1. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that denotes one thing actually means another. Both concepts can be analyzed and a relationship established between them. An example of a metaphor is the phrase “life is a troubled sea”. Writers use metaphors to enhance the description of the concept being explained.

In Plath’s poem “Metaphors”, the poet uses a series of metaphors to describe a state of being. A pregnant woman, in everyday experience, is simply a woman with a big belly because she is carrying a child inside. Plath’s imageries, however, allows the reader to view the experience in a variety of ways.2. The speaker describes her pregnancy using metaphors. In the first line she gives the reader a clue as to her condition.

At the same time she establishes the playful tone of her riddle-poem. This could also mean, however, that maternity is as mysterious as a riddle. In the next lines, she views herself as various objects. All denotes either a change in size or something huge. In describing her size, she says she is “an elephant” and “a ponderous house”. She continues to grow, too, like a “yeast rising”.

She then describes how disproportionate she has become as when she compares herself to a “melon on two tendrils.”3. All the metaphors in Plath’s poem refer to a woman during her pregnancy. The “nine syllables” in the first line is the first obvious clue that she gives to the reader. It refers to the nine months that she has to go through with her present state.

The succeeding lines then describes her physical self and how she feels about what she has become because of her pregnancy. The woman pregnant seems to be looking at herself through a mirror and does not like what she sees, comparing herself either to big or disproportionate objects.4. The train is a metaphor for the ride that she has gotten herself into when she became pregnant. Once the woman bears a child she has to carry it as it grows inside her for the next nine months.

There is “no getting off” it, meaning, one cannot just easily quit and give up the baby just because it is a hard ordeal or it makes one look big and unattractive. Bearing a child is a one-way, non-stop trip which only ends in childbirth.