Told from the perspective of a woman addressing her father, the memory of whom has an oppressive power over her, the poem details the speaker's struggle to break free of his influence. Plath wrote about her father's death that occurred when she was eight years old and of her ongoing battle trying to free herself from her father. Her description of her father as a statue suggests that she saw no capacity for feeling in him. There is the sense one gets from even a basic analysis of “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath” that all Germans are the same and can be lumped together by cause of a common history (and in this case, a very tragic and unfortunate history) continues when the narrator, when trying to think of her father considers those German and Polish towns that had been “scraped flat" by the roller of “wars wars … “Gobbledygook” however, is simply gibberish. In fact, she expresses that her fear of him was so intense, that she was afraid to even breathe or sneeze. She confesses that she married him when she says, “And I said I do, I do.” Then she tells her father that she is through. When she describes that one of his toes is as big as a seal, it reveals to the reader just how enormous and overbearing her father seemed to her. She was afraid of his “neat mustache” and his “Aryan eye, bright blue”. The speaker describes the father as a looming, unhuman force that stifles her. Analysis of ‘Daddy’ by Sylvia Plath. For thirty years, poor and white, Barely daring to breathe or Achoo. Published posthumously in 1965 as part of the collection Ariel, the poem was originally written in October 1962, a month after Plath's separation from her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, and four months before her death by suicide. I could hardly ... The oppression which she has suffered under the reign of her father is soz, something she feels compares to the oppression of the Jews under the Germans in the Holocaust. However, she also uses the word “freakish” to precede her descriptions of the beautiful Atlantic ocean. In the second stanza of ‘Daddy’, the speaker reveals her own personal desire to kill her father. A poet usually does this in order to speak on a larger theme of their text or make an important point about the differences between these two things. She introduces him as being the “black shoe / In which I have lived like a foot / For thirty years , poor … This means that having re-created her father by marrying a harsh German man, she no longer needed to mourn her father’s death. The third line of this stanza begins a sarcastic description of women and men like her father. In her poem, Plath reflects the Modern Era in which her attitude and words convey the relationship she had with her father. As a child, the speaker did not know anything apart from her father’s mentality, and so she prays for his recovery and then mourns his death. In regards to the most important themes in ‘Daddy’, one should consider the conversation Plath has in the text about the oppressive nature of her father/daughter relationship. — A biographical account of Plath's life and additional poems, courtesy of the Poetry Foundation. She then offers readers some background explanation of her relationship with her father. — Benjamin Voigt breaks down a few of Plath's most famous poems. \"Daddy\" is perhaps Sylvia Plath's best-known poem. He is compared to a Nazi, a sadist and a vampire, as well as a few other people and objects. Published posthumously in 1965 as part of the collection Ariel, the poem was originally written in October 1962, a month after Plath's separation from her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, and four months before her death by suicide. Sylvia Plath is most known for her tortured soul. The following line is rather surprising, as it does not express loss or sadness. Who was Otto Plath? It's unsettling, a weird nursery rhyme of the divided self, a controlled blast aimed at a father and a husband (since the two conflate in the 14th stanza). She then describes that she thought every German man was her father. This description of his eyes implies that he was one of those Germans whom the Nazis believed to be a superior race. The former, juxtaposition, is used when two contrasting objects or ideas are placed in conversation with one another in order to emphasize that contrast. Daddy was written on October 12, 1962, shortly before her death, and published posthumously in Ariel in 1965. The speaker knows that he came from a Polish town, where German was the main language spoken. It is claimed that she must kill her father the way that a vampire must be killed, with a stake to the heart. A detailed summary and explanation of Stanza 8 in Daddy by Sylvia Plath. As an adult, however, she cannot see past his vices. He was something fierce and terrifying to the speaker, and she associates him closely with the Nazis. The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna. In fact, he drained the life from her. She says that he has “bit [her] pretty red heart in two”. She had never asked him because she “could never talk to [him]”. The speaker was unable to move on without acknowledging that her father was, in fact, a brute. As ‘Daddy’ progresses, the readers begins to realize that the speaker has not always hated her father. Allisa graduated with a degree in Secondary Education and English and taught World Literature and Composition at the high school level. As it turned out, he was not just like her father. She even wishes to join him in death. She writes in a way that allows the reader to feel her pain. "Daddy" is a controversial and highly anthologized poem by the American poet Sylvia Plath. In the final two lines of this stanza, the speaker reveals that at one point during her father’s sickness, she even prayed that he would recover. This poem consists of sixteen five-line stanzas where the poet portrays the loss of her father, Otto Plath. This implies that the speaker feels that her father and his language made no sense to her. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. This is not a typical obituary poem, lamenting the loss of the loved one, wishing for his return, and hoping to see him again. Sylvia Plath is most known for her tortured soul. She decided to find and love a man who reminded her of her father. Analysis of Daddy by Sylvia Plath Sylvia Plath uses her poem, Daddy, to express deep emotions toward her father’s life and death. However, the speaker then changes her mind and says, “seven years, if you want to know.” When the speaker says, “daddy, you can lie back now” she is telling him that the part of him that has lived on within her can die now, too. Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest and greatest poetry updates. With passionate articulation, she verbally turns over her feelings of rage, abandonment, confusion and grief. Daddy by Sylvia Plath: Summary The speaker of the poem begins with an angry attack. "Daddy" is an attempt to combine the personal with the mythical. She thought that even if she was never to see him again in an after-life, to simply have her bones buried by his bones would be enough of a comfort to her. Instant downloads of all 1392 LitChart PDFs The speaker has already suggested that women love a brutal man, and perhaps she is now confessing that she was once such a woman. Another important technique that is commonly used in poetry is enjambment. Throughout the poem she includes certain metaphors, diction, and repetition to fully portray the negative impact these people have had on her life. Daddy by Sylvia Plath: Critical Analysis This poem is a very strong expression of resentment against the male domination of women and also the violence of all kinds for which man is responsible. ... want to know. This suggests that the people around them always suspected that there was something different and mysterious about her father. The poem begins with the speaker describing her father in several different, striking ways. This reveals that whenever she wanted to speak to her father, she could only stutter and say, “I, I, I.”. Rather, she calls him “a bag full of God” which suggests that her view of her father as well as her view of God was one of fear and trepidation. Teachers and parents! Plath makes use of a number of poetic techniques in ‘Daddy’ these include enjambment, metaphor, simile and juxtaposition. In which I have lived like a foot. She then goes on to explain to her father that “the villagers never liked you”. Sylvia Plath’s Daddy is written in the first person and addressed to the speaker’s father. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. Once she was able to come to terms with what he truly was, she was able to let him stop torturing her from the grave. ... bastard, I’m through. ... Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. In this stanza of ‘Daddy’, the speaker reminds the readers that she has already claimed to have killed her father. Subscribe to our mailing list and get new poetry analysis updates straight to your inbox. After this, the speaker then explains that she was afraid to talk to him. The login page will open in a new tab. Select any word below to get its definition in the context of the poem. — "Daddy" as read by Sylvia Plath for BBC Radio. While alive, and since his death, she has been trapped by his life. 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