Oral Experience: Sylvia Plath's Daddy Essay

Oral Experience: Sylvia Plath's Daddy Essay

Length: 1256 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” creates a unique oral experience through its emphasis on the inconsistent forms and repeated sounds, both of which appeal to the ear and are less visible in the written format. The oral experience differs from the visual experience of reading the poem because the oral experience uses word flow and the sounds of the words to add to the meaning of the poem. Specifically, enjambments between lines and stanzas as well as inconsistent rhyme schemes and syllable counts create a conversational flow and interrupt the unified structure of five lines to a verse. The effect of this break in unity is distinctly oral, and the auditory aspects of this poem reinforce the intensity of the speaker’s feelings of hatred and abandonment. Repeated sounds, such as harsh German words and the “-oo” sound, particularly “Jew” and “you”, also inform the oral experience and serve to reinforce the speaker’s feelings of homelessness and child-like rage towards the father. Ultimately, the oral experience of “Daddy,” which is conveyed through inconsistent forms and repeated sounds, reinforces the intensity of the speaker’s emotions, particularly her hatred, abandonment, homelessness and rage.

There is a considerable difference between the written structure and the spoken structure of the “Daddy.” While the written structure appears to be organized into sixteen distinct five-line stanzas, the auditory version of the poem uses enjambment to change the formatting of the poem into something more expressive and emotional. Through enjambment between lines and stanzas, the oral experience of the poem relies less on the meanings of individual lines and more on the flow of the entire poem. This flow is conversational in nature and is ...


... middle of paper ...


...gh the oral experience of “Daddy,” the author’s anger towards her father can be seen in her repetition and juxtaposition of “I” and “you.”

The poem “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath uses uneven structure and repeated sounds to create an oral experience that informs the reader of the author’s emotions, specifically anger, isolation, homelessness and rage. The uneven structure and repeated sounds are distinctly oral characteristics that are not as prevalent in the written version in the poem, as they appeal to the ear more than the eye. For this reason, the oral experience adds to the reader’s understanding of the poem. Although the written version of the poem offers many clues to its interpretation, the oral experience of “Daddy” offers a unique perspective on the form and sound structure of the poem.


Works Cited

Plath, Sylvia. Ariel. New York: Harper & Row, 1966. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Psychoanalytically Analyzing the Poetry of Sylvia Plath Essay example

- The poetry of Sylvia Plath can be interpreted psychoanalytically. Sigmund Freud believed that the majority of all art was a controlled expression of the unconscious. However, this does not mean that the creation of art is effortless; on the contrary it requires a high degree of sophistication. Works of art like dreams have both a manifest content (what is on the surface) and latent content (the true meaning). Both dreams and art use symbolism and metaphor and thus need to be interpreted to understand the latent content....   [tags: Poetry Analysis ]

Strong Essays
1843 words (5.3 pages)

`` Daddy `` By Sylvia Plath Essay

- Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 27th, 1932. She attended Smith College with a scholarship in 1950 and was married to Ted Hughes. Plath was a gifted and troubled poet, known for the style of her work. On October 12th, 1962 Plath wrote a very unique poem called “Daddy” that was then published in 1965. “Daddy” is perhaps Sylvia Plath’s best-known poem that she has written. Through the use of violet imagery, figurative language and descriptive metaphors, Plath conveys the speaker’s journey of coming to terms with her father who died when she was eight years old....   [tags: Sylvia Plath, Poetry, Ted Hughes, Daddy]

Strong Essays
733 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Sylvia Plath 's ' Daddy '

- Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” is debated as form of self-therapy or as just an artist who is remarkable at calling up the emotions of her personas and characters. In addition to this quandary, is the examination of the persona herself and matching her actions to the Freudianism theory of Family and Jung’s theory of Electra. Digging into the overall question of Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” is, what is the greater message in Sylvia Plath’s poem. Does even the author understand what the larger question of her psyche through an in-depth analysis of her poem could mean for her self-development....   [tags: Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Sylvia Plath, Daddy]

Strong Essays
1700 words (4.9 pages)

Analysis Of ' Daddy ' By Sylvia Plath Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
949 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on An Analysis of Sylvia Plath's Poem, Daddy

- An Analysis of Sylvia Plath's Poem, Daddy 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....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Daddy Essays]

Strong Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Preparing for Death in Sylvia Plath's Daddy

- Preparing for Death in Plath’s Daddy   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....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Daddy]

Strong Essays
1420 words (4.1 pages)

Sylvia Plath's Poem Daddy Essay

- Sylvia Plath's Poem "Daddy" Overbearing fathers who dominant their children’s lives dispose of comfort and security and instead cause irreversible damage. Sylvia Plath writes about her own experiences dealing with her authoritarian father in “Daddy.” In this poem, Plath utilizes literary devices like allusion, child-like diction, and dualistic organization to communicate her bitterness in this theme of resentment and scorn. Plath’s usage of allusion calls the reader to bring their own knowledge to the poem....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Daddy Poetry Poem Essays]

Strong Essays
684 words (2 pages)

Revenge and Hatred in Sylvia Plath's Daddy Essay

- Revenge and Hatred in Plath's Daddy The power of Plath's Daddy to threaten, shock and move the reader remains undiminished, years after it was written. To the unsuspecting reader, the experience of first reading "Daddy" is a confusion of discomfort, excitement and guilty pleasure, for the pleasures of revenge are said to be sweet, and this is a revenge poem of the first rank. Revenge upon whom. Father. Perhaps, more likely, upon her husband. And her aim was true, for if anything Plath wrote damaged Ted Hughes for posterity, "Daddy" is it....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Daddy]

Strong Essays
595 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Freedom from Male Oppression in Sylvia Plath's Daddy

- Freedom from Male Oppression in Sylvia Plath's Daddy Word Count includes Poem    Sylvia Plath?s poem "Daddy" describes her feelings of oppression from her childhood and conjures the struggle many women face in a male-dominated society. The conflict of this poem is male authority versus the right of a female to control her own life and be free of male domination. Plath?s conflicts begin with her father and continue into the relationship between her and her husband. This conflict is examined in lines 71-80 of "Daddy" in which Plath compares the damage her father caused to that of her husband....   [tags: Plath Daddy Essays Poetry Sylvia]

Strong Essays
1202 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Imagery In Poems "Daddy" And "Lady Lazarus" By Sylvia Plath

- In poems of Sylvia Plath, entitled "Lady Lazarus" and "Daddy" some elements are similar, including used hostile imagery, gloomy atmosphere as well as recurring theme of suicide, but the poems differ in respect of the speaker’s point of view and attitude towards addressed person or unfavorable surroundings. These elements are employed by Plath in order to intensify the impact on her audience and convey all extreme emotions. Another issue that is considered to be worthy of thinking over is the question why the poet refers to Holocaust and the suffering of the Jews in Nazi concentration camps....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Lady Lazarus Daddy Comparison]

Strong Essays
1439 words (4.1 pages)