sylvia.bmpSylvia Plath

Also wrote under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas American poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, memoirist, and scriptwriter. Known primarily for her poetry, Plath also wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The book's protagonist, Esther Greenwood, is a bright, ambitious Smith College student who begins to experience a breakdown while interning for a fashion magazine in New York. This parallels Plath's experience interning at Mademoiselle Magazine and her own subsequent mental breakdown and suicide attempt. Along with Anne Sexton, Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry that Robert Lowell and W.D. Snodgrass initiated.

Principal Works

Poetry The Colossus and Other Poems (1960)  Ariel (1965) Three Women: A monologue for three voices (1968)  Crossing the Water (1971) Winter Trees (1972) The Collected Poems (1981)

Selected Poems (1985)

Prose The Bell Jar (1963) under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas"  Letters Home (1975)  Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams (1977)  The Journals of Sylvia Plath (1982)  The Magic Mirror(1989), Plath's Smith College senior thesis  The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, edited by Karen V. Kukil (2000)

Children's books The Bed Book (1976)  The It-Doesn't-Matter-Suit (1996) Collected Children's Stories (UK, 2001) Mrs. Cherry's Kitchen (2001)

Summary of the PoemExamines "Daddy", by Sylvia Plath, on the theme of male oppression and struggling to become free from a father's influence.

Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” uses powerful, vivid imagery to describe Plat’s feeling of being dominated by men, particularly her late father and her repressive husband. Using Nazi images and drawing physical parallels between her father and Hitler, Plath expresses the emotional void and resentment that she felt after her father died when she was eight years old. Feeling controlled by her father’s memory and victimized by her husband, who reminded her of her father, Plath compares her life to that of a foot trapped inside a black shoe. This poem starts out describing her struggle as one that has been unresolved because she was just a child when her father died. "Daddy, I have had to kill you. / You died before I had time / Marble-heavy, a bag full of God," (lines 6-8). She gives us the sense that she had built up her father so much in her mind after he died that the weight of these thoughts and imaginations became too heavy to carry around anymore and she finally realized that in order for her to move on in life she would have to "kill her father's" memory.

This then is seemingly the turning point in her life were she no longer feels oppressed by her father and is free of his burden on her. "So daddy, I'm finally through. / The black telephone's off at the root," (lines 68-69). She is no longer listening to the inner demons tormenting her, she wants to begin anew. However Plath's inner conflicts which began with her father ended up continuing on into her future relationships.

Amaal Mohammed, Entizar Sabah, Salwa Araceli