Compare And Contrast Sylvia Plath And My Papa's Waltz

846 Words4 Pages
Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” and Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” are similar because they focus on the same subject. However, they differ in how the speakers’ feel about their relationship with their parent(s). In Plath’s “Daddy”, the speaker is a daughter thinking about how her father treated her. She tells about how she felt trapped by him and how she tried to ‘kill’ him, line 6 of the poem, but he dies before she has a chance. The ending of Plath’s poem implies that she got married to a man like her father. In Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz”, the speaker seems to be an adult reminiscing his childhood through a metaphor of a dance. The poem suggests that the boy was abused and the mother stood by without doing much about it. Three topics that…show more content…
Meanwhile, Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” the speaker implies abuse through a metaphor about dancing, where, in lines 5, 6, and 11- 13 the speaker vaguely mentions abuse, saying “We romped until the pans/ slid from the kitchen shelf”, “at every step you missed/ my right ear scraped a buckle./ you beat time on my head.” These lines imply the father is abusive, boisterously beating the child in the kitchen so much so that pans fell, without actually saying so. In both poems, the speaker experiences abuse from the father figure in their…show more content…
Comparing and contrasting Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” and Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz”, one finds the two poems are similar with their themes of abuse, yet contrasting with how the themes are portrayed. Furthermore, the speaker 's feelings toward their fathers’ in each poem contrast. One speaker was hurt by the father and the other speaker was indifferent about how he was treated by his father. The fathers’ feelings toward the children are also different despite how each treated the child. Both poems accurately portray the parent-child relationships within an abusive home, even if they have different
Open Document