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Tulips

Tulips

by Sylvia Plath

Versions of Reality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe (37)

Things are getting really weird, guys. Flowers don't breathe. They just don't. There's no way to know exactly what's happening to the speaker, who thinks the tulips are breathing, but we can tell that something is definitely not right.

Quote #2

The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me (44)

Yikes. Tulips don't breathe, sure, but they definitely don't turn toward a person. So does our speaker really think this is happening? Or is she being a bit more metaphorical? And if she is being metaphorical, what in the world does she mean?

Quote #3

The vivid tulips eat my oxygen. (49)

Not cool, tulips. But really, our speaker has bigger problems. Clearly, we're not just talking about tulips here. We're talking about a complex, powerful stew of emotions, so it's probably not that surprising that sometimes it sounds like she's left reality behind completely.

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