Superman and Paula Brown’s New Snowsuit (Sylvia Plath)
Quick revise

Set in Boston, USA.

The first section deals with the author’s dreams which are colourful and imaginative.

Superman dominates the dreams and gives a sense of innocence, freedom and liberation.

Superman games are played at school, but only by the writer and David, making them outsiders. Another outsider joins them as the villain. They seem childish and innocent at this time.

The dream Superman looks like the narrator’s Uncle Frank which shows the narrator’s admiration for him.

The backdrop of war gives a sense of foreboding to the second half of the story.

The child’s world continues with the birthday party of Paula Brown, which is full of traditional children’s things.

Seeing the film about Japanese prisoners of war makes the narrator sick and begins the start of reality into the story as Superman doesn’t come to save the day.

When they play Chinese tag the narrator is blamed, falsely for the accident and there seems no way out, no help.

The narrator is clearly an outsider now and no one comes to help.

Even the Superman figure of her Uncle does not seem to help much, although he does not shift the blame fully.

The language and imagery at the end suggest the frustration of the narrator at the unfairness of it all.

Suddenly from childish innocence, there is the harsh realisation of the real world, which is not a nice and fair place.

Everything changes forever from this point.


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