Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy,” shows the victimization of the speaker as she tries to pull away from her father’s force that is haunting her. Plath crafts her text with very vivid imagery and metaphors pertaining to the Holocaust. The poem repeats in 5-line stanzas with a meter and rhyme scheme. This resembles the structure of a nursery rhyme. The poem is written in first person and the speaker is a girl who is a daughter. The poem deals with a girl’s strong attachment to her father who has passed away. This has caused her a lot of sadness in her life. The speaker struggles throughout the poem to be “through,” with her father even though he is always on her mind. The poem’s structure and form creates a psychological control in the poem and exposes the struggle and victimization that the speaker feels. Roger Platizky published a review in Explicator in 1997 that exposes the effect the poem’s structure has. The image of victimization occurs throughout the poem through the structure, word usage, and use of metaphors. This can be seen by the word usage of “Nazis, swastikas, barbed wire, fascists, brutes, devils, and vampires” (Platizky 1). Roger Platizky explains that the use of these words are very frantic, imposing, and vituperative which makes it seem more out of control then it really is (1). Plath’s use of end-stopped lines in certain spots alludes to the speaker giving and taking control of her thoughts. Of the 80 lines, 37 of them are end-stopped, which is unlike the patterns of images which keep piling up one after another (1). The stanzas that have the most end-stopped lines such as these lines 7, 14, and 16, “You died before I had time/I used to pray to recover you/In the German tongue, in the Polish town” (Plath). Lines 7, 14, and 16 are alluding to negative things such as torturers, concentration camps, and vampires (1). Platizky explains that the stanzas with the least such as lines 1, “You do not do, you do not do,” and line 11 “And a head in the freaking Atlantic,” that they “characteristically show more ambivalence toward victimization. In effect, the speaker takes away some of the power of her alleged tormenters by end stopping their lines” (1). This is also seen by Plath’s use of enjambment, which relaxes the force of masculine rhymes that end most of her stanzas. Plath’s use of structure exposes the sadness and confliction towards the speaker’s father. “Daddy,” serves as a type of confession and examination of the speaker’s father’s influence on her. The speaker explains the different things that her father was to her. The speaker refers to herself as a foot and her father as a black shoe in which she has lived for so long in the lines: “Any more, black shoe/In which I have lived like a foot/For thirty years, poor and white” (Plath). This exposes that her father was someone who she relied on and someone who protected her and that she felt protected by even though he is no longer living. The speaker felt protected in his memory even though it was consuming her. Throughout the poem she struggles with letting him go even though she knows she needs too. The speaker also refers to her father as being God-like. Even after he
period it was created.
Sylvia Plath’s Daddy and The Applicant is an embodiment of the 1950’s war paradigm. Her confessional style of poetry displays an intensified questioning of life with a strong sense of fatalism. Plath’s poetry subverts traditional conventions, criticising aspects of her society like the portrayal of women, gender ideals and traditional family. Focusing on Daddy and The Applicant, Plath explores these themes through countless techniques.
Sylvia Plath felt entrapped in society’s…
John Mark Goeke
In Sylvia Plath’s poem, “Mirrors”, what at first seems to be a clever riddle is later revealed as
far more significant through Plath’s effective utilization of an inanimate object (a mirror, none
the less) to offer inciteful commentary on appearance, time, and overall change. This
commentary is masterfully established through use of repetitive phrases, symbols, imagery,
and perhaps most importantly, overarching personification that begins even in the first line of
Sylvia Plath has written several dynamic pieces of literature, she uses her life struggles as a vessel for her work. When Sylvia Plath wrote “Mirror” she used the inner battles she was facing as her inspiration. Additionally, when Plath wrote “Mirror” she used many literary techniques such as imagery, and personification to create such a compelling poem. Using literary devices and one’s own life struggles when writing can result in a magnificent piece of literature. This method of writing can be…
convey the pain and suffering of this person. The poem “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath does exactly
this and is written about her abusive father who had died when she was eight years old (Sylvia
Plath). “Daddy” represents Plath’s personal struggles with her father using metaphors, imagery,
word choice, and even real occurrences in her life, and ultimately overcomes these struggles by
addressing her abuser and declaring that she has had enough.
Plath uses metaphors and imagery to represent the controlling and abusive…
and display fragile objects or to establish a vacuum or a controlled atmosphere in scientific
experiments. After reading the novel I looked up the title of the book because I was unsure of
what a bell jar actually was and the definition made a lot of sense to me. Sylvia Plath had dealt
with depression for most of her life and I think for her, writing this book helped her to reflect on
herself and her life so that she was able to move on. The main theme of this book is that in order
to stay sane in this world, you must not let fears…
In Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy”, the speaker displays a lot of anger and resentment towards her dead father. The poem “Daddy” has been coined ‘confessional poetry’ as the speaker confesses to her dead father, ranting and blaming him for everything she has been through. Jennifer Dunn says “The poem has acted as confession and therapy, allowing the speaker to address and resolve her anger through a series of metaphors about her relationship with her father”. Sylvia Plath was inspired to…
Sylvia Plath: Final Project Proposal
Sylvia Plath is considered an important poet of the post World War II era because of the way her poems startle many. After her suicide in 1963, many argued that Plath’s seemingly violent and unsettling poems were due to her personal problems, although even before such problems arose, Plath wrote poems that would cause chills down anyone’s spine. Due to her unnatural death, many blamed the relationship between Plath and her parents and her husband for her…
skillful use of various literary devices, the author, Sylvia Plath, presents the theme of identity in the novel.
To begin with, Esther’s lack of identity is revealed in the very first chapter of the book when she introduces herself under a fake name, Elly Higginbottom, to a man she meets in Times Square. She justifies her actions by claiming that [she] didn't want anything [she] said or did to be associated with [herself] and [her] real name” (Plath 11). Though it is understandable to not want to…
Poppies in July - Sylvia Plath
“Poppies in July” is a short poem written in free verse. Its fifteen lines are divided into eight stanzas. The first seven stanzas are couplets, and the eighth consists of a single line. The title presents an image of natural life at its most intense—at the height of summer. It evokes a pastoral landscape and suggests happiness, if not joy or passion. The title is ironic, however, because the poem is not a hymn to nature but a hallucinatory projection of the landscape…