This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Shock Of Sylvia Plath's Daddy

570 words - 3 pages

The Shock of Plath’s Daddy  

“Daddy” is one of the most highly anthologized poems of Plath's (along with "Lady Lazarus"). It is a notorious poem, the one once compared to "Guernica" by George Steiner. The imagery and audaciousness of it still shock, so much so that I don't even know if it is being taught or anthologized or taught any more; it is almost as if the critical world has had its say on it and has moved on, either to other poems in Ariel, or to other books altogether, such as The Colossus or Crossing The Water. It has become a modern classic, of a kind, the sort some people (not the ones here, of course!) sigh & look back on fondly, as what/who they read when they were younger, or were obliged to read at some ...view middle of the document...

(This poem's essence lies in her not believing her father is dead, and since she never went to his funeral, or even visited his grave as a child, the father is in a strange limbo, a zombie figure.) In 1959 she visited her father's grave and was tempted, oddly as she says, to dig him up & prove to herself that he's really dead.

In the poem, she just wants to be with her father (in the reading, her voice definitely becomes emotional when she remembers her childhood with him), or someone like him, but this never works out; in the end, she turns against him, but, as Stewart says, she can never be "through" - I think, because that sadness is again pushed aside, "the voices" (her father, husband, mother?) who still might be able to talk and listen to her are gone. Her father is still there, just as solid & historical as he was in "The Colossus", and just as misunderstood/inflated (two ways blocked grief seems to work).

From this poem (and a few others) the feminist movement of the 60s took Plath as one of their own; but Plath doesn't seem to have any support here - the villagers are anonymous, a mob, who don't seem to know her. They are trusted by her because they aren't trying to talk to her, question her, they don't have a voice, they just instinctively act against "daddy" (like a swarm of bees, come to think of it). Plath turns against herself in the last line, in a line that shows a disgust with him, and herself - an attempt to not just block but eliminate any communication or feelings altogether. In the few days after writing "Daddy", Plath wrote the equivalent about her mother, "Medusa" - which ends with an equally destructive and ambivalent line, "There is nothing between us."



Other Essays Like The Shock Of Sylvia Plath's Daddy

Sylvia Plath Essay

698 words - 3 pages SYLVIA PLATH ABOUT THE POET: * Married to a man named Ted Huges. * Two children ~ Frieda + Nicholas. * Problems in their marriage(he had an affair) * They divorced. * She suffered from depression. * Most of her poems were published after her death (suicide). THEMES OF HER POEMS: 1) Her depression. 2) Her love for her children. 3) Motherhood. 4) Nature. 5) Death. 6) Aging MORNING SONG

A White Heron Essay

549 words - 3 pages dangers of climbing a tree as certain objects hold her back, preventing her from reaching success. The narrator uses a variety of literary terms and descriptions to achieve the picture of the story.Sylvia's (the child) starting climb towards the tree is incredibly easy, as described in the passage, "Sylvia felt her way easily," "Often climbed here." The huge tree is a symbol of life, a juxtaposition of a child climbing a tree to a

Visit to a Circus

662 words - 3 pages think about nothing but the circus. As soon as we got home, we changed, had our snacks and waited impatiently for Daddy to get home from his office. “He’d said he’d come early today”, complained Tina to Mummy. Just then, we heard a squeal of tires and our blue family van appeared on the driveway, driven by Daddy. Soon, we filed inside the van and were off to the circus. Fortunately, we got four seats in the front row. The show began. The first

Poetry Analysis

917 words - 4 pages Confessional poetry emerged in the United States in the 1950’s. It was the first time a poet told his or her story through their poetry. It often explored ideas that were thought of as taboo in those times such as mental illness, sexuality, and suicide. Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton were two famous confessional poets. They both also suffered from mental illness which is often expressed in their poetry. Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” and Anne

The Lesson

550 words - 3 pages a small part of that world, the trip here with Ms. Moore shows the children a great deal about what the outside world is like and how anyone can have that piece of the pie. Even though the children could never afford the toys, Ms. Moore brings them to the store to show them they have just as much right to be there and just as much right to live the rich life as anyone else. Sylvia, the narrator, is upset by the inequality. She is jealous of the

A Troubled Soul

524 words - 3 pages and didn’t really have much nice to say about him. From what The Misfit says, you gather that his father put him down, “My daddy said I was a different breed of dog from my brothers and sisters . . . he’s going to be into everything!” (O’Conner, 8) The ‘head doctor’ accused him of killing his father, “It was a head doctor in the penitentiary that said what I had done was kill my daddy . . . and I never had a thing to do with it.” (9) The Misfit

‘the Role of Women in Literature Often Reflects Contemporary Social and Cultural Concerns About Gender.’ Compare and Contrast How and for What Purposes the Role of Women Is Presented in Your Chosen...

