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What is the Plath’s references to Germans and Jews in "Daddy" and how does...

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ktlau | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 3, 2008 at 7:11 PM via web

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What is the Plath’s references to Germans and Jews in "Daddy" and how does Plath use these groups to convey theme?

Tagged with daddy, germans, jews, literature, themes

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reidalot | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted September 4, 2008 at 4:07 AM (Answer #1)

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Plath references Germans in two ways. First of all, the Germans who have "Aryan eye, bright blue" and "a swastika" are likened to Daddy. These are the Germans of Hitler's world. Both are brutes and "every woman adores a Fascist."

However, she considers that she, herself, could be a German Jew: "Chuffing me off like a Jew." Plath goes on to say, "With my gypsy ancestress...I may be a bit of a Jew." She sees herself as persecuted like the Jews, and the Germans of Hitler's realm, metaphorically, become her Daddy. In this way, Plath develops the theme of persecution through her lack of a relationship with her father.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted September 4, 2008 at 8:58 AM (Answer #2)

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In addition, the references to the Germans and Jews is metaphorical because of how the Germans took the lives of the Jews...killed them, just as a vampire might suck the blood out of his/her victims or a spider sucks the life out of a fly caught in its web. In many ways, the death of her father "killed" Sylvia Plath.  It was a horribly painful thing for her to lose her father.  

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