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Subject Daddy
Posted by JOJO
Posted on Fri Dec 18 01:30:35 1998
From IP h37.s118.ts30.hinet.net  

My interpretation of Sylvia Plath¡¦s ¡§Daddy¡¨

Some people will finally realize what their relation to their parents is and how their parent¡¦s affected their lives when they grow up. In the poem ¡§Daddy¡¨ by Sylvia Plath, it describes her unhealthy attachment and hatred feeling towards her father. It is quite a sad poem, which demonstrates to us how the persona¡¦s (Sylvia Plath) father has been a shadow to her life. But finally at last, as she puts it, she jumped out this misfortune of being dominate by declaring ¡§Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I¡¦m through.¡¨
At the beginning, the speaker shows her being oppressed and stifled feeling towards her father by using the simile of comparing herself to a foot and her father as a shoe. Usually, a shoe is meant to protect the foot however, in this poem, the shoes (father) became too ¡§protective¡¨ to the foot (Plath). The shoes become too tight that it even hurts the foot. Plath presents this image of being in pain because of her father¡¦s over-protection.
In the second stanza, the speaker recalls the memory of her father being like a God who dominates over her. Here the Plath presents a heavy and authority image. The word ¡¥Marble¡¦ enhances a hard and cold feeling of her father. We see here the omniscience of the father¡¦s authority and the heaviness that has weighted on Plath throughout her life. The feeling of the father controlling her was strengthened in the third stanza by saying that her father is everywhere all over the world.
Start from the forth stanza, the speaker started to compare herself to the Jews and comparing her father as the German, ruling over the Jews. This image indicates an oppressive relationship and also a language barrier. Also, this German-Jew relationship shows that Plath¡¦s father had a great deal of control over her and a feeling of fear and resentment Plath felt when recalling the father-daughter relationship. Another simile that Plath used is comparing herself to a gypsy. This image is just like the image of a Jew, being despised. Here we see very clearing the inferior feeling that Plath have towards herself because she keeps comparing herself to a gypsy and also, when she sees her father as a German soldier, she becomes a Jew, which is being oppressed and locked up in the concentration camp.
Then as Plath calls her father a brute, she means her father become a violent animal which ¡§Bit my pretty red heart in two.¡¨ This image also relates to the image of vampire. Later on in the last two stanzas, Plath introduces another character, her husband in by saying, ¡§If I¡¦ve killed one man, I¡¦ve killed two.¡¨ From here, we know that Plath¡¦s husband behave much like her dead father, so she thinks that her husband is the reincarnation of her own father coming back to dominate her again. This gives us an idea that her unhappy marriage reminds her of her painful childhood.
Finally, Plath decided to jump out the misery shadow by saying ¡§Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I¡¦m through.¡¨ This means that she is letting go of her father and also his hold on her that has remained ever since his death.
There are a lot of childlike tone in this poem by the use of word ¡§daddy¡¨ and also repeating sentences, like ¡§you do not do, you do not do¡¨ and ¡§daddy, daddy you bastard.¡¨ As for the sound, it contains a lot of ¡§oo¡¨ sounds such as ¡§blue,¡¨ ¡§shoe,¡¨ ¡§Jew,¡¨ and ¡§you.¡¨ To add more, the odd pattern of rhyme used in the poem might indicates the relationship between Plath and her father.


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