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Fever 103° Summary & Analysis
by Sylvia Plath

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"Fever 103°" was first published in Sylvia Plath's posthumous collection Ariel (1965), although she wrote the poem in 1962. The combination of hellish and heavenly imagery reflects her state of mental anguish (she suffered all her life from clinical depression) and in a broadcast on the BBC she stated: "This poem is about two kinds of fire—the fires of hell, which merely agonize, and the fires of heaven, which purify. During the poem, the first sort of fire suffers itself into the second." It is a highly dynamic work, dramatizing a journey from suffering to paradise.

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