This essay sample on Sylvia Plath Daddy provides all necessary basic information on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.
Task speak In present tense but talk about father In past In her 1962 poem ‘Daddy’ Sylvia Plate 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, Plate 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 Cacao’.
Why Did Sylvia Plath Write Daddy
By making a comparison between herself and the shoe she is sing 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 Cacao’ 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 tile–‘ 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 about the lack of time she had to form a relationship? Or perhaps she is suggesting there was no time to state her feelings? We are left to make up our own mind.
Plate uses a selection of metaphors, for example, she refers to her father as ‘Hitler’. This Is a clever use of irony because Plate was American and the Americans hated the Germans, therefore I believe she Is announcing her hatred for her father. In Dalton, she uses some German; her father’s native language. This is most likely to mock him and make him feel foolish and insignificant. ‘ICC, ICC, ICC, ICC. ‘ In German this means so it tells the reader her father was very narcissistic and made everything about himself; he didn’t care about anyone else, including his daughter.
Plate continues to use a variety of metaphors and similes by comparing her father her father and feels some sort of persecution experienced by a Jew. Moreover, she clearly feels a lot of revulsion for him and really despises his character. Continuing with the Nazi theme, Sylvia Plate compares her father to Hitler, ‘And your neat moustache/ And your Aryan eye, bright blue’. This is very strong language because she is implying her father brought devastation to her life, and had no compassion whatsoever.
This idea is supported when she compares ‘Daddy’ to Drachma, ‘The vampire who said he was you/And drank my blood for a year/Seven years, if you want to know/Daddy, you can lie back now. ‘ By using this comparison she is claiming her father would wreak havoc on people’s lives, alleging ‘the villagers never liked you’, ND so she was not the only one with such strong feelings for him. Another metaphor is used later on in the poem and it follows on in to the next stanza. ‘Any less the black man who/Bit my pretty red heart in two. This coveys heartbreak and Plate uses some very strong imagery, which continues when she reveals details of her suicide attempt. ‘At twenty I tried to die/ And get back, back, back to you/ I thought even the bones would do. ‘ She is obviously very unhappy and the phrase ‘back, back, back to you’ is evidence of repetition. There is a very powerful image of trying to get back, but not quite being able to. It is clear to me as a reader that the poet feels weak and frail. ‘And they stuck me together with glue’.
Glue isn’t very strong and an object can easily be broken, therefore she is insinuating that she is fragile. However, she does have some strength still within, ‘The black telephone’s off at the root/The voices Just can’t worm through’. This tells us she is no longer going to allow the voices of the past to hurt her. To conclude, it is clear Plate felt a lot of hatred for the subject of this poem. She sees some strong imagery and language techniques which help to explain the true extent of anger and fury felt towards this person.
However, it is unclear as to who the focus of this poem is. At first glance I would assume she is talking about her father, but as we read deeper in to the poem several other possibilities arise. For example, ‘Daddy’ could be referring to Ted Hughes, once her husband. I understand they had a very heated relationship which is understandable with two very accomplished poets living under the same roof, with so much desire to constantly produce works of excellence. If this theory is correct, it would mean she may be writing from her child’s perspective, hence the title ‘Daddy’.
Alternatively, another possibility is that God is the focus. God is seen as a father figure and so this is also a rational explanation. Plate claims, ‘l could never talk to you’, so perhaps she felt there was no connection between them and she found it difficult to communicate. Additionally, she hoped that one day her belief would return, ‘tried to die/And get back, back, back to you’. This gives us the impression that she is trying to get to heaven and reconnect with God.