In this universal rebellious teenage phase that the internet and general sub-25 population as a collective unit seems to be going through, having deep, angst-ridden thoughts is hip, man. It's edgy to be misanthropic. Life is a lost cause. Throw on your wayfarers and scowl at humanity behind them, bro.
You know what's also cool? Having literary classics to back up your angsty thoughts. That makes your misanthropy legitimate. And who better to legitimize your emotions that the holy trifecta of Plath, Salinger, and Fitzgerald?
The internet's peculiar love affair with these three authors rests simply on the fact that, with some mild misinterpretation and misapplication, their works and ideas can serve as a seemingly solid foundation for disillusioned youth everywhere. From "man society sucks Plath gets me she puts all of my profound thoughts into words I just want to stick my head in an oven" to "Holden Caulfield is my kindred spirit Salinger's writing is so accurate" to "Gatsby had it right we never get what we want society is just one huge facade" to the works of many other authors, literature has been bastardized left and right to help a blasé and discontented teen spirit express itself.
Just google blog posts about Sylvia Plath quotes, I dare you. Sylvia Plath, along with the aforementioned authors, has become more of a brand than an author. Like Mac or Starbucks, Plath has become a name, one which, when plastered on anything really, lends it some sort of legitimacy as a disgruntled societal statement.
Take, for instance this quotation:
"We are not angels. Nor are we the devils you have made us out to be."
If I claimed it to be from Sylvia Plath, the internet would attack it like a troupe of starving hyenas, dismember it, and use it to express deep thoughts and the frustration of today's youth. Maybe something along the lines of normal people in society think we folk who choose to express our feelings and grievances through the arts are useless and abnormal. If I revealed that this quotation is, in fact, from Slobodan Milosevic, perpetrator of the Bosnian Genocide, and regards international views on the conflict, all profound interpretations would immediately disappear. It's not Sylvia Plath anymore, so it doesn't express our societal views, man.
It's a shame, it really is, that great works and great ideas by great authors devolve into statement pieces like this.