Imagery in "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath Essay example

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In ‘Daddy’, Sylvia Plath utilises a vast quantity of emotionally powerful - and in some areas, sharply contrasting - imagery. The poem holds the theme of resentment and anguish, mixed with the desperation to understand, and share affection. It is, on many levels, identifiable to Plath’s own life, and it is this, laced intricately amongst a plethora of shocking and deeply emotive imagery regarding Nazism, persecution and evil, that gives the poem the strength and meaning that has enabled it to become a classic of literature. Plath surrounds the character of the father with imagery of Nazism, and pride in the Nazi regime. The audience is told that the daughter feared her father, because of ‘Your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo. / And your neat …show more content…
This image is linked, in the mind of the daughter, directly to the word ‘daddy’, which is an example of child-like diction within the poem. The connotations of the word ‘daddy’ are peaceful, loving and innocent – which stand as a stark contrast to how Plath conveys the father’s character. The image the audience receives is shocking and unexpected in this sense, as it inextricably links in the mind of the daughter two normally irreconcilable concepts. As a means of adding to the power of the imagery surrounding the character of the father, Plath broadens the gap between him and the daughter. She achieves this by giving the audience details of the daughter such as ‘my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck / and my Taroc pack’. These segments of the daughter’s life bring to the fore the idea that she has the kind of background the Nazis would have deemed unacceptable, thereby providing an unassailable barrier between her and her father, reflected elsewhere in the poem by her lack of understanding of him. The attributes ascribed to the daughter are not directly Jewish; they are more closely linked to gypsy tradition – the classification of her as a Jew, therefore, is representative of the generalised, indiscriminate hatred inherent in Nazism towards other cultures. In particular, this classification can be seen in
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