Sylvia Plath's poem "Tulips" is an interplay between the need for peace and an ascent to wellness. It tells a story from the perspective of a female persona. and it is in this voice that we read what her societal expectations are and what the female persona actually wants; and what she wants is in stark contrast to what society is willing to hand over. "Tulips," also addresses the political climate of the time when Plath wrote this poem. Women were supposed to stay within expected guidelines, such as house wife and mother, and the political difficulties for women were that women did not even have equal rights yet. The feminist movement was just coming to the forefront.
In can certainly be said that when Plath had pen in hand, she was both a woman and writer ahead of her time. She had a feminist leitmotif to her poetry and her poem, "Tulip" is written from the point of view as if the speaker has seen events which have already happened. The speaker desires objectivity from within her subjective thoughts. The speaker seeks to break out of the busyness of the world and its expectations and withdraw into her cocoon of silence and peacefulness (lines 29-32).
She is torn between being an artist and being a woman. She moves between the two worlds with some difficulties; not really fitting fully in either world. She wants to lose her baggage and obligations of her life: her husband and child (Line 18). She wants to be anesthetized from the harsh realities of the dogmatic principles that she cannot leave at this time of her life. Her voice was not only singular; she was inclusive of all the women who were like her persona, trapped within society and its rules. .
Plath's work utilizes a form of narrative poetry, telling a story and it is written with seven lines in each stanza. The poem relies heavily on imagery by using the senses to create the world through the words. In her poem there is a battle between being a female and becoming a desexualized persona (Line 28).