A Women's Relationship With Men in The Poem Daddy by Sylvia Plath

Better Essays
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.
Plath’s father died early in her life leaving her with unresolved feelings, and this brought a lot of troubles later on in life. Sylvia was a great student but when she was overwhelmed with disappointments after a month in New York, she attempted suicide (“Sylvia Plath”). After receiving treatment and recovering, she returned to school and later moved to England where she met her future husband, Ted Hughes (“Sylvia Plath”). Their marriage with two children didn’t last when Ted had an affair. They separated and Ted moved in with the new woman, leaving Sylvia and their two children. Battling depression during this time, Sylvia soon ended her life. She left behind numerous writings that many might see as signs of her depression and suicide attempts.
Sylvia wrote “Daddy” in 1963 about a girl’s emotional struggle with her German father who died and was like a monster. This father represents Sylvia’s own father who died when she was young. She wants to destroy him but he cannot come back to life. His death has caused Sylvia to have problems with all the men in her future including her former husband Ted, who she also refers to in the poem. This is the first type of literary criticism that stands out, feminist ...

... middle of paper ...

...iterary Reference Center. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
Phelps, H.C. "Plath's Daddy." Explicator 52.4 (1994): 249. Literary Reference Center.
Web. 20 Apr. 2014
"Psychoanalysis." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2013): 1-2. Literary
Reference Center. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
Rietz, John. "The Father As Muse In Sylvia Plath's Poetry." Women's Studies 36.6

(2007): 417-430. Literary Reference Center. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.

Strangeways, Al. "'The Boot in the Face': The Problem of the Holocaust in the Poetry of
Sylvia Plath." Contemporary Literature Fall 1996: 370-90. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter and Deborah A. Schmitt. Vol. 111. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999. Literature Resource Center. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
"Sylvia Plath." Feminist Writers. Ed. Pamela Kester-Shelton. Detroit: St. James Press,
1996. Literature Resource Center. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
Get Access