Plath’s Daddy - Plath as a Weak Feminist

Plath’s Daddy - Plath as a Weak Feminist

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Plath as a Weak Feminist in Daddy  



Plath's innate emptiness and emotional constraint comes , I believe, from her lack of male encouragement and her according need for domination. This streams from the untimely death of her father at 9. In this poem Plath alludes to her relationship to her father with an emphasis on his German background and identity. In this way she comments on him in contradicting terms, firstly, as a divine figure: "..A bag full of God", towering over her in a seemingly totalitarian way. She then transforms her implication with " No God, but a swatztika" a completely ironic comment in comparison to the first as Nazism is essentially pagan in its nature.

The extended reference to the confusion of her father as Hitler is shown through indications of his "Mein Kampf look" and "neat moustache." Similarly, Plath confuses herself with the role of a Jew, symbolising the insecurity which lies within her subconsciousness, and the recognition which she has of her victimisation from men.

This victimisation follows on with allusions to her marriage with Hughes, and the similarities Plath associated between her father and husband:

"If I've killed one man, I've killed two---
The vampire who said he was you"

Hughes himself acknowledged this confusion in his poem THE SHOT:

"Your real target stood behind me
Your Daddy
The man with the smoking gun"

This quote reinforces her father's role in Plath's eventual demise as it implies that the 'smoking gun' once shot Plath's bullet of fatality. Essentially this poem signifies Plath's weakness, and threatens her iconic stature as a feminist . Reacting against this common stereotype with which she is named, her poetry indicates a lack of stability and inner faith, excluding those who are bitter and entirely negative.

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With references to male influence in her life are forthcoming and direct, she also portrays her desperate need for domination from the male, and this sets her aside form the stereotypical, strong and independent feminist, with no need for any kind of male involvement.

 
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