Poetry Sylvia Plaths 'daddy'

Essay by mouldy1High School, 11th gradeC, March 2005

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In this poem, Plath is describing the relationship between her and her father. We can see her relationship was not an easy one by her use of the simile "I have lived like a foot for thirty years poor and white, barely able to breath or Achoo."

In describing herself as "poor and white", she gives the contrast between white and her and her fathers "black shoe". It suggests that he was strict and she had been afraid of him. When she describes herself as "poor", she does not mean in the sense of material value, but emotionally.

The word "marble-heavy, a bag full of God" gives the idea of her father's heavy authority. Despite all the anger, Plath still wishes to join him, and mentions that 'at twenty I tried to die, To get back, back, back to you'. This shows that although even in death, he retains his power over her life.

The imagery used suggests the influence her "Daddy" had, and still has, on her. He is described as huge, " Ghastly statue", even his toe is as "Big as a Frisco seal". Suggesting that her father represents a big and threatening presence. This is backed up by the way Plath compares her father to the Germans, "With your Luftwaffe, And your Aryan eye, bright blue. Panzer man, panzer man, O you"

She uses similes and metaphors such as "Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belson". This clearly shows she is comparing her feelings to that of the Jewish people. She is filled with hopelessness.

The tone of this poem is adult, and very dark and depressing. In contrast Plath continued to use the word daddy, almost childlike "Daddy, daddy, you bastard".

She went on to marry but...