Sylvia Plath: Poems

Sylvia Plath's "Daddy": A Cry for Help 10th Grade

Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” is considered by some to be one of the best examples of confessional poetry ever published. In the poem, Plath compares the horrors of Nazism to the horrors of her own life, all of which are centered on the death of her father. Although autobiographical in nature, “Daddy” gives detailed insight into Sylvia Plath’s conflicting emotions by intertwining fact and fiction into an alternate reality through the use of metaphors and symbolism. The poem ultimately reveals the underlying anger and resentment Sylvia Plath feels toward her father for leaving her life so early.

Divided by a couple of years of limbo surrounding her father’s death, Sylvia Plath’s childhood was broken up into two parts: innocence before the death of her father and the harsh reality of life after his death. Until she was eight years old, life was kind to Sylvia. She had a brother two years younger than she, and the family lived near Nauset, Massachusetts. That year tragedy struck the family: Otto Plath, her father and a professor of Zoology and German at Boston University, died from complications of untreated diabetes. Sylvia Plath was never able to fully accept the loss of her father and was conflicted in her feelings about her father...

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