The strength of this poem comes from Sylvia Plath's ingenious use of forceful vocabulary and powerful imagery. The theme of the poem is her obsession with her dominant but dead father.
Instantly, Sylvia introduces the idea that her father was a dominant figure in her life,
"You do not do, you do not do Anymore," this gives the impression that during her childhood she was under her fathers influence. We get a picture of just how influential her father is when she starts imagining her father being an enormous statue, "And a head in the freakish Atlantic," from this we can gather that the statue is overarched all over the world which symbolizes just how overwhelming Sylvia's father was in her eyes. The dominances, which Plath's father had over her resulted in a desire to kill him or his authority. "I have had to kill you. You died before I had time."
I believe that this overpowering pressure which Sylvia's father exerts on her drove her to utter hatred towards him. We know this because she insults her father time and time again by picturing him as a Nazi solider, "I thought every German was you." We also get the idea that she feels that her dad, in some ways, torched her just like the Nazi did with the Jews. "an engine/ chuffing me off like a Jew," she puts herself into the Jews position. In this poem we also learn that after her father's death it broke her heart which led to her attempting to commit suicide to try and be reunited with her father. "At twenty I tried to die\ And get back, back, back to you." We then learn that she finds a husband who is a spitting image of her father's personality.