Mirror by Silvia Paleth

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Women in our society are obsessed with personal appearance some would say. Sylvia Plath’s poem “Mirror” emphasizes just how much people care about their appearance. Mirrors tell the truth, but people have a hard time accepting it. I believe that Sylvia Plath uses the mirror as a living entity to convey the message that accepting oneself is a hard process, but everyone is capable of doing it. The poem’s title “Mirror” is very important because the mirror in the poem is the speaker. The poem allows the reader to get a sense of what a mirror might be thinking, instead of the person who in looking in the mirror. The lines “I am silver and exact,” start of the poem. These lines don’t just describe the mirror they also remind the reader how something can be perfect, but yet so delicate. The fragileness of the mirror represents the fragileness off a woman’s confidence, she might feel more beautiful than ever but with one negative comment, her confidence can plunge. The mirror offers the truth to its owner, in this case, who is having a difficult time coming to accept that she is aging. “I am not cruel only truthful,” states the mirror. This line emphasizes that the truth can be hard to swallow but nevertheless the mirror reflects the truth. The woman might not like the truth she sees but she has to work towards accepting it. More into the poem the mirror states, “Now I am a lake.” Plath adds this line to make the allusion to Narcissus. Narcissus was a vain hunter in a Greek mythology that was known for his beauty. He saw his reflection in a lake and he was so into it that he fell in and drowned. This allusion indicates that when one is so into themselves it can be bad for them. In Narcissus’s case it leads to his death. The mirror is trying to prevent the same fate for his owner. The mirror also says, “In me she has drowned a young girl.” This indicates that the woman’s image of being beautiful is gone. In her mind her beauty was drained and she does not like what she...
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