Sylvia Plath?s ?Daddy? is perhaps her most famous work. The theme of the poem is a reflection of her inner turmoil and the strained relationships she had with the dominant male figures in her life, these being her father and her husband. The poem is filled with images that described the emotional distress invoked by these men. The primary images are of shoes and of feet. In lines 2-3, she compares herself as a ?foot? in her father?s ?black shoe?. This embodies the protective yet suffocating nature of their relationship.
The main symbols of the poem depict the male figures as God, a Nazi, and a vampire. This illustrates her declining perspective of her father once the real nature of their relationship is revealed. She calls her father ?a?God? (8), representing the omnipresence and power her father had over her. In lines 34-35, she refers to herself as a ?Jew?, and in lines 42 ? 47, characterizes her father as a ?Nazi?. In fact, the poem contains many allusions to Hitler?s Nazi regime, i.e. ?Meinkampf?, ?Luftwaffe?, and ?Auschwitz?. This once again stresses the oppressive and domineering relationship she shared with her father. The vampire images can be seen to refer to her husband, as he has taken over her father?s role of ?drinking? the life out of her (73).
Plath?s choice of words is simple but reveals her anger and resentment towards these two men. According to Roger Platizky, the frequent use of ?the echoing ?oo? sound? not only shows the author?s state of immaturity, but it demonstrates her ?incomplete, though desired, end to her mourning?(Platizky, 106).
The poem has a conversational rhythm. It contains no rhyming scheme and has a speech-like flow. The rhythm conveys an intimate and personal tone, as it seems like Plath...