The Comparison and Contrast of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath
June 29th, 2012
The Comparison and Contrast of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath The two poems, “And One for My Dame” by Anne Sexton and “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath, both explore similar themes through the use of literary elements such as structure, tone and symbolism. Structures in each poem are alike with length but differ with the actual form. The tone Plath conveys is negative one while Sexton’s is more neutral. The symbolism in “Daddy” was also negative with symbols of the devil but Sexton used a nursery rhyme as a symbol. The connotations of these elements reflect the image the daughters had of their fathers but also the relationships. These poems also both deal with the theme of identity and convey how the relationship of father and daughter consequently affects the daughter’s feelings towards her father later on in life. However, in “Daddy”, Plath shows the relationship between father and daughter to be negative and bitter, while in “And One for My Dame” Sexton conveys the relationship between the two to be objective and almost uncertain. The first literary element that can be evaluated is structure. In Plath’s poem, there are a total of sixteen stanzas with each having five lines. These are more lengthy stanzas than Sextons, which allow for more elaboration and a chance for the other literary elements, such as tone, to be noticed. For example, it says “Every woman adores a Fascist,/ The boot in the face, the brute/ Brute heart of a brute like you” (48-50). From this it is seen that the dad is compared to a brute which has a negative connotation and therefore the reader can interpret the relationship as a broken one. Also, Plath uses apostrophe to highlight the relationship. Throughout the poem she uses first person to make it personal but she talks to her dad who is dead. She directly speaks to him she as recalls his death saying “I was ten when they buried you./ At twenty when they I tried to die/ And
Cited: Plath, Sylvia. “Daddy.” Norton Anthology of Poetry. 5th Edition. Ed. Margaret Furgeson, Jon Stallworthy, Mary Joe Salter. Boston: 2005. 1145-1147. Print. Sexton, Anne. “And One for My Dame.” Norton Anthology of Poetry. 5th Edition. Ed. Margaret Furgeson, Jon Stallworthy, Mary Joe Salter. Boston: 2005. 1097-1098. Print.