Analysis of Daddy by Sylvia Plath

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Analysis of Daddy by Sylvia Plath

In the poem “Daddy,” Sylvia Plath describes her true feelings about her deceased father. Throughout the dialogue, the reader can find many instances that illustrate a great feeling of hatred toward the author’s father. She begins by expressing her fears of her father and how he treated her. Subsequently she conveys her outlook on the wars being fought in Germany. She continues by explaining her life since her father and how it has related to him.

In the first stanza the reader realizes that Sylvia Plath is scared of her father. It is quite clear that she never spoke up to him to defend herself. In the first line it is apparent that something is ending. “You do not do, you do not do any more, black shoe,” this shows that she feels that her father cannot hurt her anymore. Also, she knows that she has to let him know how she feels. “In which I have lived like a foot for thirty years, poor and white, barely daring to breathe or achoo,” this expresses her fear of her father, and illustrates the fact that she has remained silent, unable to speak up or even breath any words against him. “Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time--,” this portrays the extent of her hatred toward him. That she was so appalled by his character that she would end his life if only she had the strength. But he died before she grew strong enough to stand up to his horrible countenance. The next portion of the poem, “Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one grey toe big as a Frisco seal,” shows how large she sees his presence. Comparing him to the weight of marble with the powers of God. However the one grey toe, which was injured, and allowed for sickness to set in, brought ...

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... to the discrimination Germany had toward the Jews. Sylvia had many struggles in her life that were cause by either her father, Germany, or her husband. All of which left her with a feeling of insignificance, as if they would have been happier without her. It is certain that this feeling she expresses is also felt and carried by other German wives and children. The basic purpose of the poem is to dictate her feelings toward all of these men, mainly her father. This release of all that has been carried inside her is a means of closure for the treatment she has received. As a larger picture, Sylvia has also documented, from the inside, what it was like for the German dependent in a time of terrible hatred toward people who were seen as weak and insignificant.

Works Cited

Butscher, Edward. Sylvia Plath: Method and Madness. New York: The Seabury Press, 1976.

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