Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” as Autobiography


Author: Najoua Stambouli, University of Sfax, Tunisia
Email: [email protected]
Published: June 05, 2020

Citation: Stambouli, N. (2020). Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” as Autobiography. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 7(1).


Sylvia Plath’s Ariel collection of poems placed her among the United States’ most important confessional poets of the twentieth century. Almost all the poems in Ariel, which were written during the last few months of Plath’s life and published after her death, are “personal, confessional, felt” (Lowell, 1996, p. xiii). Several events that are mentioned in these poems make reference to the poet’s own life experience. Plath, indeed, “transformed her own life into writing” (Bassnett, 2005, p. 5). Analyses such as these have led some critics to consider much of Plath’s poetry to be an eloquent expression of her own factual experience. “Daddy”, one of the best-known poems in the Ariel volume, incorporates several autobiographical details worthy of note. The first part of this research paper is an investigation into the diverse autobiographical elements present in “Daddy”; the second part is an analysis of Plath’s faithfulness in transforming details about her private life into art.

Keywords: confessional poetry, autobiography, personal reality, Confessional School