1. Literal Comprehension:
The pregnant speaker feels herself like an unsolved question because she does not know the sex of the unborn baby. Her body is big and rounded like an elephant , a big house or a melon. The growing baby inside is valuable like ivory and well built. It is like a newly minted coin inside her. She feels that she is helpless like a pregnant cow because she is only a means. She has eaten a green apples to satisfy her desire to eat something sour. The baby is inside but she does not know when it comes out.
The nine-syllable nine lines what we find in this poem are remarkably symbolic meaning of nine-months pregnancy. Each line is of nine syllables: I’m rid dle in nine syl la bles, and the whole poem has nine lines. But these are indication of nine months of gestation. All metaphors, what we find in this poem such as elephant-body, ponderous house-slow and awkward weighty body etc. Relate to herself or to her pregnancy. It is certainly very humorous and self-mocking poem with disturbed state of mind for what she is going to bear after nine months or her nine-syllable nine lines poem.
Sylvia Plath, the great exponent of the poetry of neurosis, has presented this poem with deep psychological treatment. As per poetry is generally notable for its controlled and intense treatment of extremely painful states of mind, this present poem "Metaphors" is equally important for metaphorical theme of the poet's pregnancy. She has thought of the resemblances that lie between both these poem and baby. Physically and mentally both are in her, and she has been herself a walking riddle, passing a question that awaits solution, what person is she carrying? In other words, she thinks of the poem, what poem is she going to produce? She has shown inter-connection between the fixed cycle of pregnancy and the poetic form the nine-syllable nine lines.
3. Critical Thinking:
Though this poem successfully describes the condition of a pregnant woman, yet some ideas presented in the poem are less convincing. Irrespective of the time when this poem was composed, nowadays the modern technology has enabled us to disclose the gender of the baby inside the womb. In addition, she has overlooked the exceptional cases of pregnancy like giving birth to baby in more or less than nine months. The speaker is not clear about the number of children she had given birth to. Is this her first time pregnancy or she is already used to it? Is she a single mother?
Comparing the unborn baby with loaf and dough (money) is inhuman. The latter of these two comparisons reveal the intention of the speaker behind giving birth to the baby, that is, he or she will support her financially in the future. Besides, if she is unhappy with being pregnant, it's her own error. She should have thought of it in advance or before sex. It will have been better if she has used contraceptive while having intercourse with to-be-daddy of to-be-born baby. Still after the conception, she can get abortion, provided that is legal to have one. So, technically this poem seems to be anachronous. Plath seems to concentrate on the symptoms and things that happened to her during the pregnancy rather than the fact that she is bringing another life into the world.
By reading this poem I knew a great deal about the pregnant woman. Her desire to eat something sour is common all over the world. When I read this poem I can see a pregnant woman in my mind. I also knew how helpless she feels because she cannot do anything with his inevitable thing. She feels herself like a means, who is used to satisfy somebody else's desire.