saying that the mushrooms represent the lower class. When I read the line “Nobody sees us” the first thing that popped into my head was the lower class because, we see them in the literal sense, but we don’t see them on a deeper level. But through a gender lens, I believe that the mushrooms could represent women in a time where rights were not as equal. “Perfectly voiceless” could refer to women not being able to speak their mind freely and not being able to make decisions. “We are shelves, we are Tables, we are meek” made me think that the author is making a reference to a housewife by naming household furnishings. And the line “We shall by morning Inherit the earth” made me think of how in some families, the mother or wife wakes up early to make breakfast and help everyone get ready for the day. Also, I felt that since this line is in the last stanza, that it could have been meant to be a twist or a way to show that women do have control.

  11. When I think of a mushroom through a social lense, I think of how they sprout everywhere and no one really notices them unless they look really hard. These mushrooms share a large comparison to invisible people in society, such as the middle and lower classes of civilization. The lines “Nobody sees us” and “perfectly voiceless” justify my assumption. Mushrooms, like most lower class inhabitants, do not have a say in how things are run in everyday life. I consider the mushroom to be an extended metaphor for the less fortunate, “invisible” beings that have a stunning lack of power or say so in a community. Though weak in power, they are strong in numbers, just like people, and one day they will rise.

  12. I agree with everybody above, “Mushroom”, can be viewed through a social lenses. If you think of the food-chain you notice composers are really not important because they get the last hand of energy; if you compare that fact to low class citizens they too get the last hand in deals and are often over looked.I believe the writer is definitely comparing mushrooms to the low class of society, in hopes of becoming more and greater in the world.

  13. Through a Social Power/Marxist Lens, the poem tells the reader about how the lower class desires to excel to the top. Since mushrooms are the lowest of the low, nobody sees them, stops them, or betrays them. As they gain entrance into the middle class (symbolized by the grain making room for them), the upper class begins “heaving the needles” upon them, applying more opposition and newly-placed pressures (that are normal for the middle class) to keep the mushrooms from progressing. Nevertheless, since everyone is oblivious to their ongoing escalation (since they’re “perfectly voiceless”), they continually “widen the crannies, / Shoulder through holes,” making no significant movement but perpetually pressing towards the mark, exploiting everything that is presented to them. “Diet[ing] on water, / On crumbs of shadow” are sacrifices that they make to achieve their goal. The mushrooms present the humility of the lower class, for they consider themselves to be “shelves”, “tables”, “meek”, “edible”, “nudgers”, and “shovers”. Their everlasting persistence is shown to not be in vanity, for lines 31-33 tell the reader that they “shall by morning / Inherit the earth,” because they believe that their foot is “in the door”. Since they believe that they will excel to the top and that they decided to do so, they believe that they are already halfway there.

    I agree with chibiCU1st in reference to the biographical lens. Plath was miserable after the end of her marriage, and later killed herself. She can be represented in this poem as one of the mushrooms who believed that they could come from poverty and live in luxury. She did all that she could to do so; unfortunately, she lost faith as she encountered the “needles” of life in her later years.

  14. This perfectly fits the social class lenses. The mushrooms do not play a big role in the society so therefore they are pretty much invisible to the people. I agree with “TooCool4SchoolCO4th ” on his/her view of the mushrooms as the lower class. I also agree with chibiCU1st, the mushrooms are almost like outcast, nobody cares about their existence. In the lines “We shall by morning inherit the earth”, we can that at a certain point the mushrooms will revolt. It is exactly like our everyday life; minorities and certain people who don’t meet certain standards in the society are invisible their community, and it will result in them revolting against the population to impose their existence.

  15. Um, wow guys! I am extremely impressed with your insight into the poem! ChibiCu I really connected with you stating that Plath was clinically depressed and the line “perfectly voiceless” totally captures her experience in a world where she felt powerless. It reminds me of the protagonists of the texts we have read so far this semester. Unlike those texts, though, I am left optimistic at the end of the poem. Question to everyone: Does anyone connect personally to the text?

