What is Sylvia Plath’s influence on American popular culture?

I am a Chinese college student major in English literature and am writing an essay on Sylvia Plath.
I want to know how she, her life story and her works influence American popular culture.
What are the literature works inspired or influenced by her work?
How is she received in the public, I have found some movies or TV series where characters read her Bell Jar, and what about other ordinary people?
Are there any general characteristics about these Plath readers?
In a word, what do you American teenagers, college students and writers influenced by her?

1 thought on “What is Sylvia Plath’s influence on American popular culture?

  1. She has become an icon of the feminist movement. The myth goes something like this: her natural talents had to exist in a culture where women were secondary and where the talents of women, even great talents like hers, were only back ups to the efforts of men. _The Bell Jar_ and poems like “Lady Lazarus” and “Daddy” can be read in a way that supports this idea. Ultimately she became a martyr. Her suicide seems the unanswerable response striking out against western patriarchal culture.

    Many women writers–Robin Morgan is one–see her this way. So great is the force of feminism that she has become a cliché, mentioned even by Shelley Long (playing Diane Chambers) on _Cheers,_ the old TV show. For an extended appreciation of this idea see Janet Malcolm’s book _The Silent Woman_ (New York: Alfred A. Knopf).

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