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Daddy

Essay by 24  •  March 27, 2011  •  625 Words (3 Pages)  •  960 Views

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In the poem "Daddy", Sylvia Plath says that there are women

who, due to early conditioning, find themselves without the

tools to deal with oppressive and controlling men. They are

left feeling helpless and hopeless. For some women, the

struggle is never resolved, others take most of a lifetime.

For a lucky few, they are granted a reprieve. The speaker

in this poem is Sylvia Plath. The poem describes her

feelings of oppression and her battle to come to grips with

the issues of this power imbalance. The poem also conjures

the struggle many women face in a male dominated society.

The conflict of this poem is male authority and control

versus the right of a female to be herself, to make

choices, and be free of male domination. Plath's conflicts

begin in her relationship with her father and continue with

her husband. The intensity of this conflict is extremely

apparent as she uses examples that cannot be ignored. The

atrocities of NAZI' Germany are used as symbols of the

horror of male domination. The constant and crippling

manipulation of the male, as he introduces oppression and

hopelessness into the lives of his women, is equated with

the twentieth century's worst period. Words such as

Luftwaffe, panzerman, and Mein Kampf look are used to

describe her father and husband as well as all male

domination. The frequent use of the word black throughout

the poem conveys a feeling of gloom and suffocation. Like

many women in society, we know that Plath felt oppressed

and stifled throughout her life by her use of the simile "I

have lived like a shoe for thirty years poor and white,

barely able to breath or Achoo." The use of similes and

metaphors such as "Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to

Dachau, Auschwitz, Belson." and "I think I may well be a

Jew" clearly shows the feelings of anguished hopelessness

and the ripping agony she must have felt.

The agelessness of this poem is guaranteed as there will

always be women who feel the same torture that is

described. . Strong images are conveyed throughout the

poem. The words "marble- heavy, a bag full of God" conveys

the omniscience of her father's authority and the heaviness

it weighed on her throughout her life. "The vampire who

said he was you, and drank my blood for a year, seven years

if you want to know" describe

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