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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- Sylvia Plath’s jarring poem ‘Daddy’, is not only the exploration of her bitter and tumultuous relationship with her father, husband and perhaps the male species in general but is also a strong expression of resentment against the oppression of women by men and the violence and tyranny men can and have been held accountable for. Within the piece, the speaker creates a figurative image of her father by using metaphors to describe her relationship with him: “Not God but a Swastika” , he is a “… brute” , even likening him to leader of the Nazi Party; Adolf Hitler: “A man in black with a Meinkampf look .” Overall, the text is a telling recount of her hatred towards her father and her husband of “... [tags: Poetry, Love, Rhyme, Sylvia Plath]
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