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by Sylvia Plath

Daddy Mortality Quotes

How we cite our quotes: stanza, line

Quote #4

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue. (lines 61-62)

Rather than showing us more of this speaker's obsession with death, these lines demonstrate the resilience of life. Unfortunately for our speaker, it's not a happy life that she's restored to. She feels like she's been pulled out of a sack and stuck together haphazardly.

Quote #5

If I've killed one man, I've killed two – (line 71)

We can guess that the speaker didn't kill her father – after all, she was only ten when he died. It also seems unlikely that she killed her husband, who is the second victim referenced here. But this line finally shows our narrator as the wielder, and not the victim, of mortality. Perhaps she'd prefer to have killed her father rather than to think of him as passing away as a result of something she can't control.

Quote #6

Daddy, you can lie back now

There's a stake in your fat black heart (lines 75-76)

These lines treat death as a form of relaxation – the father can lie back in his grave now that he's been killed again. But this is no ordinary death – it's vampire death. The father is already dead, but has refused to die in the mind of our speaker. So she has to kill him as if he is a vampire, by putting a stake in his heart. But he can lie back now that he is dead, and leave his daughter alone.

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