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Say You Love Me - Molly Peacock

Autor:   •  March 28, 2011  •  Essay  •  700 Words (3 Pages)  •  3,496 Views

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The results of early childhood neglect and abuse are clearly defined in Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" and Molly Peacock's "Say you love me". Although written by two women with different life circumstances, the long-lasting damage is evident in their writings. Also evident is their inner strength and determination to find their own identities and the struggle to get there.

"I won't , I won't, not fantasize a kind, rich father, not fill the narrowed zone.." (945) indicates the longing for some sort of normalcy from a teenage girl. She knows her fathers litany of "Do you love me, say you love me" (945) is not the way things are supposed to be between a parent and a child. The potential for violence and the unrealized rage, "I brought my knee up to kick him, but was too scared. Nothing could have got the words out of me then. Rage shut me up". (945) The feeling of helplessness and bewilderment is also explored by Plath, "Daddy, I have had to kill you, You died before I had time-" (932). This represents the feeling inside that you should love and honor your father even when he is not the person he

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should be, and how his early demise has affected the rest of her life. Plath's allusions to Nazism show the anguish which she lived with throughout her life. She equated her father with Hitler's regime, "I thought every German was you" (932) and "I have always been scared of you, with you Luftwaffe, your gobbledygook". (933) and she is one of the persecuted Jews being transported to a concentration camp. "an engine, an engine, chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen". (932)

Both these poems are told in the first person, Peacock's, as her remembering when she was fifteen years old, yet told as an adult, able to articulate the fear, rage and loathing she felt at the time. She says, "His face looked like a ham on a hook above me-I was pinned to the chair" (945) and "my fear ballooned


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