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Daddy by Sylvia Plath Analysis

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Case Study  •  615 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,237 Views

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Many people experience death, abandonment, and other hardships in family life. These people's lives are often greatly affected by these experiences. Sylvia Plath relates some of the emotional trauma that loss of a father brings in her poem "Daddy." Losing her father when she was only eight years old, Plath knew what losing a parent and that influence felt like, and how it can affect a child. This intensely emotional poem conveys the true idea that a father can have an irreversible effect on a child's life.

"I used to pray to recover you" (line 14) shows some of the effect that the loss of her father has on the speaker. Many children feel guilty when bad things happen in their families. When a parent dies, they often place the blame upon themselves. In this poem, the speaker feels this guilt. She felt sorrow for her father's death, and prayed to bring him back, to not feel the guilt anymore. The speaker, a bitter woman addressing her father's death, shows the effect that this death had on her childhood, through this single, guilt-filled line.

In "Daddy" the speaker tells of how her father, the memory of him, is oppressive. She compares this oppressed feeling to that of the Jews under the Hitler's Nazi regime. After the speaker's father died, she tired to commit suicide. This act alone shows just how much this woman's father's death affected her. The speaker tells of how she "had to kill you" (line 6). She had to try to kill the memory of her father. This memory kept the speaker in darkness, it was suffocating; for thirty years she was "barely daring to breath or Achoo" (line 5). Her father's memory was oppressive. Because of it and the guilt she felt, the speaker felt like she was in one of the Nazi death camps—isolated, starved of life, and trapped in a dark place of pain, and neglect. The loss of her father's


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