October 27, 1932
February 11, 1963
1932 | Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, MA.
1940 | Began writing stories and poems at age 8. She recalls "...My work wasn't something a normal child would write about. I wrote mostly about death and suicide.
1940 | Her father died from an extreme case of diabetes.
1956 | Married Ted Hughes. Started bee keeping as a hobby.
1960 | Sylvia gave birth to a girl, Frida Hughes.
1961 | She separated from Ted when she found about his affair.
1962 | She gave birth to a boy.
1963 | She committed suicide.
Is there a language to depression? By examining the writings of three poets who have killed themselves, we might be able to see a connection between someone’s mental state and their language. For example, psychologists and linguists have done studies that show how absolutist words such as “all”, “nothing”, “none” were used more frequently amongst those who were depressed than those who weren’t. They also found that the use of “I”, “me” or “my” is more commonly used in those who are depressed. Frequent use of auxiliary verbs such as “should” or “would” is also an indication of negative thought patterns. This site is intended to be a small test to see if there is a link between the subtle way we use words and emotional well being.