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Mirror by : Sylvia Plath

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Miranda Bieksa

on 12 May 2014

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Transcript of Mirror by : Sylvia Plath


" I am important to her. She comes and goes. Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness."
The lake justifies its importance because the women visits it each morning for her reflection. The lake reflects the women instead of the darkness of the night. The fact the women comes back every morning is showing her trust within the lake.
" In me she has drowned as a young girl and in me an old women." " Rises towards her day after day like a terrible fish."
The women is aging. The young girl who had once looked at the lake is now gone. She has become a women. The word " drowned" refers to the time passing and she spent a lot of time peering into it conflicting about her reflection. "rises towards her" The women's reflection is aging and changing.
" Terrible fish " She doesn't like her aging, she perceives herself as old and ugly.
Biography:
Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 27, 1932.
In 1940, her father died as a result of diabetic complications He had been a strict father, and both his authoritarian attitudes and his death drastically defined her poems—most notably in her infamous poem "Daddy."
Poem Analysis

"Then she turns to those liars the candles and the moon"
The strength of a light can diminish appearance flaws creating a perfect image.
" I see her back and reflect it faithfully"
She focuses on a lying moon and the candles while the lake reflects her truthfully.
"She rewards me with tears and agitation of hands"
The women looks back into the lake crying now and her tears create a ripple effect in the water which disturbs the lakes natural form of being still.



Stanza 2
The mirror now becomes a lake. It reflects images just as a mirror ; although it is not silver or exact. A lake has more depth than a mirror does.
" Searching my reaches for what she really is"
A lake is reflecting a women; she feels lost and has no idea who she really is. Looking into the depths of the water shes trying to find her true self.
Mirror
Stanza 1
Further Analysis:
Speaker :
A women speaking to the readers about her insecurities with aging.
Setting:
A lake near her house ; country side
Theme:
Time , Appearance, changing, aging
Poetic devices :
Simile: " like a terrible fish"
Imagery: " women bends over me"
Personification: The lake speaks in 1st person narration
Tone :
Serious
Mythological comparison
- Narcissus, who fell in
love with himself by
staring at his own
reflection
in the water and died.
- This shows the consequences of vanity.
- Narcissus is compared to the little girl that used to look at her reflection, she has now drowned and an old woman rises towards her. This shows her disgust for her aging.
- This woman has been looking at herself every day for long periods of time, and she notices that she is getting older and she dislikes it.
The speaker is a mirror, hanging in a bathroom. The mirror is proud of its skills - it is truthful and exact when pointing out beauty and imperfections but the mirror is never cruel. The mirror stares at a pink wall so often that the pink wall has become apart of the mirror. A woman always goes to the mirror to seek the truth.
The mirror is an object in which it shows us how accurate and unbiased they are when showing us our real appearance. The mirror reveals a woman who is so concerned with her appearance and who is afraid of aging as with aging, it takes away beauty. This woman sees herself transforming from a young girl to an old woman. This entire poem relates to how females can get so caught up with their flaws, that they don't notice their true beauty. By being so caught up with the imperfections, they can miss out on the things that matter in life.
Poem Analysis
Audience:
This poem could very well be directed towards anyone but we believe that Sylvia Plath was directing it towards females. Females have a tendency to over-analyze themselves. They focus so much on their flaws and imperfections, that they don't notice their true beauty.
Speaker:
Tone:
The tone of the first stanza is honesty as the mirror attempts that it will only tell the truth.
"I am not cruel, only truthful-"
As the poem continues, one can tell that the mirror is not happy with its task as it must watch a beautiful woman point out all her flaws. Once can also tell that the speaker is suffering from boredom as it watches a wall for the majority of the time. It stares at this wall so much that the mirror believes the wall is now apart of it.
"It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart"
Central Idea:

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.

Literal Meaning
A silver mirror that gives an exact reflection of what is in front of them
The mirror has no preconceptions (doesn't change what it shows you, it just shows you what it sees; for good or bad. Does not let what it has seen before affect what it does in the present.
They REFLECT everything
See's everything as it is (person's beauty, emotions, insecurities, etc).
It is not mean, just tells it as it is (doesn't lie).
Mirror is POWERFUL
Mirror is facing a wall. (Wall serves as the Mirror's thoughts).
Mirror is in a girl's BEDROOM
or
BATHROOM
Mirror has looked at the wall so long that it feels like the wall is a part of it's heart...
But the mirror and the wall's relationship is not constant! (The wall flickers→light is turned off, leaving the Mirror to reflect nothing but the DARKNESS) Mirror is
sad
at separation.
Figurative Meaning
Just as the mirror reflects
everything
and
see's things

as it is, so does society. (Human Beings).
See's people's beauty, emotions, and insecurities (vice versa).
*See people for who they are!*
Also shows how one should look at a person with complete truthfulness, just like the mirror does.
Important Virtues: HONESTY
and
NON-JUDGEMENTAL
If you look at someone from the
HEART
, then you will be able to truly understand the person. (Creates a healthy relationship).
Poetic Devices
Alliteration (
"I see I Swallow"
)
Imagery (
"It is pink, with speckles", "Faces and darkness separate us"
)
Personification ("
I meditate on the opposite wall
")
Metaphor ("
The eye of a little god
")→Both God and The Mirror tell the truth
Free verse poem
Sylvia Plath
Works Cited
“enotes.” In “Mirror” by Silvia Plath, what is an example of Figurative
Language? N.p. 2014. Web. 11 May 2014
“Shmoop: We Speak Student.” Mirror. N.p. 2014. Web. 11 May 2014
Her first collection of poems,
Colossus
, was published in 1960 in England, and two years later in the United States
In 1962, her husband, Ted Hughes, divorced Plath. That winter, in a deep depression, Plath published a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. Then, on February 11, 1963, Plath wrote a note to her downstairs neighbor instructing him to call the doctor, then she committed suicide using her gas oven.ould comprise her most famous book,
Ariel.
Indirect personification ("
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
") A mirror cannot love anything
Narcissus (mythology)." Princeton University. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2014.
Full transcript