Son Follows Tragic Legacy

Erin Ennis

ALASKA–On Monday Mar. 23, Nicholas Hughes, a professor of fisheries and oceanic studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks killed himself. He was also the son of esteemed writer Sylvia Plath, and with his death came more questions regarding the well-known literary family.

Forty-six years earlier, Sylvia Plath (writer of The Bell Jar) committed suicide and seemed to have started a cult in her passing. Her husband, poet Ted Hughes, was tormented by thousands of fans who berated him for driving the actress to madness. Nicholas, who was only a child at the time, became the subject of many of her posthumous poems and stories, casting a shadow over the boy’s life. His potential step-mother and step-sister killed themselves in 1969, using gas the way Plath had done, causing another foreboding and strange death in the family.

Hughes is remembered by his remaining family and friends as being young, vibrant, and intelligent. Many mention that his hysteria and depression was most likely passed down through family genes.