Use of Figurative Language in Daddy by Sylvia Plath Essay

Decent Essays
The figurative language in the poem “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath can be used to discover a deeper significant of the poem. By using figurative language throughout the poem such as symbolism, imagery, and wordplay, Plath reveals hidden messages about her relationship with her father. Plath uses symbols of Nazis, vampires, size, and communication to help reveal a message about her dad.

In Plath’s poem she frequently uses figurative language about Nazis and the Holocaust. Plath depicts herself as a victim by saying she is like a Jew, and her father is like a Nazi. Plath uses a train engine as a metaphor for her father speaking the German Language, and also to depict herself as a victimized Jew being taken away to a concentration camp.
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Plath uses a hyperbole to drive the point of her father being the epitome of a Nazi by saying the swastika is so black it blocks out the sky. This extreme exaggeration helps drive across Plath’s point of her father being a complete Nazi. Near the end of the poem another allusion to Hitler is used. “I made a model of you, / a man in black with a Meinkampf look” (Plath 64-65). Here the father is described as a model, and an illusion to Hitler is made when she states he has a “Meinkampf look” with Mein Kampf being a book written by Hitler. Plath’s use of figurative language helps give a clear image of her relationship with her father and shows how she depicts him to be like a Nazi.

Plath uses the symbol of a vampire to describe her father’s personality. At the end of the poem Plath shifts the depiction of her father from a living Nazi to a dead vampire. “The vampire who said he was you / And Drank my blood for years” (Plath 73-74). Here Plath bluntly calls her father a vampire who has sucked her blood for years. The metaphor of a blood sucking vampire is used to help paint a vivid image of the pain in Plath’s relationship. Plath again describes her father as a vampire who has died with a stake through his heart. “There’s a stake in your fat black heart / And the villagers never liked you. / They are dancing and stamping on you” (Plath 76-79). Along with showing the father dying a vampire’s death, the metaphoric villagers dancing
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