Sylvia Plath's Daddy - Imagery and Sound

Topics: Sylvia Plath, Poetry, Sylvia Pages: 3 (1005 words) Published: May 6, 2012
Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" Essay

When Sylvia Plath's father, Otto Plath, passed away in 1940, she was deeply devastated. Plath was only eight years old when her father died, and she was absconded with a large poignant hollowness. It was then that she began writing poetry as an outlet for her feelings. Many of Plath's poems have been persuaded by experiences from her own life; "Daddy" is no concession. Throughout Sylvia Plath's poem "Daddy", she uses prevailing images to declare her attitudes toward her late father and also toward her husband.

Plath uses various images to describe how she viewed her father. The images she uses change throughout the poem, instigating the attitudes she interconnects about her father to be inconsistent. In the second stanza, Plath portrays her father as being "a bag full of God." Here Plath makes it appear that her father is Godlike, and she looks to him as a role model. Later on in the poem, Plath uses several Nazi-related images to designate her father. She even goes so distant as to draw physical parallels between her father and Hitler. These images include "your neat mustache / And your Aryan eye, bright blue. / Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You ----" in the ninth stanza and "Every woman adores a Fascist" in the tenth stanza. These images cause a theatrical shift in tone from earlier in the poem. These Nazi images show how Plath begrudged the death of her father and saw him as a horrible person for leaving her. Since Plath grew up during WWII, she used descriptions of the most dreadful people she could find, which were Nazis, to convey this. Plath also portrays her father as a devil, for the same intentions she uses the Nazi images, when she says "A cleft in your chin instead of your foot / But no less a devil for that..." in the eleventh and twelfth stanzas. Plath uses equivalently strong images to deliver the persecution and detestation she felt from being controlled by the...
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