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Literary Techniques Used in Sylvia Plath's Poem, Mirror

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Mirrors show us who we really are, whether we want to believe it or not. Makeup may help cover the exterior flaws, but when we look in that mirror we all know what we really look like. Mirrors let us see how we are changing and the way we perceive ourselves. Women, more often than men, have self-esteem issues because of what they see in the mirror. They find every little thing they believe is wrong on their face. A huge cause of their insecurities is because of the pedestal's women are put on by men. Accepting who you are and what you look like is the only way you are going to truly be happy. In the poem "Mirror," the author, Sylvia Plath brings into perspective the true importance of mirrors. She brings the past, present and future all into effect in the two short stanzas in this poem. Plath uses symbolism, personification, and metaphors to convey her theme that mirrors reflect who we are and how others see us.
Plath uses symbolism on numerous occasions in this poem. Symbolism is a representation of something through symbols or hidden meanings of objects or qualities. She begins the poem using symbolism when she says, "I am silver and exact" (1) which is a symbol for a mirror. She carries this symbol throughout the poem because the poem is based mostly around a mirror. Another example of how Sylvia Plath uses symbolism is when she brings into play, the words, "swallow (2), unmisted (3), tear (14), and lake (10)" to describe water. Water reflects images just as a mirror can do. Water on the other hand does distort an image. This goes back to how women try purposely to find anything and everything they feel are blemishes. Men have damaged the self-confidence of women by expecting the perfect woman, but we can only give them ...


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...y the poem describes the woman in the poem. They may also think that because of how men have such high expectations for women and they feel that they can never do anything to reach that expectation of man. Others may think that the mirror is actually the woman herself because she may have insecurities about themselves. This is said because of the fact that some women wear a massive amount of makeup. They might do this because they are uncomfortable with the way their skin looks. They may wear baggy clothes because they think they are overweight and need to hide their "love handles." Finally, they possibly never put themselves out there because they fear rejection the most. Nevertheless, Sylvia Plath does a remarkable job with how she shows the past present and future perspectives of a woman. Plath does this by using several metaphors, symbolism, and personification.


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