Mirror by Sylvia Plath

Topics: Mirror, Reflection, Reflections Pages: 2 (820 words) Published: October 14, 2014
The poem “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath is told from the point of view of a mirror hanging up on a wall. This mirror has, over time, been privy to the tears of a woman over who she sees in it, desperate grasps at moonlit lies, and the endless speculations of a pink with speckles wall. “Mirror” is a poem that probes into the corners of human nature, beauty, life, and death, reflecting back their truths to readers as good mirrors do. In this poem, readers can see the truth about themselves reflected among the words as though the poem itself is a mirror, too. Just as the poem reflects truths to readers, so the mirror in it reflects truths to the woman it sees every day. It is objective about everything it observes in the woman, for it can have no biases simply owing to the nature of its stature. The description the mirror gives of itself in the first few lines is that “I am silver and exact. 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-/The eye of the little god, four cornered.” It is giving, true to its nature, a frank description of itself—nonjudgmental and unprejudiced of its admirers. Mirrors never have and never will pass any judgment on their gazers. They leave that for the gazers themselves to do, and they always do just that, as is human nature. The mirror prides itself on that same clear-cut honesty of the faces it regurgitates back for judgment. It is almost arrogant about it, refusing to falter in its own perfection for a moment, even as “she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon” which cast false shadows upon her face. It continues to reflect the woman honestly, even though she cannot see it, so that when she learns of the lies and turns back, there she is in all her self-perceived imperfection. Not one person, the woman of the poem included, has ever been judged by a mirror, but rather through it. It is because of it that the woman can see her outer self, so...
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