An Unfolding of Sylvia Plath's Daddy Metaphors of Tragedy Emotions and Death The theme of death is prevalent though out the journey of metaphorical emotions winding through a mythical yet powerful patriarch Daddy p 983 985 Ironically the figure of speech illustrates the metaphorical tragedies leading to Plath s death at the age of 30 February 11 1963 McGill par 9 The female speaker in the poem strategically uses metaphors and cultural context to show tragedy and death The feministic cultural context was apparent in her time and the imagery associated with male patriarchy By analyzing portions of several stanzas we get an explicative irony between her life and the poem The psychological hold of her father is attempted to be diminished by the speaker While maintaining the part of him she misses and loves still maintaining the theme through the poem to the end Right away we begin to see a theme of death while introducing objects and using metaphors to describe the angry attack on daddy you 983 line 1 black shoe 983 line 2 and I have had to kill you 983 line 6 She also carries the theme when she tells of his death and tries to commit suicide I was ten when they buried you 984 line 57 and At twenty I tried to die 98 line 58
Then again when Plath tells of the replica of her father in her husband If I ve killed one man I ve killed two 983 line 71 Plath s father died when she was eight Plath adored her father and constantly sought his approval as penned by McGill McGill par 1 She married British poet Ted Hughes and after a miscarriage and stormy relationship they were separated McGill par 6 Plath had been deserted by her husband for another woman The cultural context of women through a powerful patriarchy was the life in society of that period Path was in the age when men were the main force and women were thought as beneath them In an article taking a look at history of social conditions Ruden stated Most of Plath s work played frantically to literary fashions and she exhausted herself with efforts at elaborate private and public women s roles submissive good girl student Seven Sisters candidate for Ivy League chatelaine glamourmag fiction impresario glamour puss and seductress but most strenuously nurturing wife and mother and supportive daughter of an ailing overstressed widow Her truest voice was one of despair in the months before her suicide at only 30
To me what seems to have been most tragically lacking for her was not freedom or opportunity but patriarchal oppression and condescension Ruden par 6 Plath is determined to bring about a change the father figure being killed is symbolic of female oppression Otherwise she would have allowed it to kill her spiritually The genre of tragedy continues metaphorically throughout Sylvia Plath s life she grew up familiar with death either physically or mentally The effect of emotional compassion is reached through imagery symbolism and wordplay Daddy is comprised of sixteen five line stanzas taking a journey of emotions on a track of mythical death and tragedies In a figure of speech metaphorically even though the tragic events of Path s life Daddy is evidence of her profound talent The age in which she lived traumas of life and her confrontational personal history ironically made her able to write a part of her unbiased An interesting fact comes in picture where it says You stand at the blackboard daddy in the picture I have of you 984 line 51 that her father was a professor
Symbolically he is by a blackboard and she paints a picture of him as a dark shadow of a man In the end the phrase I m through 984 line 80 implies the process of freeing herself from her father s grip On February 11 1963 she put her head in the gas oven and died of asphyxiation She loses herself as if to say that she finally managed to free herself Ironically the theme of death follows to the end with the loss of Daddy and suicide The feministic cultural of the time was symbolic to female oppression and metaphorical to Daddy I have had to kill you 983 line 6 The genre of tragedy continues throughout Sylvia Plath s life either physically or mentally In a figure of speech the phrase I m through 983 line 80 shows she has managed to be free As if the conflict has been settled for once and for all signaling a new beginning and new opportunities Plath wrote Daddy on 12 October 1962 four months before succeeding at suicide fifteen days before her thirtieth birthday Through her theme of death she is free
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