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Mirror - by: Sylvia Plath

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by

Arnold Amrhein

on 11 November 2013

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Transcript of Mirror - by: Sylvia Plath

Mirror - by: Sylvia Plath
What?
The poem is about a mirror, that describes itself. The mirror describes how it looks, how it presents what it sees, and how it has not judgement towards what is reflected on it, but it is honest. “I am not cruel, only truthful.” The mirror says it is like the “eye of a little god”, as it sees everything. It is always looking.
Then the mirror transforms and looks itself as a lake, as it vast and has a infinite depth to it. It describes how a woman looks into it, looking to discern her reflection and see what she really is. “Searching my reaches for what she really is.” The mirror presents itself to be the only true way and faithful way to look at yourself, as other ways like the candles or moon are “liars”.
At the end of the poem, the mirror describes how he has been an element in the process of growth of a woman, how he has seen her since a young girl, all the way to being an old woman. The mirror has been faithful to her all along. The woman cries in front of the mirror after looking at this transformation. The mirror takes this cry as a reward for it service of faithfulness, he feels important to her.


Poetic Analysis
Poem Type:
Free Verse

Meter:
Two stanzas consisting of nine lines written in free verse

Enjambment:
“In me she drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.”

Caesura:
“I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.”

Repetition of words:
“Faces and darkness separate us over and over.”

“Rises toward her day after day,”

Poetic Devices, Tone and Mood
Allegory
- A mirror that describes the life of its owner

Metaphor
- “Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.” The light of the candle or the moon won’t show the true self of the person. The light emanated from the moon and from the candle are not enough to reveals the bodies imperfections, this is why they are referred to as liars, as they don't reveal true reality.

Imagery
- “I am silver and exact, I have no preconceptions.” Creates the image of a perfect and polished mirror in the mind of the reader

Simile
- “and in me an old woman Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish” The fish represents her physical appearance as an old woman.

Tone
- Melancholic

Mood
- The mood of the poem evokes sadness, the writer is maturing and as she grows her imperfections become clear, she can not hide from the mirror and although she wants to turn away the mirror always reveals the true reality as is, she is no longer the small girl she was before.

Why?
In this poem we see how the object of a mirror is a static non changing frame that soaks in reality as it evolves. In this case there is a description on the evolution of the person who looks at it. This evolution is of age and time. “In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.” This quote represents how she was at first a child and then evolved into a mature woman. The mirror is also a truthful “being” that represents reality as is, no matter the way the person wants to look like the mirror will reveal any imperfections and will demonstrate reality as is, unblinded.

Presentation by: Arnold Amrhein, divaD ed uehtaM, and Fabrizio Dumani
Full transcript