Daddy by Sylvia Plath

Length: 4 Pages 1016 Words

PLATH #3 Sylvia Plath=s Confessional Poem, ADaddy@ Sylvia Plath reveals herself in her confessional poem ADaddy@. She uses strong imagery and powerful speech to show her attitudes towards her late father, Otto Plath and her husband, Ted Hughes, who also hurt her in the end. Her tone implies a strong hatred and disgust for the relationships with both men. The poem was written in 1963 which happened to be the same year that she committed suicide. Plath had a history of troubled times and attempted suicide. Plath describes her relationship and feelings of guilt, fear, and pain her father=s death caused her. Plath used imagery heavily in her poem to show her emotions. She casts her father into different parts throughout the poem. Plath=s images of her father are compared to God, a Nazi, the Devil, and a vampire. All of these images are powerful on their own but by being put together they are almighty and frightening. In the beginning the speaker=s childhood memories of her father are *God-like= to her. Her father wasn=t God, but just Aa bag of God@(8). He must have been very powerful and impressive to her. She continues to describe her father as a AGhastly statue with one gray toe@ (9), showing that her father was overwhelming and as Continue...


She illustrated how different they were. Plath uses contrasting imagery with the references to swastika and the idea of a Jew, which the Star of David is the first image to appear in the minds eye. Her father was unattainable since he died while Plath was still a young child. She does not actually announce the husband until line 64 I made a model of you, A man in black with a Meinkampf look And a love of the rack and the screw. Even the German language was harsh to her ears, AAnd the language obscene (30). That may be the reason for the confusion in most of the poem. In this monologue of a woman to her Daddy, Plath addresses issues of abandonment and pain that her father and husband caused her. Though with the poems climax the speaker kills the fathers memory with Aa stake in your fat black heart(76). Plath is fighting to exorcise the memory of her father once and all. Then Plath goes on to describe her father as a Nazi and places herself in the role of the Jew. There isn't any strong wording to suggest that Otto Plath was a 'real Nazi. (64-67) It was after Plaths suicide attempt that she married Ted Hughes. Everything that her father was, was something that she couldnt relate with. The first 8 stanzas can be easily related to her father and the last eight stanzas one can she the husband being introduced.