In the poem “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath, the speaker says “I never could talk to you/ The tongue stuck in my jaw” (24-25). The speaker is saying that she cannot speak to and have a conversation with her father. The speaker lost her father when she was young, but had lived afflictively due to her father’s culture and identity background. She loved and missed her father, but also detested that he was a Gemen Nazi. She did not get a chance to talk with her father because he died so early; in addition, her father’s culture background tortured her life, and conflicted to her wishes. By saying “the tongue stuck in my jaw” (25), the speaker expresses that she doesn’t have common language and value with her father. This also suggests the speaker and her father are in two different “world”; that’s why she cannot have a chat with him.
In the book Sylvia Plath: Her Life and Work by Eileen M. Aird, the critic states, “the hatred of the daughter merges into the emotional paralysis of her recognition, as Jew, of him as Nazi: 'I never could talk to you/ The tongue stuck in my jaw.” The critic indicates the daughter’s emotional transformation from detestation to numbness after she is aware of her father’s Nazi identity, and by quoting from the poem to illustrate the daughter’s helpless mood. This suggests that the speaker, which is also the daughter, is involved in the negative influence of her father. She cannot talk to her father not only because he is dead, but also his identity opposes and represses her. In the poem “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath, the speaker says “You do not do, you do not do/ Any more, black shoe/ In which I have lived like a foot” (1-3). The speaker is saying that she has lived as a foot which be constrained in the narrow space like in the shoes. Although the speaker’s father is dead, she is still controlled and bounded by him. The “black shoe” represents the father, and the “foot” refers to the way of life that she has; shoe and foot are closely related, and...
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