Mirror by sylvia plath
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Mirror by Sylvia Plath. Isabel Stasko. 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 a little god, four-cornered.

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Mirror by Sylvia Plath

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Mirror by sylvia plath

Mirror by Sylvia Plath

Isabel Stasko


Mirror

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 a little god, four-cornered.

Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.

It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long

I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.

Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,

Searching my reaches for what she really is.

Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the

moon.

I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.

She rewards me with tears and an agitation of

hands.

I am important to her. She comes and goes.

Each morning it is her face that replaces the

darkness.

In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an

old woman

Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish

Mirror


Sylvia plath

Sylvia Plath

  • Born in 1932, grew up in Massachusetts.

  • Her father died when she was young

  • Experienced anxiety and depression which would result in electroshock therapy and an attempted suicide in 1953.

  • Her writing contained depressing content and would express hatred for the world around her

  • Married Ted Hughes and had two children with him.

  • Hughes had numerous affairs that led to their separation

  • Plath would eventually commit suicide in 1962.

  • “Mirror” was written two years prior to her suicide.


Personification

Personification

“Whatever I see I swallow immediately”

Here, the mirror is the speaker, referring to itself as “I” and performing a humanlike action such as swallowing.

Symbolism

“Now I am a lake.”

In the second stanza, the mirror becomes a lake. The lake can symbolize coldness, the unknown, and death by drowning.

Metaphor

“Searching my reaches for what she really is.

Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the

moon.

I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.”

The reflection that the woman is looking into is compared to the world of reality, but she turns to the candle that is represented as another, ideal world of illusion.


Mirror by sylvia plath

Beauty Standards

“In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an

old woman

Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish”

People who do not fit into the beauty standards of society tend to have a horrible outlook on themselves.


Works cited

Works Cited

"Mirror." Poetry for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski and Mary Ruby. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 115-131. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 29 May 2014.


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