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’... ... middle of paper ... ...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.
Sylvia's genuine emotion that shines through her work is rooted deep in her childhood. Sylvia was a perfectly normal child that enjoyed life until at age eight when she lost the closest person to her. Her father, Otto Plath, died from complication with diabetes. (Kehoe 1) Sylvia had been his favorite and hit her the hardest. The toughest part was that because of her age she was not permitted to go to the funeral so she was never able to let go and say goodbye. She never fully recovered and later in life became convinced that the majority of her pain was caused by losing her father. A. Alvarez, a friend and critic, stated years later “The death of her father, whom she loved, who abandoned her, and who dragged her after him into death.” (Kehoe 1) She tried to pick the pieces up and move on. She moved on to become a good student. In all her years of s...
Sylvia Plath was the daughter of Aurelia Schober and Otto Plath. Her mother was a teacher at Boston University and her father was a Bee Entomologist. She had one brother named Warren. Sylvia Plath began writing at a very young at the age of eight. She submitted her first poem into the children’s section of the Boston Herald in 1941. The poem was named “Point Shirley” this story was about the description of her grandparents’ house when she moved to Point Shirley, Massachusetts. A week after she turned eight, her father died on November 5, 1940 due to untreated diabetes after his foot was amputated. She then turned to her writing and sealed herself off from society. She became depressed and tired to commit suicide. She later wrote the poem “Daddy” in 1962, to describe what she thought of her dad.
Sylvia Plath's famous poem "Daddy" seems to refer quite consistently to her deceased father (and obliquely to her then estranged husband Ted Hughes) by use of many references that can clearly be associated with the background of Otto Plath, emphasizing his German heritage. These include the "Polish town" where Otto was born, the atrocities of the German Nazis in the Second World War ("Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen"), the "Luftwaffe," and even the professorial pose of Dr. Plath "at the blackboard . . . / In the picture I have of you."
In the poem, “Daddy,” Sylvia Plath shows her character to have a love for her father as well as an obvious sense of resentment and anger towards him. She sets the tone through the structure of the poem along with her use of certain diction, imagery, and metaphors/similes. The author, Sylvia Plath, chooses words that demonstrate the characters hatred and bitterness towards the oppression she is living with under the control of her father and later, her husband. Plath’s word choice includes many words that a child might use. There is also an integration of German words which help set the tone as well. She creates imagery through her use of metaphors and similes which allow the reader to connect certain ideas and convey the dark, depressing tone of the poem.
Born October 27, 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts, Sylvia was the oldest child of Otto and Aurelia Plath (Perini, pg. 241; “Sylvia Plath”). Her father was a German immigrant and a professor at Boston University while her mother was an Austrian-American high school teacher (Davidson, pg. 665). Together, they lived in Jamaica, Massachusetts, a town right outside of Boston, before the birth of her brother, Warren, in 1935. They relocated to Winthrop, Massachusetts, where Sylvia lived a fairly happy childhood up until the demise of her father, Otto, when she was eight years old (Perini, pg. 241). Losing her father a...
Throughout the poem "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath, the author struggles to escape the memory of her father who died when she was only ten years old. She also expresses anger at her husband, Ted Hughes, who abandoned her for another woman. The confessional poem begins with a series of metaphors about Plath's father which progress from godlike to demonic. Near the end, a new metaphor emerges, when the author realizes that her estranged husband is actually the vampire of her dead father, sent to torture her. This hyperbole is central to the meaning of the poem. Lines 75-76 express a hope that they will stop oppressing her: "Daddy, you can lie back now / There ís a stake in your fat black heart." She concludes that her father can return to the grave, because she has finally rid herself of the strain he had caused her, by killing his vampire form. Despite this seeming closure, however, we will see that the author does not overcome her trauma.
