The Stanzas, “Not God But A Swastika” And “A Paperweight,

641 words - 3 pages

The stanzas, ?Not God but a swastika? and ?A paperweight, / my face a featureless, fine / Jew linen,? are perfect examples of how Sylvia Plath brings to the reader?s attention the horrors of the holocaust. ?Lady Lazarus? and ?Daddy? are companion pieces in which the poet communicates her personal pain, suffering, and attempts at self-healing. Although Sylvia Plath?s poems ?Daddy? and ?Lady Lazarus? are about different subjects, through the use of imagery, allusion, metaphors, and similes the poet draws ones attention to the holocaust.The poem ?Daddy? opens with a reference to the father?s black shoe, in which the daughter persona states, ?In which I have lived like a foot / For thirty years, poor and white, / Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.,? which suggest feelings of submissiveness and entrapment. The poem then moves to an idealized image of the father, ?Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,? suggesting to the reader that the speaker has a love-hate relationship with the father persona.The father image is represented as a symbol of the Nazi oppression of the Jews. For example, the man at the blackboard in the picture of the actual father is transformed symbolically into the ?man in black a Meinkampf look.? The connecting link between each of these associations is the word ?black,? which also relates to the shoe in which the speaker has lived. The historical references allow the poet to dramatize her rebellion against the oppressive father and disown the deity turned demon in the declaration, ?Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I?m through.? Although ?Lady Lazarus? is about suicide and resurrection, the poet uses metaphors to equate her suffering with the experiences of the tortured Jews. As a result of the suicide she inflicts on herself she becomes a Jew. The public horrors of the Nazi concentration camps and...

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