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“No day is safe from news of you, / Walking about in Africa may be, but thinking of me.” Explain

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The Rival is a notable literary work by Sylvia Plath. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of The Rival.

Answer

No day is safe from news of you, / Walking about in Africa may be, but thinking of me.” Explain

Sylvia Plath‘s (1932 – 1963) poem “The Rival” explores jealousy and insecurity in a relationship. The quoted lines are taken from Plath’s famous poem “The Rival.” The lines are understood as follows:

No day is safe from news of you” suggests that the speaker is continually shot with information or rumors about the rival person. It indicates that the person is the subject of gossip or the speaker is distracted with thoughts about the person. This indicates a sense of obsession or tension in the relationship, where the speaker always hears about or thinks about the rival.

Walking about in Africa may be, but thinking of me.” – Here, the speaker distinguishes the idea of “walking about in Africa” with the act of thinking about her. Using “Africa” as a distant and strange reference adds to the sense of alienation and emotional space in the relationship between the speaker and the rival. Thinking of her is as difficult as walking about in Africa. The speaker expresses that the rival’s thoughts and attention are unreachable and hard to capture.

These lines indicate the speaker’s insecurity and jealousy in the relationship with the rival. She feels distant and constantly distracted with thoughts of her rival’s actions and feelings.