Sylvia Plath's poems are so intervened with her life that it is difficult to separate them. Her poems, she said in an interview she gave to Peter Orr in October 1962, a few months before her suicide that they come out immediately out of the sensuous and emotional experience she had. Therefore, she decried the cries of heart informed by nothing “except a needle or a knife” (Orr 169). This applies to her last volume Ariel as well. In the same interview she said that one should be able to control and manipulate those experiences, even the most terrified with intelligent mind. This is an exact process of her poetry, i.e. the manipulation of the terrifying experiences of her life. This betrays her emphasis
In the 1950’s, American poetry began to evolve into a new style known as Confessional poetry, which involved a more personal approach to poetry and broached topics such as sexuality, death, and personal relationships. The movement encouraged an unconventional expression of thoughts and emotions. Filled with images of death and anguish, Sylvia Plath’s work falls perfectly into this line of poetry. Having committed suicide at the age of thirty-one, Plath’s final collection of poems, like most of her work, details the depression that led to her untimely death. Plath’s depression greatly influenced the content of her work. She conveyed feelings of entrapment in society that was deemed an inappropriate topic for women. However, it was this candid and uncensored quality of work that made her an icon of the confessional movement. Some considered her later work to be too graphic, as it often detailed suicide, sexual relations, and -on many occasions- concentration camps. However, like all
Sylvia Plath, born on October 27, 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts was famously known for her effect on the literary world. Her parents, Aurelia and Otto Plath, played a major role when it came to encouraging her to listen in school and learn the English language but it was not until after Plath’s father died suddenly when she was eight years old that she really began to keep diaries and begin writing (McKenna). Her father’s death sparked a sad and depressing lifestyle for Plath, and this was seen in her writing as a well. She was very successful as a writer of only eight years old when it came to her poetry, novels and short stories. Plath may have not loved her life at times and she continued to show that in
In Sylvia Plath’s poem, Daddy, she compares the way she was treated to the times of the holocaust. The Holocaust was the largest genocide to ever occur, killing approximately 11 million people, a devastating event that occurred in the 1900’s. Plath’s poem refers to how badly she was treated by her father throughout her childhood years. She explains how he died when she was ten years old and how he has affected her life. She also gives many examples and uses many metaphors to support her points on the ways she was mistreated. Sylvia Plath uses connotation throughout the poem comparing it to the holocaust to show how her father treated her badly.
Sylvia Plath’s life was full of disappointment, gloominess and resentment. Her relationship status with her parents was hostile and spiteful, especially with her father. Growing up during World War II did not help the mood of the nation either, which was dark and dreary. At age 8 Plath’s father of German ancestry died of diabetes and even though their relationship was never established nor secure, his death took a toll on her. “For Sylvia, who had been his favorite, it was an emotional holocaust and an experience from which she never fully recovered” (Kehoe 90). Since she was so young she never got to work out her unsettled feelings with him. Even at age eight, she hid when he was around because she was fearful of him. When she was in his presence his strict and authoritarian figure had left an overpowering barrier between their relationship. Sadly enough by age eight Plath instead of making memories with her dad playing in the yard she resented him and wanted nothing to do with him (Kehoe). These deep-seated feelings played a major role in Plath’s poetry writings. Along with his “hilterian figure,” her father’s attitude towards women was egotistical and dismissive, uncondemning. This behavior infuriated Plath; she was enraged about the double standard behavior towards women. Plath felt controlled in male-dominated world (Lant). “Because Plath associates power so exclusively with men, her conviction that femininity is suffocating and inhibiting comes as no surprise” (Lant 631). This idea of a male-dominated world also influenced Plath’s writing. Unfortunately, Plath married a man just like her father Ted Hughes. “Hughes abandonment apparently stirred in her the memories and feelings she had struggled with when her ...
The first impression of Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” is disturbing and it proves to have fearful twist. The poem’s theme is one of sadness and lack of a paternal bond with one’s parent. The daughter is finding her closure with her father through this poem. This particular theme is portrayed through the use of dark and depressing imagery. Plath is skillful with her use of detail and emotional pull. The imagery brings up personal feelings which makes it easy to visualize the meanings that Plath intends to portray in the poem “Daddy”.
Sylvia Plath has brought the attention of many Women’s studies supporters while being recognized as a great American poet. Most of her attention has come as a result of her tragic suicide at age thirty, but many of her poems reflect actual events throughout her life, transformed into psychoanalytical readings. One of Plath’s most renowned poems is “Daddy”. In this poem there are ideas about a woman’s relationship with men, a possible insight on aspects of Plath’s life, and possible influences from the theories of Sigmund Freud.