Daddy Sylvia Plath Literary Devices

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many aspects of her domestic life from childhood through to marriage and motherhood. Most recognisably in Plath’s poem ‘Daddy’ in which she refers subtly to her father as a Nazi and to herself as a Jew when saying “An engine, an engine/ Chuffing me off like a Jew.” She highlights her feeling of victimisation at the hands of her father, by characterising herself as a helpless Jew. This heightens our feelings for the subject of the poem as we as readers bring intertextuality of our own from our insight on the experiences of the Jews. This reference to a grave modern event allows the text to develop more layers thus making the reading of it more personal for the reader. Perkins-Gilman, too, uses many literary devices such as lists to embody her…show more content…
Whilst Wharton describes a much more physical and thus more relatable form of entrapment at the beginning of ‘Ethan Frome’ when the Narrator says that Ethan has “been in Starkfield too many winters” connoting a cold image of physical entrapment that makes the reader feel sympathy for what appears to be a man who cannot escape. However towards the end the reader is informed that as a consequence of “the smash up?...he had to stay then”. This can have various effects on the reader as although one could feel empathy as Ethan has had the morals to stay with his bed-ridden wife, he has throughout desired and intended to escape with another woman; yet on the other hand from a post-modern perspective one could pity a time in which one was not allowed to pursue their own independent wishes. Wharton displays the hold that social convention has upon Ethan’s desires, as although he has one night alone with Mattie, he cannot help but be reminded of his domestic duties as he sits in his kitchen. Contrastingly Plath’s use of a persona in ‘Daddy’ illustrates the latent functions of the…show more content…
Whilst Plath takes on a polyphonic range of voices in her poetry; taking on a Jewish persona in ‘Daddy’, exploring the free woman in ‘Lady Lazarus’ and the oppressed woman in ‘Metaphors’ she puts ‘a stake in the fat, black heart’ of patriarchal literature. In both ‘The Rocking Chair’ and ‘An Extinct Angel’ Perkins-Gilman writes through the male voice to envisage what a male utopian society would be like. She takes patriarchal ideals to the extremes in ‘An Extinct Angel’ when saying ‘The human creatures did not like intelligent angels’ as a means of supporting her campaign for the ‘feminisation of education’ which focused on making the institution become gender balanced as she hoped it ‘would train women in critical and analytical thought’ . By using the male voice she highlights the abuse of power by men and in ‘The Rocking Chair’ she shows the consequences when Hal dies, thus undermining patriarchal control and forcing her readers to question the safety of the hands which hold the power of society. The form of the short-story is effective in expressing a short, sharp message to readers particularly when Gilman wanted them to be read and understood universally in a time in which further education was for the male elite only. Contrastingly Wharton’s novella

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