  16. I believe that I could personally connect with the text. I don’t really see myself as the bottom, but I’m not at the top [yet]. Through the Reader Response Lens, I identify with lines 25-29 when they say “We are shelves, we are / Tables, we are meek, / We are edible, / Nudgers and shovers / In spite of ourselves.” They remain humble and “meek” and they always support others like “shelves” and “tables” support objects. Even so, they continue to be “nudgers” and “shovers”, going after their goals as they support others. As I live life, I always try to be humble and support others in achieving their goals as I try to achieve mine, just as the mushrooms do.

  17. The poem is symbolic of a social class or ethnic group that has flourish unexpectedly and believe that their group is underestimated but has potential to surpass the rest and that if the other group continue to ignore them, it will be slap in the face to those in power. The poem mushroom first critical lenses relating to social class is that the speakers are of lower class. The part “Perfectly voiceless” and “We are shelves” have me believing that it describing a low class. In the beginning I thought it was describing the upper class when it says nobody betray us or stops us. In the upper class they are in control and the lower classes do follow what the upper class has to believe what is right. Later I finally believed that it is talking about a lower class because most minorities are of the lower class and the only population that has grown “our kind multiples” and still struggles to get ahead in life “our foot’s in the door. Through gender criticism I would say it is more directed towards a male just base on the objects listed as the type of work the speaker is use to such as “hammers and rams”. When I read this poem of think of a field worker and a miner at the same time when it talks about shoulder through holes and the mentioning of the shelves and tables could be the objects that the speakers have made, which are mainly objects men makes. Through biographical criticism the reader can infer that the speaker has lived a life of struggle and where ever the person is in live he or she has struggle to get there. “Nudgers and shovers” could be describing the people that were obstacles in that person life to keep them down but found the strength to pass. I agree with shawty skip low on his or her view on what the mushroom representing a lower class that one day will rise as it continue to be invisible to society. This poem relate to the theme of invisibility.

  18. I agree with TooCool4SchoolCO4th as well that the mushrooms are unimportant and represent the lower class, and being in the lower class is like they dont exist. But the little mushrooms are pushing their way into existance bit by bit. I also agree with ShawtySkipLowML4th in that the mushrooms are invisible and unimportant. Also, I can connect somewhat with this poem. Since I am small, I have often felt that no one listens to me and I am often looked over, and that nobody really knows that I am there. Although I try with “soft fists” (avoiding aggressiveness and confrontation) to have my opinions heard (at home, at school) I manage to squeeze in what I have to say with persistance.

  19. Analyzing this poem through a social lens makes the stanza appear to be subjective of the speaker’s feeling of quiet triumph in its challenges. “Nobody sees us, stops us, betrays us”- evident of the speaker’s belief that they are invisible and unnoticeable to the rest of the world; similar to that of the lower class in a human society, whereby those who are without are unable to compete effectively with those who have. Mushrooms grow from the bottom up, which can be understood as a parallel to the way, for example, poor people make something out of themselves and become rich. Their influence alone is minimal, and the speaker emphasizes their quantity (“Little or nothing, so many of us, so many of us”) and emphasizes their perserverance in trying to be noticed (“Our foot’s in the door”).

  20. My reader response would be that I too have felt “perfectly voiceless”. I feel that my opinion does not count in many situations so I choose not to voice my opinion many of the times that i am asked how I feel about a certain situation.
    My gender response would be that the mushrooms represent women who feel powerless against men.
    In my social response I would agree with jd 1st when they said the mushrooms represent the lower class and how they are invisible in the sight of society.
    My biographical response would be after doin research I learned that Sylvia Plath was a very depressed college student who committed suicide. In my opinion she seemed depressed while writing this poem due to the last stanza.

  21. I totally agree with KFirsttymer4th on how it was looked through a biographical criticism lens. This poem to me seems as something or someone being insignificant to another. I felt that Sylvia Plath entitled the poem “Mushrooms” maybe because of how she felt in her personal life with her husband about him having an affair and making her feel worthless(gender criticism lens) and how her life meant nothing(leaving her to commit suicide). I also felt that she felt overlooked by people and events that happened and that when those things happened, I felt that she couldn’t handle them and lost faith in it. I do believe there were times where I felt overlooked and a bit underestimated, but I knew that I could handle those things without the effects from them being as severe as Sylvia Plath’s.

