Mirror - Sylvia Plath

In: English and Literature

Submitted By rishikadaswani
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Mirror – Sylvia Plath

This poem is by Sylvia Plath and the narrator is a mirror. The mirror is personified and is endowed with many human traits. This poem is about a mirror that reflects only what it is shown and hence the role of the mirror is said to be the revealer of the reality and truthfulness. The mirror is also said to be faithful.

The interesting features’ regarding this poem is how the poet changes tones between the two stanzas, which makes the ending impactful. In the first stanza, the mirror and its role is introduced. The mirror is lonely and its only companion is the wall of which it feels it has become a part of. The mirror shows us some of its human characteristics. However in the second stanza the poet brings in human life, a woman and it is also now a lake, which reflects the unsatisfied lady. The second stanza also shows the comparison of when the lady was young and now when she has become old.

The factor of age is brought into the poem, which shows that the lady is getting old and that her reflection in the mirror is displeasing her. The woman turns to other objects such as “The candle” and “The moon” to which the author describes as “liars” which means that they don’t show her for who she really is. The author uses the candle as symbolism for life and the triumph over darkness. However the use of these objects could also represent how humans turn away from the actual truth and go seek something to which they might find more pleasant.

The ending of the poem when the mirror describes the lady as a “terrible fish” gives the reader a shock because it is quite aggressive. Throughout the whole poem the language used is quite modern and pleasurable, however towards the end the illusion of pleasant language is shattered. Usually old ladies are not described this way hence I feel it gives the poem an edge towards the end, which makes…...

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