Woman Loves her Father, Every Woman Loves a Fascist:
The Politics and Poetics of Despair in Plath's "Daddy"
Sylvia Plath is one of the most famous poets to emerge in the late 20th century. Partially due to the success of her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, which details her partial recovery from suicidal depression, Plath's poetry has been frequently analyzed through the lens of her clinical mental problems. "Dying is An Art," the critic George Steiner titles of his essay on Plath, referring not only to a line from her poem "Lady Lazarus" but the critical elision of the poet's personal suicidal depression with the source of her confessional poetic gift. For instance, Plath's masterpiece, "Daddy," is a dramatic monologue in the voice of a German woman whose father was a Nazi. Yet despite the 'assumed' nature of "Daddy's" voice and the apparent divergence of poet from the speaker, the...
[ View Full Essay]