Conflicting Perspectives Ted Hughes

Topics: Sylvia Plath, Sylvia, Daddy Pages: 2 (714 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Hughes demonstrates his perspective towards his destructive relationship with Plath through The Minotaur. Violence is evident in the very opening when Plath ‘smashed’ Hughes’ ‘mother’s heirloom sideboard – Mapped with the scars of [his] whole life’. Here Hughes is expressing the damage deep inside him than the physical destruction by Plath; that he too has childhood ‘scars’. Hughes suggests that Plath’s over-reaction and violence reflects her unstable mind by the word ‘demented’ revealing his helplessness, frustration and incomprehension. However, Hughes also shows regret and guilt for encouraging her to explore her physical and emotional intensity further in her poems which he thinks it had probably led to her suicide; ‘The goblin snapped his fingers. So what had I given him?’ Juxtaposition of ideas in the penultimate line ‘Grave of your risen father’ foreshadows Plath’s death. Hughes’ tone in the last two stanzas, which may be the explanation for her death, is sympathetic and fierce. It implies that as a consequence of her maniac tendencies and obsession, she had her ‘own corpse in’ the ‘Grave of [her] risen father’. Plath’s anger and despair is cumulatively articulated in her poem Daddy. Her use of language techniques powerfully instructs and elicits sympathy in her readers when revealing her suffering and perspectives of her father. Daddy is a ‘confessional’ and a judgmental poem, addressed directly to her father with bitterness and sadness about her personal sufferings. This negativity with the apparent warmth of the title makes the title ironic; the title carries connotation of hatred rather than usual connotation of affection. Grotesque imagery of the creature’s ghastliness and size, a symbolic metaphor for her father, is shown in ‘Ghastly statue…Big as Frisco seal’ heading to ‘the freakish Atlantic’. The cumulative tricolon of ‘Ich, ich, ich’ symbolise her stuttering and insecure feelings as a result of not being able to talk to her father. The rhythmic...
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