• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In the poem

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Dodo Ip In the poem "Daddy", Sylvia Plath expressed her fear and hatred toward her subject "daddy." Is it her father, or somebody else, that she really hates? Plath expressed a feminist point of view in her poems, She was not a very radical feminist, but she did show her rage against men in her works. In "Daddy", Plath expresses her feelings about her family, and the prominent male figures in her life: Sylvia Plath's father Otto Emil Plath, and her husband Ted Hughes. The title itself sounds feminine. This poem is divided into two parts. The first part, which lasts from the first to the ninth stanza, is a brief memorandum of Plath's father, and her gradual acceptance of his death. There are many German/Nazi imageries in the poem, which indicate his German origin. In the second part (tenth to eleventh stanzas) Sylvia Plath mixes up her father and husband as one "daddy", and expresses her fear and hatred to the two important men in her life. Besides fear and hatred, this poem also reveals Plath's insecurity in her mind. At the beginning of the poem Plath talks directly to her subject, "You do not do, you do not do/Any more, Black shoe/In which I have lived like a foot/For thirty years, poor and white, /Barely daring to breathe or Achoo." The uselessness of the black shoe is a reference to her father's amputated leg due to undiagnosed diabetes: Years earlier Otto Plath was convinced of his self-diagnosis of lung cancer. ...read more.

Middle

In the eighth stanza Plath mentions another homeless race-the gypsies. "The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna/Are not very pure or true. /With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck/And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack/I may be a bit of Jew." Tyrol is an Austrian Alpine region. Gypsies, like the Jews, were objects of Nazi genocidal ambition, and many of them died in concentration camps. Plath's identification with Jews and Gypsies brings to mind "wandering nations." It implies that Plath feels that she is alone, helpless in the world, that someone is torturing her both emotionally and physically. On the other hand, Sylvia Plath's references of Austria or Tyrol can be about her mother Aurelia Plath, who was of Austrian descent. The "snows" and "beer" are not "very pure or true", which depicts an attractive fa�ade that masks an ugly reality. Plath might feel that her mother embodied an image outwardly sweet and affectionate with a negative and destructive inside. The next stanza consists of some descriptions of her father's appearance, who had bright blue eyes and kept neat moustache: "I have always been scared of you, /With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo. /And your neat moustache/And your Aryan eye, bright blue. /Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You-" Both luftwaffe and panzer are German air force and Nazi tank corps respectively. "Gobbledygoo" may mean gobbledygook, wordy and generally unintelligible jargon. Again, Sylvia Plath laments the loss of her German language. So far in this poem we can feel that Plath was still haunted by her father's death long ago. ...read more.

Conclusion

Plath's hatred of her father and her husband combined with her own self-loathing created a chimerical, impersonal frustration in the poem-"if I've killed one man, I've killed two--/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." Plath decided to erase Hughes from her memory, to "kill" him, like she did to her father. The vampire is Hughes, whose marriage with Plath lasted for seven years before they separated. The blood-sucking image of the vampire probably suggests her father's study of parasites, "Muscid Larvae of the San Francisco Bay Region Which Sucks Blood of Nesting Birds", a study that documents the endurance, tenacity, and enormous destructiveness of these larvae. This may also explain why Plath uses "Frisco Seal" in the first place: not only because there are seals in San Francisco, but also because this is the place where her father conducted his research on muscid larvae. At last, Plath decides to slay the one man that has always haunted her peace of mind: "There's a stake in your fat black heart/And the villagers never liked you. /They are dancing and stamping on you. /They always knew it was you. /Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through." It remains doubtful if Plath had really got "thorough" her father (or husband.) "Daddy", indeed, is her resentment of being unable to get "through" her fear and idolization of father/husband. It is a record of how her feelings of these two important male figures in her life turn from admiration to hatred and disgust. The poem contains great amount of imageries that can be subjected to various interpretations. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sylvia Plath section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sylvia Plath essays

  1. What happens in the story? Superman and Paula Brown's New Snowsuit is a short ...

    Sheldon Fein Sheldon is something of a stereotype. He is described as a "sallow (sickly or pale) mamma's boy" whom the other boys despise a weakling. Although the story is written to show the narrator as an innocent victim, there is not much sympathy for Sheldon. He is so weak he is quickly corrupted into the cruel torturer of flies.

  2. Comparison of Hughes and Plath -Wuthering Hieghts.

    This technique makes the poem very similar to a story being told and the readers are able to reflect the poet's observations. The language used by Hughes often as a double meaning. 'It was all novel..to you'.

  1. Critical Commentary on The Arrival of the Bee Box written by Sylvia Plath.

    Then, hypothesising the idea of letting them free, she begins to worry not of the possibility that they might attack her, but instead that they might "forget" her. This could be referring to the possibility that if she told her family what she feels about them, they might stop loving her and become indifferent to her.

  2. Sylvia Plath:"Daddy" The poem "Daddy" uses language to a great effect to express the ...

    We often associate shoes with stepping and stamping and this is probably what Sylvia experienced from her father. How he may have stamped on her confidence. Later on in the poem she compares her father to the German Air Force and Hitler, himself: "With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo And your

  1. Compare the ways in which Plath uses imagery and description in Mirror and Blackberrying, ...

    In the second verse Heaney again revives the continuos alcohol simile that is inclusive throughout the poem "The staff like a great whisky muddler". This shows again, as in Blackberry-Picking, how Heaney links his descriptions across the poem so as not to lose any of the images.

  2. Daddy VS Papa - In the two poems "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath and "My ...

    If you look at the title, the word Waltz is an up-beat word. Also the word Papa is used to signify the love of the child. You can read that the boy was still clinging to his father's shirt and he doesn't want to let go.

  1. 'Metaphors' by Sylvia Plath - critical review.

    Line one represents the last month of pregnancy, month nine. "I'm a riddle in nine syllables" she feels like a riddle, a puzzle, as she is confused about how the delivery is going to be carried out. She doesn't exactly know when the delivery will take place and whether it is going to be a boy or a girl.

  2. How is Sylvia Plath's life reflected in the poems

    The words "God", "ghastly", and "Atlantic" identify the daddy in the poem as a colossus who stretches across America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. From this we can conclude that Plath was really scared of her father. After this Plath recounted her childhood spent in Winthrop, a Massachusetts seaside

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work