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Sylvia Plath

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Added by: John Grenham
She had a wonderful grasp of the rhetorical possibilities of her own life. I wonder if she sacrifced her art to that rhetoric.
Added by: laura
Well there are certainly some interesting comments on this message board regarding this poem. It is amazing that Daddy can inspire completely opposite viewpoints--did she love her father/husband, was she raped/not raped, is she vindicated/defeated in the last stanza! That is what makes a poem truly a classic. However this poem shows me the extent of SP's mental illness in that she did have a love/hate relationship with her long dead father which culminated in her blaming him for her problems as opposed to taking ownership of her problems
vision of her father
Added by: sarah
Plath says her father is "Marble-heavy, a bag full of God," which means she has thoughts that consist of hard/cold, expensive but importantly impressive.

When she states "So i never could tell where you Put your foot, your root" is the fact that they moved from Germany.

"I never cold talk" is emphasised later through the stutter "Ich, ich, ich, ich, I could hardly speak"

"every woman adores a fascist" abuse is acceptable
Added by: Rethabile Masilo
One of the strongest poems I know of that were seemingly written about something ever so painful and probably written to help "wipe the slate clean" and start afresh.
Added by: charis
I think what Daddy is really about is Plath's frustration with a patriarchal society. In the Bell Jar, she is constantly in conflict with her mother, Buddy, other girls in the dorm, and just about everyone else in her life who think she will give up poetry/intellectual life the moment she marries the unvirgin Buddy and has children with him. He, on the other hand, insists that she be a virgin-- something she cannot comprehend. Every woman loves a facist. A big boot in her face.
Daddy refers to the feminine childhood protector, he who will take care of his little girl. I think this poem is the realization that all their protections the men put on women is actually a Nazi-esque oppression.
I have more thoughts on this and more evidence. Tell me what you guys think so far.
Added by: Fajer
She wanted him back. She thought she loved her father but ofcourse she was too young when he died to know him well.. and then when she married a man who is supposedly very similar, that she actually saw him as her father, she started to hate him (husband and father, since her husband embodies her father in her mind now) and realized that she did not want her father back anymore. She believed that her husband's actions were also her fathers in a way... a psychotic way. Did that make any sense? oh well...
the psyche of sylvia plath
Added by: Lesley
Does anyone share the opinion that Sylvia Plath was totally selfish, self obsessed and a malign influence on all who became close to her (not that it would seem there were many)

Her suicide was her supreme act of selfishness and served to jettison her to fame for what are indifferent poems.

She appear as the eternal victim of malign male influences and is delusionary in her revenge.
Added by: jess
i love how all of you post like you actually know what you're talking about, like you actually were Sylvia Plath at the time when she wrote these poems. Maybe, just maybe, Sylvia didn't want everyone to understand completely what her poems were about. Maybe she didn't want people to pick apart every line and stanza so that the whole poem is destroyed with understanding and the mystery is completely gone.
Added by: Tove
Most of these comments I read said things like, "the poem couldn't have been about her hating her father if she loved him" and other crazy things. Sometimes you love someone with all of your heart, but they hurt you really badly and what they did to you is unforgivable. I think it's quite possible that she had an incestous relationship with her father because she fits the mold. Something like that changes a person deeply and it's always a lingering darkness in your life.
Sometimes though, there is such a thing as over analyzing. it doesn't really matter a lot of the time, I mean for example, how she mentions the Jew/Nazi relationship...it doesn't necessarily mean that she KNOWS what it's like to have gone through a holocaust, it just means that...okay, if you were a Jew who had gone to a concentration camp and lived through that, you would never forget it. How she was treated by these two men in her life, ted huges and otto plath, hurt her and she won't ever forget it. Just because in the scheme of everything and everyone in the world your problem isn't that large doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt every bit as much.
Sylvia Plath was an amazing woman and my favorite writer of all time. Just the fact that this poem led so many different people to talk about it and have so many different views attributes to it's genius.
Added by: Louise
I think that this poem is interesting to look at, as she discusses losing her father, and the effect this has on her. Then, as she goes through her emotional journey of how she interpreted her father to be, she comes to the conclusion that she does not in fact like what he stood for at all, which is where we get our first hint of the inclusion of Ted Hughes (her husband) . The fact that she paints such a negative and destructive view of both men, or the 'one man', is perhaps justification for her not minding, and perhaps liking the fact that they are no longer in her life. She finally concludes with a very strong repetition of the word 'Daddy' accompanied with 'bastard' which is how she summises the entire experience with both of them. This poem is all the things a poem should be' evocative. passionate and very true of how the poet is feeling. There are no false pretences whatsoever. Syvia Plath, was an extrodinary poet, and this is one of her most incredible, yet haunting pieces of work.

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