Homework Help

In "Lady Lazarus," does Plath show adoration towards a fascistic male?

user profile pic

kc76384 | Valedictorian

Posted May 17, 2012 at 3:20 AM via web

dislike 2 like

In "Lady Lazarus," does Plath show adoration towards a fascistic male?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 17, 2012 at 9:58 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

I am not sure I see much in way of adoration or admiration of the fascistic male in the poem.  I think that Plath is using the imagery of the Holocaust to bring out the victimization that she experienced at the hands of men in her life, in particular her father.  The same type of connection between the fascist in the Nazi and in her father seen in "Daddy" is seen here.  It is not surprising that both poems were written within a fortnight of one another.  Whereas in "Daddy," Plath says, with loaded language, "Every woman adores a fascist," it seems as if she has taken a more sharp and bitter turn in this poem.  The idea of her coming back to life from the dead is primarily to take revenge on the men, in particular her father, who have done her wrong.  The last stanza of the poem confirms this:

Out of the ash

I rise with my red hair

and I eat men like air

This ending, along with the use of "Herr Doktor," "Herr Lucifer," and "Herr God" in the previous stanzas, confirm that she is not one who adores the fascistic male.  Rather, she actively seeks to confront and exact some measure of revenge upon this force that has taken from her.  Plath is not speaking from a point of view in admiration or adoration here.  It is deliberate that in likening herself to a victim of the Holocaust, she speaks to the idea that she has been violated, but will not recede quietly as a result.  Rather, the fiery image of her coming out of this dead state and consuming the men who have sought to consume her almost as one consumes oxygen is one where there is more condemnation than adoration.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes