Destructive Relationships in Plath's 'Daddy' and 'Tulips'

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How does Plath explore destructive relationships in Daddy and Tulips? Destructive relationships were a weak point in Plath’s life, as she was constantly disappointed by the relationships she had with others, such as that between her mother, father, husband and child. Her poems, which are partly stimulated by them, particularly ‘Daddy’ and ‘Tulips’, are a powerful source of ‘murderous art’, where she was able to expose her bitterness and resentment towards them. She uses recurring imagery associated with the three protagonists in her life, and poetry in attempt of breaking free from the chains of a ‘tortured mind of the heroine’. Plath’s gift of recreating her past experiences in a complex form, so as to remove them from her present, started to seem like an obsession, within which her poems show a regular pattern of self-centredness. It was this characteristic that lead her far from any ‘self-discovery’ and ‘self-definition’, and drove her to her death, ‘an art’ as she puts it. ‘Daddy’ is saturated with suppressed anger and dark imagery through Plath’s use of ambiguous symbolism, as it bitterly addresses the relationship she had with her father, who died when she was eight, and her husband Ted Hughes, who had broken her ‘pretty red heart in two’. It is intense with highly suppressed emotion, setting an aggressive, desperate, almost psychic tone that is highly concentrated on the theme of death. Grieved to the point of psychotic anger, Plath’s use of imagery throughout the poem accentuates the hopeless despair she felt at the conflicting male relationships in her life. The metaphor ‘black shoe/ In which I have lived like a foot’, possibly used to denote a person, suggests a stifling image. The speaker claims to have lived in that shoe, almost as if unwillingly trapped. Whilst it suggests protection, the colour imagery of black, which is a recurring motif in the poem,
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