Identify and discuss briefly a symbol, metaphor, or simile in Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” which can be analyzed using historical criticism.

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dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sylvia Plath a wonderful, talented poet in Daddy portrays herself as being totally controlled and dominated by her father. She refers to herself as the foot and her father as the black shoe, black symbolizing gloom and despair. She alludes to her depression because she is bound to the memory of her father, even in death. She feels her father controls her even though he is dead. She resents him and blames him for leaving her. In mockery of her father she refers to God. She alludes to sickness and nausea when she contrasts the colors of the water, "bean green" and blue.

She feels as though she could be a Jew being transported to a death camp and her father is the commander of the camp. She compares her father to the Devil because of the cleft on the fathers chin and the cleft on the hoof's of the devil. A consuming theme of darkness is illustrated by the black telephone.