  22. aftr reading this poem, i would also have to agree with TooCool4SchoolCO4th. in reading this poem, i also got a sense that the mushrooms were ones that didnt fit in in there society. they seemed to be looked down on and they seemed to keep to themselves. in a sense i could sort of compare them to people in today’s world. if we looked at school as example, the mushrooms could be looked at as the “nerds” in school or the ones that the popular crowd tends to ove look. i found this poem to be written in a way thay is not standard poem writing. this poem also seems to be wirtten in a mood which shows as sort of depressed or from a first hand exerience.

  23. I believe that everyone can connect with the text. Everyone has in some point of their life felt unimportant in the same way the mushrooms are described. In reading the poem again, I see that the line “We are shelves, we are Tables” could be a way of saying that the mushrooms are equivalent to furniture which are just permanent fixtures that are takin for granted. I have felt many times that I was in a rut and that I was more of a bystander much in the same way that furniture just stands in the background and doesn’t take part in the action in a home.

  24. I thought that this poem was very interesting. I also agree with my fellow peers when they mention that the mushrooms seem to come off as people that society tends to over look. This poem also plays on identity, which we have recently been talking about. In this society the mushrooms are sort of invisible to thier surroundings. As mentioned in the poem “Nobody sees us,Stops us, betrays us;The small grains make room”, the mushrooms seem to be the ones that no one pays attention to. They could be compared to the lower class in today’s society. No one seems to pay attention to them or be bothered with them and they are constantly avoided or over looked.

  25. Very insightful statement, LoveLostBJ. I tended to feel that way a good deal while I was in high school as well. Once I realized that my voice was important no matter what I began to speak out more. It is very freeing!

    KFirsttymer I am happy to see you make the connections between 21st century multi-genre media, “Crash”, and mid 20th century white-female text “Mushrooms.”

    I am so very proud of all of your statements!

  26. I can somewhat related personally to this poem as I consider myself somewhat close to the bottom, both in reaching goals and in social class. Through the social lens, the mushrooms represent the lower class. It is demonstrated with Plath’s use of words to describe the mushrooms such as, “shelves”, “tables”, “meek”, and “edible”. Through the biographical lens, this is her referring to herself as a mushroom, unnoticed and unwanted. She was medically depressed and her suicide attempt had led to her hospitalization, which led to her temporary recovery. Through the gender lens, the mushroom would most likely be women looked down upon by men. Because of the time that it may have been written, it represents women’s place in the success ladder as well as the social class.

  27. Well, like many others on the blog, upon my first reading of the poem, I looked at it through a lens of social importance. I felt that Plath was speaking on behalf of minorities, saying that we practically get looked over, however, we continue to grow, and one day will take over the earth. After reading on Plath’s background and rereading the poem, I had a totally different view on it.
    I began to see the poem through a pessimistic feminine lens. Through her syntax I figured that Plath saw women as no sort of threat to the world, as nothing too important, or anything to watch out for. Women were like “shelves” being used, and would rather be seen than heard. In her second stanza, I felt like Plath was explaining that women were beginning to awaken to the harsh reality of the role they played in society. In the seventh stanza, I felt that she was implying that women except their role in society because they are conditioned and told too, and don’t know anything else. In the end of the poem, I felt that Plath was describing how one day women would be able to detect the condescending roles we were made to fulfill, and will rise up above them. On a personal level, I was able to relate to the poem simply because I am a female, and know what it’s like to be type casted into one particular role by society. In addition, telling by
    Sylvia’s background, it was obvious that she was displeased with her role in life. I feel that this poem demonstrates that fully.

