Sunday, November 9, 2014


Reading Alison Bechdel's comic, I was reminded of the character assassination that Sylvia Plath wrote specifically to "kill the memory" of her dead father (Daddy).  I do not doubt that what Bechdel describes did happen and is an accurate portrait of her father, unlike Plath's story.  It is interesting how these women, who live(d) outside the realm of the expected feminine ideals, attribute much of their identity to the early deaths of their fathers.  Sylvia's father did not directly kill himself, but refusing medical care and examinations led to his early grave.  Bechdel's father did have a sordid life of secrets and problems, which the author writes about candidly, clearly still working out her own feelings on his parenting and her affection for him.  Unlike Sylvia who seemed to genuinely look up to her father in life but whose death and her experience with her own older, suffocating, husband, led her to seek release form his memory.  Some of us cannot escape the influences of our past, like Plath, and other choose to continually grow and learn from it - the look for it's influence in their adult lives and try to remember more or see things differently, like Bechdel.  Did you notice any other similarities that I missed?  

1 comment:

  1. Eleanor,
    I didn't even think about the connections between these two pieces, but you are right; they are there. I wonder if there is some similarity to in terms of form. Plath uses that sing-songy almost nursery rhyme feel that serves as an interesting (sometimes jarring) juxtaposition to the subject matter. Do you think Bechdel's artistic style works similarly?