Identity Crisis in Daddy

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Sylvia Plath’s poem ‘Daddy’ expresses the struggle for female identity by basing it around the Holocaust, one of the most gruesome, immoral events in the whole of history. Plath uses this event as a metaphor for her struggles in life, and the struggles of women in general for independence. The male figure used in this poem is in the shape of Hitler, a man of unfathomable evil. In this poem, ‘Daddy’ is seen as a Hitler figure during the metaphor of the Holocaust. He is seen as oppressing the female population, and Plath as a figure in her poem, in comparison to the way Hitler oppressed the Jews. “Marble-heavy” is used to describe this figure, weighing down upon the females, making them struggle for female identity and independence. The adjective of “marble-heavy” signifies the way Plath felt her father was weighing down on her, causing her psychological pain and making her struggle through life, for freedom. Shadowing and oppression is shown through some of the description used to, perhaps, show the way she felt through her life. “Ghastly statue with on gray toe”, her father is shown as casting a shadow over his daughter’s life, not allowing her to grow or become her own person. The adjective “ghastly” poses a threat and foreboding over the poem, allowing the reader to get a sense of what Plath must have felt through her life. “I thought every German was you.” This line in the poem allows the reader to infer that Plath’s father was German, and that she was frightened of him…possibly due to her seeing him as the fascist dictator that was Hitler. Linking to this would be the line, “Chuffing me off like a Jew.” implying even further that she felt oppressed by her Hitler-like father, in the way the Jews did during the Holocaust in the 1940s. “I think I may well be a Jew.” This backs up the metaphor of the Holocaust, as Plath is expressing her feelings of being part of a minority group, due to her being a woman. She feels like she must fight for her right to be...
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