A Courage’s Attempt to Take Her Life back in Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” Essay

A Courage’s Attempt to Take Her Life back in Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” Essay

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Sylvia Plath a highly acclaimed twentieth century American poet whose writings were mostly influenced by her life experiences. Her father died shortly after her eighth birthday and her first documented attempt at suicide was in her early twenties. She was married at age twenty-three and when she discovered her husband was having an affair she left him with their two children. Her depression and the abandonment she felt as a child and as a woman is what inspires most of her works. Daddy is a major decision point where Plath decides to overcome her father’s death by telling him she will no longer allow his memory to control her.
Plath never got over the loss of her father and her failed marriage to well known poet Ted Hughes. She wrote, "Me, I never knew the love of a father, the love of a steady blood-related man after the age of eight .... I hated men because they didn't stay around and love me like a father" (cited in Hughes & McCullough, 1982, pp. 266267). In an article, Jon Rosenblatt describes her poetry by saying “Whether the poems take place inside a house or in the countryside, the identical metaphorical relationships are established between a vulnerable speaker and a destructive environment.” By the end of “Daddy” the speaker comes off as a force to be reckoned with and her message is final
Plath wrote Daddy on October 12, 1962 and if you know about Plath’s life you can almost envision her sitting there one night deep in thought and finally coming to terms with her past and saying “Enough is enough, I will live and will not allow the past define my future!” She pulls out a blank piece of fancy paper and begins to pen Daddy. In an article written by Heather Cam, she says, “Daddy is a brilliant act of exorcism from Plath’...


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...senblatt, Jon Twentieth Century Literature; Spring79, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p21, 16p Academic Search Complete Ebesco. Web. 25 July 2011
The Journals of Sylvia Plath. Ed. Ted Hughes and Frances McCullough. New York: Ballantine, 1982.
Cam, Heather American Literature; Oct87, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p429, 4p Academic Search Complete Ebesco. Web. 25 July 2011
Zivley, Sherry Lutz ANQ; Oct91, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p194, 2/3p Academic Search Complete Ebesco. Web. 25 July 2011
Lowe, Peter J. Texas Studies in Literature & Language; Spring2007, Vol. 49 Issue 1, p21-44, 24p Academic Search Complete Ebesco. Web. 23 July 2011
Gordon, John ANQ; Summer2003, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p49-51, 3p Academic Search Complete Ebesco. Web. 26 July 2011
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath: 1950-1962. 430 Ed. Karen V. Kukil. Transcribed from the original manuscripts at Smith College. New York: Anchor, 2000.

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