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Daddy

Daddy

by Sylvia Plath

Freedom and Confinement Theme

Throughout "Daddy," the speaker is trapped by memories of her father. In the first stanza, she says that she feels she's been living like a foot in a shoe, a metaphor for the confinement that she's been placed in by her father and his memory. Even when she tries to marry, she's trapped into marrying someone like her father.

Questions About Freedom and Confinement

  1. How do you think the death of the speaker's father changes the nature of how he confines the speaker?
  2. What does the image of the speaker being confined like a foot in a shoe evoke for you?
  3. How does this poem comment on the freedom of women in society, especially in the 1960s?
  4. What comment does this poem's description of marriage make on the idea of freedom and confinement in marriage?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The father-daughter relationship in this poem is a metaphor for male-female relationships in general.

Once the speaker in this poem has escaped the confinement of her father, she ends up confined in marriage to a similar man.

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