What do the Holocaust allusions, in Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" bring to the poem?

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The poems and stories of Sylvia Plath have not lacked for posthumous analysis by academics and authors in the five decades since her suicide.  Considered a "confessional" writer whose works are semi-autobiographical, and whose lifetime bout with depression certainly contributed to the content of her work, "Daddy" represents one of Plath's more controversial poems, no subject being more sensitive than the Holocaust.

Relationships between fathers and daughters are often complex, especially if the father is somewhat cold or distant and not prone to outward demonstrations of love. That Plath's father was a German emigre has to be considered an important factor in her decision to remember him through the prism of the German nation's -- and the world's -- most despicable act of mass murder.  Otto Plath's death when Sylvia was only eight years old meant that the impression he had on a very young child was the one that would remain embedded in her consciousness for...

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