Mirror by Sylvia Plath

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In the poem "Mirror", Sylvia Plath employs many different poetic devices to develop her message that people need the truth although it may be hurtful. Plath uses a mirror and then a lake as a metaphor for the truth. She also makes the mirror come alive with personification, simile and metonymy. These other devices are important to the poem and the scene it creates, but the mirror being a metaphor for truth is the most important.

The poem is basically about a woman looking into a mirror. As she ages and grows less attractive, she is hesitant about looking into the mirror but realizes that she needs the truth, even if it is hurtful. This shows that the mirror is a metaphor for the truth. Some lines that help show this are “I have no preconceptions./ Whatever I see I swallow immediately/ Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike./ I am not cruel, only truthful” (lines 1-4). In the first line, the mirror is saying that it doesn't discriminate against anyone, it doesn't care what anyone looks like. The second line says that it reflects what it see, the third saying that it reflects the exact same image. The fourth line says that it isn't cruel, only truthful, which in a way is a lie because the truth is often times cruel. The deeper meaning of these lines help to reveal that the mirror isn't just about reflecting an image, but reflecting the truth. Even if people don't want to view the truth, they still do because they need it, which is why the lady(in the poem) looked into the mirror.

Sylvia Plath incorporates personification into the poem, which helps the metaphor it stands for. “Whatever I see I swallow immediately./ Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike” (lines 2-3) are both examples of personification. A mirror cannot swallow anything, but this helps to create a sense and image of how it reflects items. A mirror can neither love nor dislike anything. It is just a piece of furniture, it has no feelings about anyone, but this personification helps to...
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