She then tries to re-create him by marrying a man like him. She certainly uses Holocaust imagery, but does so alongside other violent myths and history, including those of Electra, vampirism, and voodoo. It symbolizes the relationship that they once had, and how it has affected her throughout her whole life. The allusions of the Second World War are all real. The climactic part of the poem is the speaker finally telling her father that she is through with him.
They appease her with falsities, whereas the mirror shows her the truth. In the daughter the two strains marry and paralyze each other — she has to act out the awful little allegory once over before she is free of it. In fact, he drained the life from her. The lake, being a kind of mirror, is truthful as well. Plath would then move to Cambridge, England and marry fellow poet, Ted Hughes. Her friend, poet Anne Sexton, composed a Unitarian eulogy and wrote a verse tribute. She compares her father with a huge statue, a remnant of a fallen god.
This she does by referring to the names of places, things and events that associate with the Nazis like — Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen infamous concentration camps , swastika, fascist, Mein Kampf. When she describes that one of his toes is as big as a seal, it reveals to the reader just how enormous and overbearing her father seemed to her. In particular, these limitations can be understood as patriarchal forces that enforce a strict gender structure. Stretching from history to pop consciousness we find the image of the vampire. She has tasted darkness in her mouth and is coming out of it.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon. This girl is none other than Plath herself. They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls. Sylvia Plath herself also did not describe the poem in autobiographical terms. Although only Colossus was published while she was alive, Plath was a prolific poet, and in addition to Ariel, Hughes published three other volumes of her work posthumously, including The Collected Poems, which was the recipient of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize.
Then, on February 11, 1963, during one of the worst English winters on record, Plath wrote a note to her downstairs neighbor instructing him to call the doctor, then she died by suicide using her gas oven. She tries to recover her lost security by trying to tend to the fallen statue. The next line goes on to explain that the speaker actually did not have time to kill her father, because he died before she could manage to do it. The second stanza of the poem looks at a woman through the eyes of the mirror as a lake and describes her life and how she is slowly growing towards old age. Even though he was a cruel, overbearing brute, at one point in her life, she loved him dearly. The tone is also that of a surprised grief.
This is why she describes her father as a giant black swastika that covered the entire sky. The poet finally concludes her long poem by bidding goodbye to her father, which portrays a bittersweet touch of anguish, love, and despair. In the guise of a vengeful bride of Dracula, she kills off the real and the imagined father, a monstrous, self-damning double murder intended to set her free. In fact, while the nursery rhyme nearly charms the reader for the first two or three stanzas, by the end of the poem it can be seen as nothing more than cruel literary irony. It has elicited a variety of distinct reactions, from feminist praise of its unadulterated rage towards male dominance, to wariness at its usage of Holocaust imagery. She claims that all the villagers also hated and still hate him. The rider feels herself becoming one with the horse as she flies into the hot sun.
Plath's usage of Holocaust imagery has inspired a plethora of critical attention. But, her relationship and her memories of her father all seem to go downhill, even after he had died. This reveals that even though her father may have been a beautiful specimen of a human being, she knew personal that there was something awful about him. She describes him as a Nazi officer. The speaker could be saying that she killed her father but only in her mind. The change through which the speaker is going is described in the next stanza. Ironically she says that the statue could be an oracle that hardly speaks.
Peel off the napkin O my enemy. She tells him he can lie back now. After graduation, Plath moved to Cambridge, England, on a Fulbright Scholarship. As the poem progresses, the readers begin to realize that the speaker has not always hated her father. These love-hate feelings of Plath for her father have stayed with her for so long, that they have eventually begun to trouble her psychologically.