Who Is Daddy? It is the nature of poetry that it is written on many levels, can be read from many different viewpoints and carries multiple meanings. Poetry carries most of its meaning on the impact of the words in order to express the ineffable. It is painting with words. Sylvia Plath begins with the personal attack on her father and then lets it grow until she has pointed an accusing finger at the entire cultural system, which she feels has trapper her, and in particular, at the confining and inadequacy of language and her own inability to to create something with it that is acceptable both to herself and to society. If anything, Daddy is another symbol, a specific of the larger general group which enrages Plath. In examining Plaths background, we find that her father was not a German officer at all, but was, in fact, a Massachusetts college professor, who died when she was eight years old.
He was German, and one might surmise that Sylvia might have suffered from maltreatment by schoolmates, because he was German. She was certainly strongly affected by the Holocaust, and the whole idea of the German patriarchy and the subjugation of supposed inferiors became a metaphor for the way she felt. This poem is one of the last Plath wrote. At her death, she was a poor single mother of two in a cold foreign flat, and it likely enraged her that her children were not well provided for. She had been treated for clinical depression after her first attempt to take her own life, and the stress of this situation must have been tremendous. Men had consistently abandoned her, from her father, at age eight, to her boyfriend, and, finally, her husband. It seems she is talking in this poem to all of them and the whole society which created and nurtured them.
When I was a kid, about 5 to 8 years old, my hands would always get cold whenever the surrounding air is chilly. My dad would always tell me to rub them together, like you would in order to make fire. And so I did it. I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed. My fingers grind against each other from the tips of my little fingers to the base of my palm, but none of this worked. My hands still are cold, stone ...
Sylvias father died after complication from a leg amputation, brought about by untreated diabetes. Otto Plath had simply been terrified that he had cancer, having lost a friend to this disease, and did not see a doctor. So he died, essentially, because he neglected himself. A friend at the funeral asked in Sylvias hearing hoe he could have been so brilliant and so stupid. Sylvia may have felt quite abandoned by him, partly because children who lose parents at this young age simply do feel this way, and partly because his death was so unnecessary. The way he died explains the first few lines of the poem quite well. She feels trapped in his shoe, like his foot, which became gangrenous.
He is dead, and cannot do anything any more, except trap her immobile with her own pain. On first reading one might assume that Otto was overbearing and controlling, but it is probable that she is speaking about the trap she was in when the poem was written: poor and white in a very staid society in the UK. The second stanza shows that she felt abandoned by the family god, the father: a patriarchal society. She says she had to kill him, but maybe she means she had to kill the idea of a male God in the family or society at large. It is almost as if she feels cheated, because he is not there to be the brunt of her rage. you died before I had time. She talks about how he had his head in the Atlantic, but she did not know where to put his foot, his root.
It was Ottos foot which became infected, fist the big to and then the leg, so Plath is talking about more than origins here. By calling the infected foot his root, she points out that something very basic in our culture is likewise infected, perhaps dying, or at least rotted. Plath says she could not talk to her father, or to society; that her tongue stuck in her jaw behind barbed wire (her teeth?).
The barbed wire is an image of war, but also an image of control, somewhat brutal control, only slightly damaging, except, perhaps, to the psyche. She says she thought the German language obscene, but is it German or all spoken language she hates. She feels it will be what carries her to prison and death. Is this a real death or the death of her creativity? Does she feel like the words are inadequate and imprecise. She was a perfectionist with her craft.
Analysis Of Plath's "Daddy' Analysis Of Plath's "Daddy' Essay, Research Paper Sylvia Plath uses her poem, Daddy, to express deep emotions toward her father? s life and death. With passionate articulation, she verbally turns over her feelings of rage, abandonment, confusion and grief. Though this work is fraught with ambiguity, a reader can infer Plath? s basic story. Her father was apparently a ...
She would have then often found the vocabulary inadequate as she searched her thesaurus for just the right word. She might have eventually concluded that she needed a whole new vocabulary. She compensates by using the imagery she is an expert at creating. Plath alludes next to the purity of snow, which is not at all pure, and the clear Beer which is not clear. This furthers the idea that she felt that words were simply inadequate. Next Plath pushes the idea of the inadequacy of ordinary language further, likening her imagery to the cards of a tarot pack, which carry a tremendous amount of meaning in each image.
She claims gypsy ancestry, for which there is no evidence, and again that this and her tarot pack may make her a bit of a Jew. Does she mean that she is destined to be imprisoned and killed by a patriarchal society? She continues on by saying that she is afraid of her father, afraid of the patriarch, maybe afraid of society as a whole, afraid that she will not measure up. Sylvia uses Nazi images to describe what she fears and we begin to understand that it is not her father or any one man, or even men as a whole, nor yet a patriarchal society, but a society which will criticize her, punish her, because she is a gypsy and maybe a bit of a Jew Every woman loves a fascist begins the strongest part of the poem. The swastika image lets no sky through, traps all light, represents how we punish ourselves, accept the boot in the face. She says we love the brute, and she speaks again to her father, and says she has been trying to get back to him since they buried him when she was ten. She gives the idea that she picked a man whom she thought would replaces him to marry by saying she built a model of him, complete with a Mein Kamf look and a love of the rack and the screw.
We do not know why her marriage split up, but she may be talking about both her husband here, her father and also her woprld, into which she did not fit, but in which she was trapped. The vampire who pretended to be her father must have been her husband, because she says he drank her blood for a year, or seven years. This portion of the poem is the most telling. Sylvia Plath published while she was with her husband, but the work did not have the fire of her later work. She says she has killed two men, and put a stake in her fathers fat black heart. The villagers she says never liked him, and whom are dancing and stamping on him is the world at large here. Sylvia Plath, being the perfectionist she was, may have been saying here that everyone else always knew she would be simply an academic, like her father, and that she could never exceed her heritage or her cultural role.
An Explication Of Sylvia Plath'S "Daddy' Essay, An Explication Of Sylvia Plath'S "Daddy' It tends to be the trend for women who have had traumatic childhoods to be attracted to men who epitomize their emptiness felt as children. Women who have had un affectionate or absent fathers, adulterous husbands or boyfriends, or relatives who molested them seem to become involved in relationships with men ...
She may have, at this point, already decided once again to take her own life. Therefore, she is definitely not speaking only to her father if this is so..