For a Fatherless Son

February 10, 2008


after reading about Slyvia Plath, and learning that her father died when she was young, it made me realize the reasoning behind all of her poems about father figures ( or lack there of). In her poem For a Fatherless Son, it seems as though she is saying that she is ok without the figure there.

¬†“You will be aware of an absence, presently, growing beside you, like a tree.” When the father figure is there, you will be aware of it there, growing beside you the entire way.

“I look in and find no face but my own, and you think that’s funny. It’s good for me.” Instead of looking and seeing a face formed by her father, she says her own, which is good for her. it allowed her to develop on her own.

“One day you may touch what’s wrong (..) till then your smiles are found money.” Is Plath saying that her father’s absense is found money, as in his will? this is the part that i couldnt grasp. He may be able to touch her in one way or another someday, but that is not going to affect the way she is going to live her life. She is able to identify herself. Plath’s ability to define herself says a lot about the poems she wrote, which seem to be very dark . if you hold her poems about her father next to Hopkin’s poems about the son being the father figure, they are complete contrasts of the other. It shows the afffect that figure¬†can have.



February 1, 2008

fl_31.jpgIn this poem, Hitler is Daddy. In way which she describes the holocaust, she talks about “Daddy” making her do things. “Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time.” I think she is writing from the perspective of a younger child experiencing the holocaust, trying to be perfect. “I have always ben sacred of you, with your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo. And your neat mustache.” “I made a model of you.” It reminded me of the idea that when it comes to looking up to a parent figure, a lot of times children strive for perfection, but are never able to get there. maybe the reason plath wrote like this was because she tried to be perfect.

“There’s a stake in your fat black heart and the villagers never liked. They are dancing and stamping on you. They always knew it was you. Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.” it reminded me of when sometimes children leave their parents, and are fed up with their ways. It is also an interesting poem, especially written by plath because her father died when she was young. maybe that is the perfection she was striving for, something she didn’t have.