March 02, 2005


Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): Plath, ''Daddy''

I have never read Plath before and all I really knew about her was that she wrote the "Bell Jar" and that she committed suicide. In the poem where she says
"If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now."
Could she mean that another man who was not her father but pretended to be, a step father or something? possibly molested her or somethign like that. Just the language used in those lines makes me sort of think that way. I think that the poem is sort of about her "killing" her father in her own mind. Kind of like getting over the things she went through and killing the memory of her father. It was not enough that he died, she had to mentally sever herself from him in her own mind. It seems to me that Sylvia Plath is infatuated with death, I just now read her poem Last Words in our poetry book and it is about her own death soon to come.

Posted by MaryAnderson at March 2, 2005 09:22 PM | TrackBack

Good point Mary...maybe she was abused in her childhood. That would give a whole new twist to the Nazi references - maybe all she's doing is comparing her father's cruelty to that of the Germans, but how would we explain the hatred of the villagers in that case? Maybe its a metaphor for finally "freeing" herself from her past. Maybe she's just buried it.

Posted by: Neha at March 2, 2005 10:31 PM

I never looked at the poem like that. I thought that she killed her father or watched her father die and somehow did nothing to help him survive because he was so horrible to her. And then I thought she married someone who was just like him. I think that because of the lines " I do, I do". I think it gives the poem a good twist, but I like your idea too!

Posted by: Gina at March 3, 2005 09:15 AM
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