Sylvia Plath wrote â€œDaddyâ€ just four months before her death by suicide in February 1963. In the months, before she took her life she wrote two to three poems per day in a frenzy to purge her system of the chaos of her thoughts and emotions. Daddy is a confessional style of poetry, used by the writer as an outlet for pent up feelings of the love/hate relationship she had with her father and the guilt she experienced from it. (Kehoe, John).
Daddy is a morbid, dark, disturbing poem seemingly narrated by an angry child/adolescent girl. She may well have done this intentionally, because there are things she feels she can get away with saying as a child, which the constraints of adulthood would not allow her to do. In the beginning of the poem she rages against a father she feels has betrayed and abandoned her, â€œDaddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time-â€œ. By the end, she transfers that rage to her estranged husband, â€œIf Iâ€™ve killed one man, Iâ€™ve killed twoâ€. (Revising Life, pg 48).
There has been reference made to the black shoe in the first stanza, â€œAnymore black shoe in which I have lived like a footâ€ as representing her fathers amputation of his leg from complications of diabetes. This represents a symbol of oppression, of being held down and dominated by her father. She mentions it again in the tenth stanza, â€œThe boot in the face, the brute, Brute heart of a brute like youâ€. She gives the impression of hating her father, for not only dying, but also being authoritarian and stern. Note she says, â€œI see you at the blackboard in the picture I have of youâ€. Not â€œyou read to me or held me on your kneeâ€. She refers to him as â€œthe black man who bit my pretty red heart in twoâ€ symbolizing her pain caused by not being acknowledged or feeling love from her father.