The Applicant Summary & Analysis by Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath's “The Applicant” is a free verse dramatic monologue in which a salesperson rigorously interviews a man who has applied to buy a wife. The poem satirizes rampant consumerism and patriarchy, exploring ways these forces pressure people to conform to narrow roles. "The Applicant" originally appeared in The London Magazine and is one of the first poems in Ariel, Plath’s seminal, posthumous collection of poetry published in 1965. Plath wrote most of Ariel's poems, including "The Applicant," in the highly productive five-month period before her death in February 1963.

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