In "Daddy" by Sylvia Plath, how is the theme of loneliness developed?

Expert Answers info

janihash24 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write114 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Sylvia Plath herself claimed this poem was not strictly autobiographical, that she was writing about other people: a girl who was part Jewish and a father who was a Nazi.
However, it's obvious from Plath's life that the poem was inspired by her real father, who died when she was about eight, and whom she blamed, as children do, for deserting her when he was needed. (It's instructive to note that in the passage in which Plath writes "You stand at the blackboard, daddy, / In the picture I have of you, / A cleft in your chin instead of your foot," her father actually did have a cleft in his chin, and that she is picturing him as a devil. In the poem, it is for being a Nazi; in her life, it is for his death and, therefore, desertion of her.)

Her intense longing for a loving father persisted throughout her life, and her...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 455 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial