Daddy by Sylvia Plath
AS Literature Task speak in present tense but talk about father in past
In her 1962 poem 'Daddy' Sylvia Plath uses an array of simple language, passionate emotions and personal experiences to create work that helps us observe the resolution of her father's death and the ensuing freedom she obtained from finding this closure. This specific poem was written only 4 months before her impending suicide and is highly autobiographical in nature. The discussion of her father's death, her failed marriage and her suicide attempts are all very compelling. The use of imagery, along with the rhythm and rhyme of the poem make it a great study.
In the first stanza, Plath uses the phrase 'You do not do, you do not do' which suggests she has had enough and is not taking anymore aggravation. This tells me she feels someone is treating her poorly and the tone is very demanding, so evidently she feels a lot of anger towards this person. She continues by saying 'Any more, black shoe/ In which I have lived like a foot/For thirty years, poor and white/ Barely daring to breathe or Achoo'. By making a comparison between herself and the shoe she is using a simile, which suggests she has low self-esteem. Also, a foot in a shoe is very tight so she may be inferring that she feels very claustrophobic. Another way of interpreting this is by saying she is the foot and her 'Daddy' is the shoe, and she has received no support from the shoe, and therefore no support from 'Daddy', whom at this point we assume is her father. Furthermore, the line 'Barely daring to breathe or Achoo' gives the impression of fear. It's as if she is too scared to voice her feelings and speak out.
In my opinion, there is some mystery surrounding this poem. 'Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time--' This is very thought-provoking because I find myself asking the question, 'Time to what?' The dash lines cause some sort of vagueness. Is it possible she is talking...
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