“Daddy” Deconstruction Paper
The poem “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath paints a great picture of a daughter and her Nazi father, but this poem is more than just that. It symbolizes the relationship that they once had, and how it has affected her throughout her whole life. This poem also shows a very generalized depiction of how women see men who have treated them not so greatly.
Although Sylvia’s father was German, he was not a Nazi, which is how she depicted him in her poem “Daddy,” She imagines her father as an ordinary man when she states: “You stand at the blackboard, daddy, in the picture I have of you. A cleft in you chin instead of your foot but no less a devil for that, no not any less the black man who bit my pretty red heart in two, I was ten when they buried you. At twenty I tried to die and get back, back, back to you.” This “ordinary man,” in her eyes, has turned into a devil that broke her heart. He treated her poorly, or so that this is impression that we get when she tells us that she was treated like a “Jew in Dachau.”
Having a father figure in one’s life is very important in how that person grows up, and in what type of person they become, as they grow older. Sylvia’s father had a great deal influence in her life, both for the good and the bad. But, she has always been scared of her father by the way he treated her. This may have been one of the biggest reasons why she was suicidal, and why many people considered her crazy.
You can tell that Sylvia very much has had a love-hate relationship with her father throughout her whole life, and we can tell that she has always wanted to love her father. But, her relationship and her memories of her father all seem to go downhill, even after he had died. In writing this poem, Sylvia may be trying to dismiss her memories of her father, and finally let go of the fact that he is dead. She is clearly not over her father’s death at the time this poem was written, which was twenty-two years after the event....
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