  28. Looking at “Mushrooms” from the gender lens I absolutely agree with bamaboyTB4 on how he suggests that the speaker is referring to housewives. Men tend to look at women as some kind of objects that are simply available to meet their every needs, when the speaker mentions “We are shelves, we are tables, we are meek” in lines 25-26 it is as if the tables and the shelves are the symbols representing the females of the poem or the “mushrooms”.
    However after reading and learning more about Sylvia Plath’s life, I find another meaning to the poem as I reread it. I believe the poem speaks about depression. In the first line of the poem she mentions the night, which somehow ties in with depression. It is usually overnights when an already depressed person feels the worst, the time when you feel more alone “nobody see’s us, Stops us, Betrays us”. It is as nobody seems to care which leads her to feel “perfectly voiceless”.
    I can relate to this poem as LoveLostBJ4th has, I certainly feel as if I’m speaking without being heard as if what I say doesn’t mean a thing which makes me feel as if I am voiceless in this word, a small mushroom that has not been seen. And there is “many of us, many of us!” who I believe feel the same way at some point.

  29. I agree with ShawtySkipLowML4th. When he said “Though weak in power, they are strong in numbers, just like people, and one day they will rise.” Mushrooms are very underrated, but still they are very high in number. High in number but weak in strength. Compared to people within social classes, I would say the lower class. So many people in poverty with a weak structure in life. Nobody pays attention to the little thing in life.

  30. I believe the poem “Mushrooms” fits right into the Reader Lenses of Social Class. The mushrroms symbolize the poor or low class of people. They low-class have a determination to get to the top and stay at the top. They want to be accepted and want to go against all the odds. I can relate to this poem because it is hard for low-class to reach the high-class. I’m not at the top not bottom but i know it takes hard work. I agree with “TooCool4SchoolCO4th” when he states, The last stanza states “We shall by morning inherit the earth” and that seems like a goal to dominate. In other words, a goal to be the top in society.” because i got the sense that lower class would rise up and take over. The Mushrooms also represent people who are invisible to society. They see them as the same and not as individuals with no identity.

  31. When I first read the poem, the initial though that popped into my mind was that there was a depressed and lonesome mood given. Through the lenses of social power, I believe the mushrooms represent people of a lower class, people who fear expressig thei voice, those in society who are overlooked because of their circumstances (their appearance, what they have, what they know, or simply their first impressions). Through the gendr lenses I somewhat agree with KFirsttymerKB4th about the quote, “Soft fists insist on Heaving the needles”. I can see how it can be compared to the characteristics of women. The quote shows weakness, and in a physical sense, women are considered to be weak compared to the opposite gender.

  32. After reading this poem once, it seemed easier to connect it as reader response criticism. While reading it a second time, I took the time to know all of the words and what they meant. I began to feel like I walking down a dirt path in the middle of the night, then someway, somehow, I ended up putting my nose in the dirt around a tree. Although the text didn’t really seem to fit this meaning, while reading the rest I thought of climbing a tree. When the poem says “Even the paving.
    Our hammers, our rams, earless and eyeless” that’s when I felt that way and when it says “Nobody sees us,
    Stops us, betrays us;The small grains make room.” It seemed as if they were doing it secretly. One question that I would ask is, Why are these people/kids walking at night?

  33. I love the visuals you presented, skinnymini! I can see you walking down the path, sniffing mushrooms. Great use of descriptive vocabulary!

  34. I agree with the majority of readers who used the critical lense dealing with social status. I believe this is talking about people in a low class society. Sylvia Plath was speaking on behalf of the minorities and how they are treated. In certain parts of the poem, such as lines like, “Perfectly voiceless,” this shows that the lower class really did not have a say so in what was going on. This can relate to our society now. Nobody really listens to the lower class. I am not saying that they are outcasted from society, but they are not very important in society. This line, “Nobody sees us, Stops us, betrays us; The small grains make room,” also expresses how our society is. Nobody of middle class society and high class really notices the lower class. The lower class are people who are not messed with because high class people believe that they have nothing to offer so why stop them. This is what I believe the poem is talking about in the lense of social status.

  35. Looking at this poem through the lense of Gender critism. The poem seems to speak about lower class women not those high in society but instead those that are abused or mistreated and don’t really have a voice to express their troubles,to solve them or the privilages that high class women may have.” Perfectly voiceless”. The poem “Mushrooms” is a silent means of sharing those feelings disguised as a class problem in nature. There is still a hint of hope within them as expressed in the last three lines. “We shall by morning Inherit the earth. Our foot’s in the door.

