Mirror by Sylvia Plath

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“Mirror” by Sylvia Plath shows the shallowness and superficial concerns of women through the personification and the description of a mirror reflecting a woman’s life and her character. The poem is narrated by the mirror, which doesn’t provide an unbiased and impartial view on its character contrary to what the mirror claims. The poem has a balanced structure with two verses mirroring each other. This emphasizes the idea of the first stanza, which describes the mirror, reflecting the second stanza where the character of the woman is developed. The statements made by the mirror are short, simple informative to convince the reader of the reliability and objectivity of the mirror. In the first stanza the mirror introduces itself. It claims to “have no preconceptions” and that it reflects whatever it sees “unmisted” by emotions such as “love or dislike” and “exact” without any distortions. However, later it talks about the wall being “part of my heart” and that it “meditates” on that wall. This suggests having emotion and being able think even though it claimed otherwise in the preceding lines. This proves the unreliability of the narrative and the mirror’s hypocrisy because the mirror will have emotions and thoughts leading to preconceptions. Also, “I am silver” conveys a shiny, precious and attractive image of the mirror but this again is deceptive. The mirror is only a two-dimensional, “four-cornered” inanimate object that lacks any depth. The mirror also represents itself as “not cruel, only truthful”, “faithful”, honest and reliable. This eventually becomes too honest and too blunt for the woman and “she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon” for a distorted image of herself in order to not let her see her ageing in the soft focus. This suggests that the mirror has no...
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