In the opening verses of “Mirror,” the narrator commences its narration by declaring itself neutral. It announces it has “no preconceptions” and without bias or emotions it will metaphorically “swallow immediately” what it needs as it is “unmisted by love or dislike”. It is the truth which causes much grief to a woman who visits it each day. Unlike Plath’s poem, Harwood’s omniscient narrator describes a woman who’s “clothes are out of date” to further enhance the …show more content…
The woman in “Mirror” is uncertain about her appearance and struggles to accept the reality that she is aging while the mother in “In the Park” struggles with her pitiful existence. The woman’s dialogue with an ex-love, for whom it was “too late to feign indifference”, is in genuine because she does not believe that “time holds great surprises” but instead, her pretence is a way of masking a painful truth. Plath’s poem, however, sees lies revealed in the second stanza when the function of the mirror changes and the woman looks into its “reaches for what she really is”. When the mirror’s reflection reveals her truth, she rewards it with “and agitation of hands and tears”.
Both poems conclude with a lack of fulfilment as the mother is not fulfilled with her life claiming “they have eaten me alive" when talking about motherhood. The narrator in “Mirror” metaphorically states that while the mother believes her children have metaphorically “eaten her alive” the woman has “drowned a young girl” in its reflection.
In both “Mirror” and “In the Park” the idea of loss is portrayed indifferently as Gwen Harwood explores the loss of identity of a mother who has self-sacrificed everything for motherhood and while Sylvia Plath explores the loss of youth as a woman struggles to accept the reality that she has