Analysis of Daddy by Sylvia Plath

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Anna Fink
ENGL 210-0824T
Essay 1
Schumacher
Daddy by Sylvia Plath
The definition of father is a male parent. For some people the word father goes much deeper than that. A father is someone who protects you and loves you, gives you guidance and advice, and is the one person you can always count on. But for some people a father is just that, a male parent; a person you barely know, or a person you have come to fear. In Sylvia Plath’s poem, Daddy, she tells a chilling description of a man whom she compares to Hitler, a man who is her daddy.

In the poem Daddy, the speaker unfolds a disturbing description of a father. Plath uses elements that we see happened in her real life and also events of the most horrific mass murder in the world’s history, the Holocaust. Many different metaphors are used to describe the relationship the speaker had with her father: a swastika, a Nazi, like God, and a vampire. The speaker describes herself as a victim, referring to herself as a Jew. The speaker is not necessarily a Jew but she wants the reader to see the relationship she had with her father to be like the relationship between a Nazi (her father) and a Jew (herself). In the poem the speaker talks of revenge and killing her father and also killing her husband. The climactic part of the poem is the speaker finally telling her father that she is through with him.

In the first stanza the speaker describes her father as a black shoe that she has been living in her whole life and how she is not going to live that way anymore. In these lines: “For thirty years, poor and white, / Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.” (4-5) you can see the fear that the speaker lived in for thirty years. She was too scared of her father to even sneeze. In stanzas two and three is where the speaker introduces the audience to the idea that she has killed her father. “Daddy I have had to kill you. / You died before I had time—“(6-7). Here it is unclear as to whether the speaker...
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