Use of Imagery in Daddy by Sylvia Plath Essay

Use of Imagery in Daddy by Sylvia Plath Essay

Length: 2079 words (5.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

As a modern female poet, Sylvia Plath played many roles in her art: she was the fragile feminist, the confessional writer, the literary innovator. As a woman, Plath found herself with one foot in her past and the other in an uncertain future, her present an often uncomfortable combination of the two. She was at once a daughter desperate to make her parents proud and a wife eager to please her husband; an overworked, depressed teenager and a lonely, sick mother; a child who lost her father and an adult who lost her hope. Plath’s confusion between her memories and her fantasies produced the creative inspiration that spawned much of her work; the losses she suffered had the same effect. The death of her father became a theme in her poetry on which Plath would often spin her words. In the poem “Daddy,” Plath uses imagery to compare her father to a shoe, God and a vampire, to establish similarities between her father and her husband and to describe the lack of communication between her and her father.

“You do not do, you do not do/Anymore, black shoe,” proclaims Plath in the opening lines of “Daddy” (222), introducing the world to her father, ominous in the color black and consistent in his inability to “do” anything for Plath “anymore.” This depiction of the father as an shoe instead of a man also presents Plath’s deft use of imagery to color the character of her father, this time with the shade of a black shoe. This image makes the father sound “stifling” (“Slayer” 1).


The imagery of the black shoe is also powerful in explaining the nature of Plath’s posthumous relationship with her father. Shoes usually protect the foot, provide warmth for it (Goelzhaeuser 1). Shoes in the poem, however, do not invoke the sheltering, caring ...


... middle of paper ...


...ountry. However, it seems likely that she died as she lived, haunted by a combination of the two, her deceased father pointing out her failures from far away in her childhood and her substitute husband becoming another one of those failures from another woman’s apartment. The imagery of “Daddy,” of her father and her husband, each her protector and her abuser in one, stands a testament of words to just that.


Works Cited

Barnard, Caroline King. Sylvia Plath. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1978.

Goelzhauser, Nicola. “Imagery in Sylvia Plath’s ‘Daddy.’” Online.
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Studios/8984/daddy.htm.

“Oedipus Complex.” Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 10th ed. 1993.

Plath, Sylvia. The Collected Poems. Ed. Ted Hughes. NewYork: Harper Perennial, 1972.

“Sylvia the Vampire Slayer.” Online. http://members.aol.com/raisans/plath.htm.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Use of Imagery in Daddy by Sylvia Plath Essay

- As a modern female poet, Sylvia Plath played many roles in her art: she was the fragile feminist, the confessional writer, the literary innovator. As a woman, Plath found herself with one foot in her past and the other in an uncertain future, her present an often uncomfortable combination of the two. She was at once a daughter desperate to make her parents proud and a wife eager to please her husband; an overworked, depressed teenager and a lonely, sick mother; a child who lost her father and an adult who lost her hope....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]

Term Papers
2079 words (5.9 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]

Term Papers
733 words (2.1 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]

Term Papers
1439 words (4.1 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]

Term Papers
1700 words (4.9 pages)

Analysis Of Sylvia Plath And Theodore Roethke 's My Papa 's Waltz Essay examples

- When thought about, family is widely imagined as a positive cornerstone of the foundation of an individual’s life. Families are imagined as consisting a mother and a father who raise their children from birth to adulthood to the best of their ability, usually resulting positively. Certain aspects of every family are different, making each family one of its own. One of these aspects can ultimately change a family forever and could alter the outcome of a child’s life and their profession. Parents are not aware all of the time that their decisions affect their children as much as they truly do....   [tags: Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Daddy, The Bell Jar]

Term Papers
2627 words (7.5 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]

Term Papers
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]

Term Papers
796 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of Elizabeth Bishop And Sylvia Plath

- Kathy Szelag English 244 Due Date: 12/15/15 Take Home Final Exam Two writers that deeply conveyed their personal experience as a departure point for poetry were Elizabeth Bishop and Sylvia Plath. Elizabeth Bishop wrote the poem "Sestina" and Sylvia Plath wrote "Daddy" and through these poems these women showed evidence of autobiographical sources in their works. In "Daddy" there was a link between Plath 's writing and personal experience which was direct, explicit, and showed Plath 's motivation for writing the poem....   [tags: Poetry, Sylvia Plath, Confessional poetry, Rhyme]

Term Papers
1388 words (4 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]

Term Papers
1420 words (4.1 pages)

Analysis Of Sylvia Plath 's ' Daddy ' Essay

- Could Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” simply be a form of self-therapy or is it instead an artist who is remarkable at calling up the emotions of her personae and characters. In addition to this quandary, is the examination of the persona herself and matching her actions to the Freudian theory of ‘Family’ and Jung’s theory of ‘Electra.’ Sylvia Plath’s psyche could be screaming out in her poem “Daddy,” on the other hand, it could be a fully developed character creation with a few artists’ liberties being taken....   [tags: Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Sylvia Plath, Libido]

Term Papers
1728 words (4.9 pages)