Effective Use Of Metaphors In Sylvia Plath's Daddy

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“Daddy” is a poem written by Sylvia Plath shortly before her death in October of 1962. Plath is known for conveying strong emotion within her poems; she describes life without making it feel biographical. Throughout “Daddy”, the author uses many literary devices to describe a child’s relationship with her father and the way the narrator feels following her father’s death. Plath’s purpose throughout “Daddy” is to convince the reader that the narrator and her father are very different people, creating conflict between them. She delivers this message to the reader effectively by using metaphors, allusions, and imagery. To begin, Sylvia Plath uses many metaphors throughout her poem “Daddy” to describe the narrator’s father and the relationship…show more content…
Early on in “Daddy”, Plath uses a very strong, yet dark metaphor: “An engine, an engine / Chuffing me off like a Jew. / A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen” (lines 30-33). According to Sylvia Plath:A Biography, Sylvia’s father, Otto Plath, was born in Grabow, Germany, and after moving to the United States, he taught German at several universities (Kirk). Plath references to Otto Plath’s German nationality and compares the narrator to a Jew, showing the intense differences between the narrator and the father. This also suggests that he may have held authority and male power over the narrator and his family, causing them to fear him. According to an article published by NPR about Plath’s husband, Ted Hughes, he was not loyal to her and did not support her throughout her battle with mental illness, contributing to her committing suicide (“Ted Hughes, Life Of Poetry And Tragedy”). She…show more content…
As a writer, she uses several techniques that are uncommon. For example, she skips around from the inside of a shoe to a small Polish town where her father was raised, giving the poem no specific setting. Lines 8-10 are an example of imagery when Plath writes, “Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, / Ghastly statue with one gray toe / Big as a Frisco seal” (8-10). Although Plath is literally describing the appearance of a statue, she is actually writing about the father’s dead body. Sylvia Plath frequently uses imagery throughout her poem, “Daddy”, to allow the reader to feel more connected through touch, sight, and emotional appeal. In conclusion, Sylvia Plath was a writer who was strongly influenced by her emotions, hardships, and mental illness. Events throughout her life, such as her marriage and childhood, also greatly contributed to her poetry. I agree with the message Sylvia Plath conveys to the reader. She is protesting against male dominance, which the narrator had felt by her father all of her life. Following her father’s death, the narrator finally embraces
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