3076 words - 13 pages 1987, Ian Banks ‘Wasp Factory’ written in 1984, and the collections of poems called ‘Ariel’ by Sylvia Plath published in 1965. At the time when all three of these literature texts were written, women of the different time periods were struggling to be equal to men. The struggle of women was shown through the life of Sylvia Plath with her subsequent mental breakdown and suicide attempt. Sylvia Plath was struggling to make sense of her own

Country Living

1095 words - 5 pages ; however, I believe that I received so many life lessons from living in the country that I cannot replace.In November of 1965, I was born to Arthur and Fredalyn Powell. I began my life across the dusty, plowed field from the location where I live now. My first memories are playing on an old, rusty, tractor while my daddy worked in the fields. I remember being carried to the tobacco barn while my grandmother made sure that the valuable leaves of

The Power of Anime

1406 words - 6 pages long ago. He was a close friend to Mafia’s boss – Big Daddy. Big Daddy gave a shelter to Maria in his mansion. The two remaining – Brandom Heat and Harry McDougall joined the Mafia [They were best friends until now]. Two of them have reasons to join them: Brandom – to be close to Maria, and Harry – to become stronger and powerful, to be something more – to be a boss. The two of them climb up and become family members to the Mafia. But

Fighting to Stay Together

1038 words - 5 pages worked for is threatened? (Hansberry 119) The irony here is palpable, as moving into this neighborhood represents everything the Younger family “ever worked for”. After the initial conflict and shock wears off, the family realizes that the only way to survive this new environment is to band together and support one another unconditionally. The synthesis of the contradictory themes of discord and togetherness is what makes this story

Wuthering Heights

740 words - 3 pages Wuthering Heights Review of the poem wuthering heights by Sylvia Plath Textual Analysis From the title we can assume that we are on the Yorkshire moors, although Heathcliff is conspicuous by his absence. We assume the first person of the poem is a woman, probably Sylvia herself.1.The faggots or fire twigs that surround her are the landscape, which is rugged, possibly moraine and the instability may well be partly underfoot rather than wholly

Related Papers

Preparing For Death In Sylvia Plath's Daddy

1459 words - 6 pages Preparing for Death in Plath’s Daddy   Throughout the poem "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath, the author struggles to escape the memory of her father who died when she was only ten years old. She also expresses anger at her husband, Ted Hughes, who abandoned her for another woman. The confessional poem begins with a series of metaphors about Plath's father which progress from godlike to demonic. Near the end, a new metaphor emerges, when the author

Born On 27th Oct Essay

618 words - 3 pages Born on October 27, 1932, in Boston, Sylvia Plath mainly wrote confessional poetry. Plath's life was marked by periods of severe depression and multiple suicide attempts. The death of her father and betrayal of her husband forced her into a state of paranoia and motivated her to write poems about her sufferings. In the poem, Lady Lazarus, Plath employs the character of Lady Lazarus to echo the poet's self as a way of expressing her mania towards

A Paradoxical Relationship Essay

1275 words - 6 pages Augustina Asiafor Hayley Esther Hedgpeth English 1102 4 February 2014 A Paradoxical Relationship Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” emphasizes the ill-fated relationship between a woman and her deceased father. The speaker conveys her paradoxical feelings for the one man who she worshipped during her young years, but feared his malicious influence and domination after his death. Throughout the poem, Plath use of tone changes with the

"The Bell Jar" And Esther's Depression

676 words - 3 pages In "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath the main character, Esther Greenwood, sinks into depression during the summer after her third year of college. There are many factors and components that cause this to happen to Esther. The social restrictions placed upon women of her time, her own insecurities over her identity, and the pressure she receives from all of her close ones. She felt like her mind and soul should be with her body so she decided to