Analysis Of Sylvia Plath 's ' Daddy ' Essay

Analysis Of Sylvia Plath 's ' Daddy ' Essay

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Could Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” simply be a form of self-therapy or is it instead an artist who is remarkable at calling up the emotions of her personae and characters? In addition to this quandary, is the examination of the persona herself and matching her actions to the Freudian theory of ‘Family’ and Jung’s theory of ‘Electra.’ Sylvia Plath’s psyche could be screaming out in her poem “Daddy,” on the other hand, it could be a fully developed character creation with a few artists’ liberties being taken. An analysis of the poem “Daddy” reveals an underlying carnal desire to be both consumed by and yet destroyed by the male figures in Plath’s life.
Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, who has also been called the founder of Analytical Psychology, coined the psychology term ‘Electra’ complex. (Therapy, 2014)(Kilmartin, Dervin, 1997, p. 269) “Jung suggested that the Electra complex was the girl’s counterpart to [the] Oedipus complex.”(Powell, 1993, p. 155) The ‘Electra’ complex is when women display grief, headstrong actions without the ability to look ahead and see the consequence, and are unable to move without a man to guide her due to earlier problems of separation and mourning, which have been unresolved. In addition, symptoms can also include a negative relationship with the mother, idealized relationship with the father, and a lack of mutual concern between the father and daughter. “Sometimes the incestuous ties with father are not relinquished and, hence, relationships on a basis of equality with men do not occur.” (Powell, 1993, p. 163)
The Freudian theory of ‘Family’ takes these same signs and adds a layer of deep pent up sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex; unbeknownst to the persona. “Electra, on the...


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...takes Plath and her persona shared is falling in love with a man who resembled her abusive father. “I made a model of you, A man in black with a Meinkampf look.” (Roberts, Zweig, 2014, p. 872) Just like Plath’s father, her husband was of German decent. “And a love of the rack and the screw, And I said I do, I do” (Roberts, Zweig, 2014, p. 872) Plath married a man who had personified in her mind what her father was like.
Metaphors and underlying psychoanalysis paint a new light on to Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy.” Whether the persona in that poem is Plath herself can only be speculated on, but the similarities are strikingly close. Tragedy and heartbreak leads them on a path of internal torment that keeps them frozen in time; unable to move forward. Evidence points to both women having an ‘Electra’ complex with undertones of sexual desires for their father figures.

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