Mr. David Tallantire

In: English and Literature

Submitted By dtallantire212
Words 1526
Pages 7
Q: To what extent can Marxism be applied to the poem, ‘Daddy’, written by Sylvia Plath?

WORD COUNT: 1,503

A: Marxist Literary Criticism views literary works as reflections of the social institutions from which they originate. This being said, even literature itself is a social institution and has a specific ideological function, based on the background and ideology of the author. It includes analysing the class constructs conveyed in the literature and examines the ways in which texts reveals ideological oppression of a dominant economic ruling class over the subordinate working classes. It is here used to analyse ‘Daddy’, written by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963). The poem is supposedly to be about the psychological relationship Plath had with her father, Otto Emil Plath. Her poem makes great use of metaphor, alliteration, repetition, symbolism and imagery. The poem was written by Plath on the 12th of October, 1962. It was written a year before Plath’s suicide on the 11th of February, 1963. The poem was published posthumously, in her vast collection of poetry named Ariel, in 1965. It is a rancorous and brutal poem, consisting of sixteen-five line stanzas. Within the poem, the language alternates between a lyrical tone and an ironic critique of the endless depth of despair Plath feels. ‘Daddy’ works in its entirety by creating a replica of Plath’s supposed psychic state in the readers, so that we almost re-live her despair, horror, rage, revenge, insanity and masochism. Throughout ‘Daddy’ there is an emotionally distraught rhythm, almost bringing us as readers to the comprehension of Plath’s tortured mental state. In the exact same sentiment that Marxism is concerned with alienation, the overwhelming impression of the poem is that of alienation, amongst others. In addition, Plath clearly expresses her personal unsettling relationship with her…...

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