The times were against Assia, as against Sylvia. … In those pre-Feminist days, women saw their lives in terms of being loved or not loved by a man. It was terrible to be abandoned, death was better than rejection.
Novelist Fay Weldon, referring to the tragic suicides of Ted Hughes’ wife Sylvia Plath and his mistress Assia Wevill.
“And how, especially, do ugly women survive, those whom the world pities? The dogs, as they call us. I’ll tell you; they live as I do, outfacing truth, hardening the skin against perpetual humiliation, until it’s as tough and cold as a crocodile’s. And we wait for old age to equalize all things. We make good old women.”
Worst fears: That God was not good. That the earth you stood upon shifted, and chasms yawned; that people, falling, clutched one another for help and none was forthcoming. That the basis of all things was evil. That the beauty of the evening, now settling in a yellow glow on the stone of The Cottage barns, the swallows dipping and soaring, a sudden host of butterflies in the long grasses in the foreground, was a lie; a deceitful sheen on which hopeful visions flitted momentarily, and that long, long ago evil had won against good, death over life… in the glow of the sun against the stone walls, as well as in the dancing of butterflies- that in this she had been mocked.