Daddy by Sylvia Plath

Paper Rating: Word Count: 771 Approx Pages: 3

Sylvia Plath wrote "Daddy  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, "Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time-". By the end, she transfers that rage to her estranged husband, "If I've killed one man, I've killed two . (Revising Life, pg 48)

There has been reference made to the black shoe in the first stanza, "Anymore black shoe in which I have lived like a foot  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, "The boot in the face, the brute, Brute heart of a brute like you . She gives the impression of hating her father, for not only dying, but also being authoritarian and stern. Note she says, "I see you at the blackboard in the picture I have of you . Not "you read to me or held me on your knee . She refers to him as "the black man who bit my pretty red heart in two  symbolizing her pain caused by not being acknowledged or feeling love from her father. She likens h... Continue Reading