  36. It’s so easy to see yourself in this poem, speaking on everyone in general. You can choose to look at it from a social standpoint a personal one, or both. Socially this poem depicts an individual or groupd of individuals that feel insignificant in the world. Look at the way the poet describes everything ”nobody sees us” ”perfectly voiceless” ”we are meek”. These are all the qualities of someone forgotten or looked over. The line ”nobody sees us, stops us, betrays us”hit me so hard because I live it. Throughout my entire life I seen myself looked at differently because of my height, it’s like I’ve hard to work extremely hard versus someones elses normal effort just to prove myself. I’ve never felt important enough, so that line hit me extremely hard.

  37. Obviously, this poem is classified in the lense of “social power”. there is really good imagery in this poem also. I personally like when the author stated “diet on water” , and “bland-mannered on asking” . These two obviously gives off the impression of the speaker being poor and homeless; because if you also saw, he/she said “little or nothing, so many of us!!” i also thought that this poem represents of course, the low- class; and i also feel like it could be mainly fowarded to blacks in general on streets, and other races homeless. on a last note, the imagery makes you think how hard it is for someone homeless; “leafy bedding, even the paving” makes you think about what these people face everyday and always worring about where their going to sleep, eat, and just simply go. It’s sad how the author stated”nobody see’s us” because when you think about it, people do walk past more than 10 homeless people everyday, and no one really donates enough.

  38. After reading the poem, I felt the author was trying to connect the mushrooms to “invisible” people. Invisible people are ignored and mean nothing to others around them. “Nobody sees us, stops us, betrays us…”, which is an example, could be explained through the social power lense because it shows how people who have more power form their own judgments. I personally feel that everyone is a mushroom to someone. Maybe this is the reason Plath decided to write the poem. She faced struggles in her life(father’s death, divorce) so this was an outlet for her.

  39. Looking at it through gender criticism in my opinion it is talking about a person who is practically invisible “earless and eyeless, perfectly voiceless.”
    More than likely the poem is referring to women because woman are the ones who are usually viewed as less in the eyes of society because men always dominate them as strawberryAM4th mentioned above.
    Towards the beginning of the poem the reader gets a visual imagery of someone who is insecure because this person seems to be hiding and only coming out at night but still being very secretive, although no one can see them. In a way i can relate to this poem because being a girl sometimes I feel the need to hide my emotions. But i also feel it can relate to status in society because looking at the poem overall it can either be talking about how woman are portrayed in society or how the lower rank people feel they are being treated. I consider myself a lower rank in society because my family isn’t rich meaning we have no power, so that makes us invisible in society just like the people in the poem who don’t seem to be heard. Even if there are so many of us in the lower rank we seem to be over ruled by the upper rank because they have the money. Which means that they will always have power and will always keep that control over us .

  40. Analyzing the poem with the critical lense of social power allowed me think that the mushrooms are symbols for outcasts of society. They are considered to be invisible and obsolete to the vision of society. These people are easily multiplied by the power of the political government/upperclass because they are somewhat naive and gullible to the persuasion of those in higher status. With them continously just going with the flow of things, whether they agree or diagree, will soon make them completely powerless. But i also think the mushrooms could maybe relate to the upperclass also because to me it speaks of people who have a voice in society but say nothing because they are afraid of change or the consequence of doing so which in this case would be the lost of their status in society.

  41. Looking at the critical lenses, I saw this poem showing a form of social power. I feel as if this poem could symbolize a group of people in a low class state. Where they are trying their best to come out of that state but no one is there to help them or give advice. Its like people look over them because they are lower than them and do not want to have anything to do with them. I can connect to “nobody sees us…” because it has been times where i have thought no one heard my voice or took my insight on anything. At that time i felt helpless and fearful. I felt like nobody wanted to help me and I was an outcast.

  42. I read this poem through the biographical lense. I found through the author’s background of Sylvia Plath that she committed suicide and went through a stage of deep depression after discovering the affair committed by her husband. Some of this hurt and pain is seen through this literary piece. In her perspective and through this poem, she may have seemed soft and fragile and her husband noticed and took advantage of this. She states nobody sees “us” or people in her similar situation, but at the end she gains the confidence to overcome her tribulations by stating “We shall by morning Inherit the earth. Our foot’s in the door.”

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