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Sylvia Plath:"Daddy" The poem "Daddy" uses language to a great effect to express the bitterness and frustration endured by the writer Sylvia Plath after the traumatic death of her father. Sylvia's father Otto Plath was a German immigrant who was

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Sylvia Plath: "Daddy" The poem "Daddy" uses language to a great effect to express the bitterness and frustration endured by the writer Sylvia Plath after the traumatic death of her father. Sylvia's father Otto Plath was a German immigrant who was a professor at Boston University teaching biology and German. It was said that Otto always wanted a son and when Warren, Sylvia's Brother, was born two years later she began to pine for her father's attention. As a young girl, she was an excellent student and gained many prizes and was very charming and popular however she was also very desperate to redeem herself to her "daddy". She writes about how she felt as she struggled to live up to the high standards set for her by her "arrogant" father. As we interpret this poem, not only are we, as the readers, reading the emotions, but begin to feel them. The frequent use of the word black throughout the poem conveys a feeling of gloom and suffocation: black shoe, so black no sky..., blackboard, black man etc. ...read more.


When girls look up to their fathers they perhaps see a God-like image. This was probably what Sylvia felt. Also, in lines 8-10 when Sylvia says: "Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one gray toe, Big as a Frisco seal." Stanza 2 lines 3-5 Sylvia is portraying her father as a statue made up of marble. Marble is cold and hard and when in the form of a statue it is lifeless without feeling. The reason for her feeling this way towards her father was probably due to the lack of response from her father and how he never really communed with her. She also uses other symbolism depicting his lack of communication with her when she writes: "So I could never tell where you Put your foot, your root. I could never talk to you. The tongue stuck in my jaw. It stuck in a barb wire snare." Stanza 4 lines 2-5/Stanza 4 line 1 She is constantly referring back to Germany and the War. The "barb wire" was from the concentration camps and the Holocaust. ...read more.


It is a strange comparison. It, in a sense makes a person feel for Sylvia, and how perhaps maybe these voices are haunting as the squirm through. She shows signs that she is beginning to feel less resentment for her father however not fully. Sylvia talks about her husband to her father in the poem and how he drank her blood for a year but it was actually seven years. The year was the affair Ted Hughes had and the seven years was the marriage. She compares him to a vampire and then compares her father to one. By doing this she makes us empathise with her. She says: "A stake in your fat black heart". Sylvia uses assonance to emphasise her ongoing emotion: fat black. When read out aloud the words sound ruthless and almost sinister. Then she ends the poem by declaring the final straw: "Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through." She is finally through with his expectations and him. Her words are cold but meaningful in a sense because she has finally gotten over him; his arrogance and superiority. The effect of addressing him as "daddy" throughout the poem may be reflecting upon her inner child longing for her "daddy". ...read more.

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