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The Moon and the Yew Tree Summary & Analysis
by Sylvia Plath

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"The Moon and the Yew Tree" was written by the American poet Sylvia Plath in October 1961. Like much of Plath's writing, this is a deeply ambiguous poem that has been interpreted in a number of different ways. Most clearly, it expresses a disillusionment with religion (and more specifically the Catholic church), a deep and overwhelming sense of despair, and an ambivalent attitude towards the traditional expectations of motherhood and femininity. Many readings of the poem also draw on Plath's own difficult relationship with her parents, treating the moon and the yew tree as direct symbols of Aurelia and Otto Plath. That said, the poem benefits from not being confined to a purely autobiographical interpretation.

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