The Poetry of Sylvia Plath Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analysis of how the universal is made specific in Sylvia Plath's poems, "Daddy," "Morning Song" and "The Moon and the Yew Tree".
# 150697 | 1,175 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Mar 30, 2012 in Literature (American) , Literature (Poetry)


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Description:

The paper examines how in the poem "Daddy", a strange, highly personal situation is articulated over the course of the poem, yet is given a universal resonance, thus chronicling a personal misery that is shared by all of Europe. The paper then looks at the poem "Morning Song," and how it addresses Plath's complicated relationship with parenting, while articulating how many women resent the child who now burdens them and inhibits their freedom. Finally, the paper analyzes how in "The Moon and the Yew Tree", the mother's voice echoes the daughter in the universal wish of mothers to be more like the ideal, and the children who wish to have ideal mothers.

From the Paper:

""Every woman," writes Sylvia Plath in her poem "Daddy," "loves a fascist." On a surface level, the poem seems to detail a very specific situation. The speaker of the poem is the child of a dead Nazi officer. She has tried to recreate her tormented relationship with her father, half-consciously and half-consciously, in her relationships with other men. "Then I knew what to do. /I made a model of you," she says, speaking of dealing with her feelings about her father. She becomes intent upon selecting a "man in black with a Meinkampf look" to love in place of the father she only knew as a distant, cruel presence.
"The brilliance of Plath's poem is that it is about a personal matter connected to a specific historical event, namely the Holocaust, but is sufficiently generalized in its depiction of women and men so every woman can identify with the speaker's struggle for a sense of self-worth. Every woman who has invested too much in a relationship with a cruel and abusive man can see herself mirrored in the speaker's hatred of her father: "You died before I had time," says the speaker, vowing to kill her 'daddy,' and instead turning upon herself. As with all of Plath's poems, including "Morning Song," and "The Moon and the Yew Tree," a strange, highly personal situation is articulated over the course of the poem, yet is given a universal resonance by the tormented, but extremely articulate feminine voice of the poet."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Plath, Sylvia. "Daddy." Full text available October 8, 2009 at http://www.internal.org/view_poem.phtml?poemID=356
  • Plath, Sylvia. "The Moon and the Yew Tree." Full text available October 8, 2009 at http://www.angelfire.com/tn/plath/yew.html
  • Plath, Sylvia. "Morning Song." Full text available October 8, 2009 at http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15293

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Poetry of Sylvia Plath (2012, March 30) Retrieved June 01, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-poetry-of-sylvia-plath-150697/

MLA Format

"The Poetry of Sylvia Plath" 30 March 2012. Web. 01 June. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-poetry-of-sylvia-plath-150697/>

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