An analysis of "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath

Essay by andrea90High School, 12th grade November 2008

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The poem Daddy is written by Sylvia Plath in 1962, shortly before her death. It was published posthumously in "Ariel" in 1965. In the poem, Plath is seeking closure with mainly her father, but also her husband, who she had recently separated from. Plath is directly addressing her father, who died when she was 8 years old. The poem deals with the unhappiness Plath had been living with since the death of her father.

The poem consists 16 verses, and each verse consists of five lines. The lines are almost the same length, and the poem seems very nicely structured and tidy. However, when you start reading, you realize that the whole poem is a mess. When reading the poem, you never know when to pause, or where to put pressure. This probably has something to do with how everything is not how they seem on the outside. By seemingly carelessly scattering rhymes across the poem without any patterns, Sylvia gives us an image of her own adolescence without her father.

Everything is perfect on the outside, and a complete mess on the outside.

"Daddy, I have had to kill you.

You died before I had time---Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,Ghastly statue with one grey toeBig as a Frisco seal"There is a whole lot of talk about feet and footwear in the poem. The reason for this imagery could be that her father died while getting his foot amputated. When she talks of a "Ghastly statue with one grey toe", she creates an image of a man who is missing something. In the first verse she refers to herself as a foot in a shoe, which may be because she feels like she was just taken away from him without wanting to, like she was amputated just...