Literary Explication: Sylvia Plath's "Daddy"

1201 WordsOct 20, 20135 Pages
Conflicting Emotions of Sylvia Plath The speaker in the poem “Daddy” is someone who both fiercely hates her father but also passionately loves him. When she was younger, she compared her father to a god-like entity—always looking up to him and constantly seeking his approval. Her fierce hate towards her father stems from the deep rooted fear of him. The speaker is torn between these two polar emotions that have been constantly tormenting her and blames them on her unresolved emotions toward her father. In the first few lines of the poem, the speaker becomes aware that the memory of her father has presented an immense weight on her. Throughout the poem, the speaker makes multiple attempts to rid herself of the thoughts of father and…show more content…
She found a man who would treat her the same way and married him. Her relationship with this man is essentially the same as the relationship she had with her father. Her husband is described as a “vampire” who “drank blood for seven years”. The word “vampire” is really important because it refers to both her father and her husband. She says that her husband and father sucked the life out of her just as a vampire would suck the blood out of its victims in old myths . The speaker allows herself to be controlled by a man who shares many of her father’s characteristics. In a way, she has married her father. When the speaker finally leaves her husband after seven years, she is at the same time leaving her father behind, because she had recreated her father in the image of her husband. The speaker tells her dead father that he “can lie back now there’s a stake in your fat black heart”. Again, she compares her father to a vampire (Daddy Analysis). One who has tormented and haunted her even after his death. When the speaker leaves her husband, she is also leaving her father behind, breaking free of the oppression that he has caused for her entire life. In the case of Daddy, Sylvia is declaring herself free of the torture and repression that she has suffered with her entire life, even after her father’s death. She had become a slave to
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