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Analysis Of The Poem The Mirror English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 784 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Poetry can be called a literary music of the soul, but sometimes it can be called a cry of the heart too. The poem that struck me as being very emotional was the poem by Sylvia Plath The Mirror. Sylvia Plath is an American poet and novelist. Even though she was writing poetry from the age of eight, she had to study in several universities and colleges before receiving her recognition in the literary world. In fact, she was the first poet to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize posthumously. As for her personal life, she was married to a fellow poet and moved with him to England. The poem I chose to analyze is particularly interesting because it was based on the true life events that took place in her life. “The Mirror” is an expression of Plath’s emotional distress caused by the divorce with her husband. When he left her, she was mistakenly relating his decision with the decline of her beauty caused by aging. She thought she was getting more unworthy with every day. Thus, she portrayed that sad feeling of aging in a poetic way, (?) the one way she knew best.

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The mirror is a wisely chosen symbol that stands for the objective representation of the truth. As Plath mentions:” I have no preconceptions…I am not cruel, only truthful.” In fact, the mirror reflects the author’s subconsciousnes, which is freed by the purity and truthfulness the mirror. The mirror has no magic power in it, but simply portrays the reality to those who use it. “It swallows” the true image just the way it is without any prejudice, unlike the humans that see things distorted through the lenses of their inner bias. We can observe an interesting usage of the figures of speech in the poem. The mirror is not only a symbol, but it is also a personification, because the mirror tells us the story from its standpoint. Therefore, the symbol of the truth tells us a story of the unbiased reality it has to portray to those who seek answers in it. Sylvia Plath was a representative of a confessional poetry genre. She herself was that woman looking in the mirror. That mirror exposed her to much pain through its honesty. She is scared of that true image of herself getting older as the days go by

That is why she turns to lake, but the lake does not want to lie to her either. Even that she detests her own reflection, she still becomes dependent on the truth the lake gives her. Therefore, , closer to the end of the poem you can see that kind of relаionship were it says “I am important to her. She comes and goes.” Metaphorically Plath calls the moon and the candles liars, because they do not give the the precise truth like the mirror. They just distract the woman and do not let her find herself. Those liars show to her a deceptive image by hiding wrinkles, and other companions of the aging process.

We might assume that the woman comes every now and then to the river to see again that young girl that used to be her one day. Despite the hope, what she sees is an old woman. Plath uses the simile such as ” terrible fish” to show how unpleasant the herself that image is. For most people fish is unappealing in its aesthetic look. The fish makes the old woman feel the same way about herself. The youth has passed for her. “

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As for me, I saw the true emotional portrayal of sorrow, of pain and of helplessness towards the inevitable fate we all have to face one day This mood is showed even in the juxtaposition of the words such as ‘cruel’ and ‘truthful’ in verse three. As for the second stanza, Plath puts emphasis on the ruthlessness of time which is taking the most precious thing from this woman – her outside beauty. When reading the end of the second stanza, the image of the cheerful “young girl” came to my mind. This girl has been drowned one day in the truthfulness of the lake’s reflection. In other words, the innocence of the youth has been drowned in the harsh reality of the lake. In fact, the poet suffered strong depression. This poem shows how she was scared from the truth the mirror was showing her. The whole poem is devoted to the topic of the truth and the lies. The authors sees is in pain from seeing the truth and leaving behind the lie. However, I am inclined to believe that nobody should feel sorrow for the time that went by. There is beauty in every age and this pessimistic look on the natural chain of metamorphoses is very radical. The beauty after all is not on the outside only, but rather on the inside. In fact, Plath had a beautiful inner world of her own that she, unfortunately, did not value to the full.


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