Skip to comments.Sylvia Plath's son 'commits suicide'
Posted on 03/23/2009 2:18:33 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY
The son of poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath has committed suicide 46 years after his mother gassed herself while he slept, according to a report today.
Nicholas Hughes, 47, hanged himself at home in Alaska after a battle with depression, his sister Frieda said in a statement to The Times newspaper.
He was unmarried with no children of his own and had until recently been a professor of fisheries and ocean sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
(Excerpt) Read more at metro.co.uk ...
His mother gassed herself in the same house where he was sleeping....EVIL and VILE.
Just like the Hemingway family.
Very sad that he felt no hope that he therefore had to commit suicide. But you have to ask yourself, is suicide/depression part of the job description for being a poet or novelist?
I can’t say - but, living in Alaska, especially in the winter months, and suffering from depression seem to go hand-in-hand for many people.
Winter in Fairbanks might have something to do with it. It is very sad.
I think Sylvia Plath had bipolar disorder, which has a strong genetic component. Bipolar disorder is also associated with creativity. Poets seem more prone to it than most artists.
True..... and there's apparently a genetic component for certain types of depression, which would almost certainly be exacerbated by the months-long Alaskan winter night.
Just like drug overdoses for actors and musicians.
Lack of sunlight seems to exacerbate depression and is the main cause of one type of depression (seasonal affective disorder). Deficient production of “vitamin” D (actually a hormone) may be involved.
The fact that a close family relative (parent in this case) also committed suicide did place him at even greater risk. It’s a shame someone didn’t pay closer attention to the signs.
Since my daughter moved to Olympia WA, she’s had to deal with “seasonal affective disorder”. She and her husband are both hoping to move back to CA, and soon.
how long before Palin is blamed?
I always thought her poetry was much ado about nothing. Yes, I dare say that I think Plath wasn’t that great of a poet. Her husband - scumbag philanderer and all - was a better poet and he didn’t impress me much either.
If Plath lived she might have been a nobody. And the only reason her son has made headlines is because he offed himself and famous mom selfishly did too.
Now a headline that reads: "Vince Foster 'Commits Suicide' according to Official", that I understand. But here?
Good idea SoldierDad.
If ya’ve ever been to say North Idaho or Montana you know it can stay light or dark for 16 or 18 hours a day and in Alaska it can be even worse.
Some folks just can’t adjust to constant darkness.
My prayers are with this family; two suicides is more pain than any family should have to deal with. I pray God’s presence will comfort them and bring them peace.
I spent five years in Minot N. Dakota (USAF). I know full well what it’s like living where the hours of darkness are very long, and the hours of daylight very short. It’s not easy to adjust to, especially being from CA.
I agree. I had to read her stuff in college. I didn't “get” it at the time, and I still don't. She seemed pretty narcissistic to me. Her life didn't seem particularly hard. She mainly just thought of herself.
Why did he stay in the house his mother gassed herself?
I can understand. I spent the 1997-98 fall/winter/spring working in Humboldt County where they had nearly nine feet of rain that year. I didn’t think we’d ever see the sun again.
Working in the pot fields....;^)
Ahem, no! I worked for one of the school districts up there (about an hour south of Eureka). I didn’t do much traveling around the countryside there as too many bodies were found dumped along side the roads in that area.
He didn’t. She killed herself in England, when her son was about a year old. He lived in Alaska.
I agree, vladimir998. Plath did write some beautiful poems, but no more exceptional than others written at the time. Her suicide made her appeal to a wider audience—gave her ‘anguished’ poetry the ring of authenticity. Plath committed suicide in her kitchen while her two small children slept upstairs; her philandering husband (who WAS a stronger poet than she) promptly moved them in with him and his mistress, Assia Wevill. In 1969, Assia gassed herself AND their small daughter, Shura. I understand that the Hughes kids, Nicholas and Frieda, then spent most of their childhoods in boarding schools. He seemed to have a very lonely upbringing, if you want to call Plath’s abandonment and Hughes’ indifference an upbringing. Poor Nicholas. I saw his photograph a few years ago; he had a strong resemblance to his father. A very handsome young man, and obviously very bright, as well.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Because it was safe after they aired it out?
I read CANCER WARD and right after that THE BELL JAR.
The Jar is Prath's autobiographical prose work about an upper middle class girl with the world at her feet but who makes herself miserable.
CANCER WARD is a semi-autobiographical novel about a man from the gulag who has next-to-nothing and yet loves life and people.
The book is about life and the value of it. In real life Solzhenitsyn experienced war as a soldier, arrest, conviction, an eight-year severe sentence in the camps, cancer, internal exile, and external exile. Yet he loved life while Prath experienced a comfortable bourgeois life and killed herself.
I think we should read people's work who experienced and did extraordinary things rather than those who have only experienced comfort and writing.
Amen ! You have my vote !
I live in the NorthWet. I have lived here for 20 years and you never get use to living here in you are from a sunny locale. The first 5 years were terrible. A light box does help a bit. I try to get outdoors even if it is raining it really does help.
I lived about 15 years in the San Fernando Valley off and on.
Got the hell out, alive.
<Since my daughter moved to Olympia WA, shes had to deal with seasonal affective disorder.
I lived in Seattle for 5 years. I loved the gray skies and never had a problem with SAD. However, what most people don’t realize is that Seattle has beautiful, cloudless, sunny summers. I hated them. I hated going out of the house, I kept the blinds closed, I couldn’t take all that sun. Come the cloudy November days, I was OK again. My son was the same way.
Now that I live in the Midwest, my students, knowing how I enjoy a cloudy day, will tease me when it rains or is overcast and ask if I’m having a good day. When I wake up and it’s gray, maybe with a little wind blowing, I’m in heaven.
I think that I am fairly well read but obviously not in poetry. Am I the only person here that didn’t recognize these names?
This business of a lack of Vitamin D in the winter contributes to a condition called S.A.D.D. that goes along with spending little or no time in the sun (which you can’t in the winter months). Spending a bit of time (just ten min. or so a day) in the sun with a good bit of skin exposed makes the body produce Vitamin D. - I’m taking a Vit. D. pill (2000 mg.) every day in the cold weather, and will get out in the sunshine a bit when it gets past the cool and cold weather here. One CAN overdose on Vitamin D, so don’t overdo it. I can say that I do think it helps me to not be depressed.
Do you take a multi-vitamin with a good amount of Vit. D in it? If so, that could explain why you likely aren’t low in Vit. D; also eating fish factors in as well.
Perfectionism and narcissism are the two major indicators leading to clinical depression and suicide. Never met a narcissist or perfectionist who was happy.
Syvia Plath & Ted Hughes in One Minute:
Sylvia Plath wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, and was a poet. The Bell Jar is still taught in colleges everywhere, and has a special place in the hearts of angst-ridden young women.
Her husband, Ted Hughes, was England's Poet Laureate, author, and wrote the book, The Iron Man, on which the children's movie The Iron Giant was based. I have read that he wrote it to help his children over the death of Plath, don't know if that is true or not.
Sylia killed herself at the age of 30 while her children slept in the next room with an oven full of gas due to marital problems. It was not the first time she'd tried.
Ted died in 1998 at the age of 68, of a heart attack.
Many of Plath's fans blamed him for her death, and for the way her work was handled after she died.
“His mother, Sylvia Plath, was separated from Ted Hughes when she committed suicide by breathing in fumes from the kitchen oven in February 1963”.
How stupid is this sentence.
I would say yes. Their job is to be introspective, which can be deadly after only a few years.