Analysis of "Daddy"

Essay by hchang2College, UndergraduateA, November 2014

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Hyun Chang

Eng 1102

Andrew Rogers

January 30, 2012

Analysis of "Daddy"

When one thinks about their father, most would picture a warm, embracing individual who always provides a shoulder to lead on; normally a figure that represents comfort, care, and love. This was not the case for Sylvia Plath, the writer of the poem "Daddy". Daddy is usually a term that children use to call their father whom they are very fond of. The title therefore is very deceiving to what a reader will unfold as they continue reading the poem. Truth be told, Plath uses this poem to show the reader what she truly felt for her father. Through symbolism with use of the Holocaust, Sylvia Plath leaves clues to the reader about the tangled, confused emotions she had towards her father.

Sylvia Plath has shown clearly the negative feelings that she had for her father.

The poem begins with describing her living "like a foot, For thirty years, poor and white". Our feet carry our whole body weight, suffocate in a shoe and/or socks (a black shoe for Sylvia), and is usually neglected. "When she identifies herself as a foot she suggests that she is trapped" (Sarthi). Sylvia emphasizes that her father was the reason behind such a life by beginning her poem with that stanza quoted above. One Journalist states that this poem "restages secret family conflicts between parent and child" and the relationship between Plath and her father "allows for little movement or even speech- she can't "breathe or Achoo" (stanza 5)" (Narbeshuber). Furthermore, Plath, "under his domination…. has feared even the most harmless and necessary forms of self-expression" (Rietz). Because of this, she goes on to say that she "had to kill" her father, most likely from her feeling...