In the poem “Mirrors”, by Sylvia Plath the speaker accentuates the importance of looks as an aging woman brawls with her inner and outward appearance. Employing an instance of self refection, the speaker shifts to a lake and describes the discrepancies between inevitable old age and zealous youth. By means of sight and personification, shifts and metaphors, the orator initiates the change in appearance which relies on an individual’s decision to embrace and reject it.
The author applies sight and personification to accentuate the mirror’s roles. The declaimer of the poem says “I am silver and exact [and] whatever I see I swallow” (1, 20). The purpose of these devices is to convey the position of the mirror in the poem. As an inanimate object, the mirror is incapable of consuming anything but the appearances of entities. Furthermore, the glass’ role accentuates an inner mirror, the human mirror which does not forget instances of misery and contentment. According to Freedman, the mimicking image emulated by the mirror elicits “… a look for oneself inside” as observed from the life of the elderly woman in the sonnet (153). Moreover, as the woman looks into the lake, she commemorates her appealing and attractive and pleasant figure as a young girl. As time passes, the inevitability of old age knocks on the door of the woman, readily waiting to change the sterling rapturous lady perceived by many. One’s appearance can change; it is up to an individual to embrace it or reject it.
Plath employs a shift to accentuate a change in time. The speaker of the poem says “I am silver and exact/Now I am a lake” (1, 10) to indicate an alteration in time. The purpose of the device is to convey an adjustment in c...
... middle of paper ...
...worse than before. For instance, old men and women inject their faces to resemble those in their youth, but they worsen their mental and physical state by executing such actions. To conclude, one should embrace her appearance because aging is inevitable.
Freedman, William. “The Monster in Plath’s ‘Mirror’.” Papers on Language & Literature 23.1
(1987): 152-169. Literary Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.
Giles, Richard F. “Sylvia Plath.” Magill’s Critical Survey of poetry. Ed. Frank N. Magill.
Pasadena: Salem Press, 1992. 2592-2602.
Richardson, D. “Plath’s Mirror.” Explicator 49.3 (1991): 192-194. Literary Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.
Tomei, Christine D. “Sylvia Plath.” Great American Writers of the Twentieth Century.
Ed. R. Baird Shuman. New York: Marshall Gavendish Corporation, 2002. 1213-1221
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The poem “Mirror,” by Sylvia Plath, portrays the difficult truth in relation to aging. The poem is told in the point of view of a mirror belonging to an aging woman. The mirror “[is] silver and exact,” with “no preconceptions” (1). It reflects only the truth, real images without distortion. The mirror has been a part of the woman’s life ever since she was young, sitting across her pink, speckled walls acting like “the eye of a little god” (5). As the woman ages, she seems to be in frustration with her appearance, seeking relief by looking at “liars, the candles or the moon” (12).... [tags: Truth, Poetry, Reality, Sylvia Plath]
1053 words (3 pages)
- Sylvia Plath’s poem “Mirror” is about a women maturing with time and her mirror is witness to her aging and her journey to finding herself. The mirror serves as a vivid portrayal of women’s life and stride through a very reliable persona, the mirror. Along her required journey she is faced with obstacles, such as herself and time ticking. All through life’s inconsistencies the mirror is the only one that does not hide her truth but reveals it to her even though she may not want to face reality. This poem is a representation of the idea that beauty lies in the hands of the beholder.... [tags: Sylvia Plath, poetry, Mirror,]
880 words (2.5 pages)
- Who am I. That is a question some individual has a hard time answering. Even as some emerge from the adolescent stage, they still find themselves battling with the real versus ideal self throughout life. Searching for one’s identity is a vital part of growing up. It is also crucial for defining one self and how others perceive him/her. Identity could be defined as, who a person believes he or she is by representing a synthesis and integration of self understanding. This entails the traits of the individuals that makes that individual authentic and unique.... [tags: Woman, Gender, Gender role, Sylvia Plath]
900 words (2.6 pages)
- Nowadays people aren’t really fans of poetry because of the fact that it’s so complicated and hard to understand, some people think they have to over analyze the lines to find the meaning. Although they may be difficult to interpret sometimes, they do share main themes and ideas as other things. For example, a song. A song and a poem can share the exact meaning or a couple of ideas. They both have certain qualities like theme, emotional response, rhyme, rhythm, and more. An example of these similarities would be the song “Believe in Me” by Demi Lovato, and Sylvia Plath’s poem “Mirror”.... [tags: Poetry, Sylvia Plath, Demi Lovato]
1299 words (3.7 pages)
- Sylvia Plath's Words for a Nursery Sylvia Plath’s “Words for a Nursery” depicts the embodiment of life through the symbolism of a human hand. Referring to the hand many times throughout various works(“Mirrors”, “Tulips”, “Lady Lazarus”, etc), Plath continually portrays this feature as a bodily tool around which life functions. After becoming pregnant with her first child, Plath’s analysis of the progression of life from birth to death can be seen within such a poem. Like most of her poetry, “Words for a Nursery” escalates in a positive manner until the end where death is expressed, and a sense of pessimism is briefly felt.... [tags: Sylvia Plath Words Nursery Poetry Essays]
1761 words (5 pages)
- Despite her apparent disavowal of the overtly sexual Doreen, Esther’s anxieties about sex continue to manifest themselves through clothing, as evidenced by her attempt to cultivate a friendship with Betsy, a virginal young woman from Kansas. If Doreen is the quintessential “bad girl,” then Betsy, nicknamed “Pollyanna Cowgirl” by Doreen, is the quintessential “good” girl, with her “her bouncing blonde ponytail and Sweetheart-of-Sigma-Chi smile” (6). As a model young woman, Betsy “does” fashion correctly, eventually becoming a model herself: after her guest editorship, Betsy became a “cover girl,” and Esther occasionally sees her “smiling out of those ‘P.Q.’s wife wears B.H.... [tags: Sylvia Plath]
3212 words (9.2 pages)
- 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.... [tags: poetry, poem analysis, literary analysis]
922 words (2.6 pages)
- “Mirror” and “Metaphors” by Sylvia Plath are two poems that address how events occur in the natural course of life. These two almost address opposite ends of the life cycle with the aging process being the focus in “Mirrors” and the creation of new life being the focus in “Metaphors”. The natural course of events in life can be both a challenge and a reward. The feelings of finality and desperation are evident in both poems. “Mirror”, published in 1963, was written towards the end of Sylvia Plath’s life and reflects her concern about growing old as well as losing her youthful beauty and “Metaphors”, published in 1960, was written when Plath was pregnant and not sure if she is happy to be hav... [tags: Poetry Analysis]
1534 words (4.4 pages)
- Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Sylvia Plath’s poem “Mirror” is a sad expression of a woman’s perception of her own self-worth based primarily on her outward appearance and her inability to come to terms with her aging. The work utilizes the literary devices of personification, imagery, and symbolism, to emphasize the poems theme of human vanity and the subsequent fear of aging. Plath personifies the mirror who as a first person narrator takes on two forms. The first being that of a manufactured mirror which at the opening of the poem states “I am silver” (Line 1) which alludes to the silvering process used in the production of commercially produced mirrors.... [tags: Self-Worth, Aging, Appearance]
434 words (1.2 pages)
- How Ironic, Celebrating The Gift Of Life With Death May it be her elegiac, disturbing poetry or her dramatic finale of life, Sylvia Plath is one of the most praised writers in the history of time. From the age of eight, Plath lived an unfortunate life, dealing with the death of her father, a failed marriage, and upholding the strict expectations of women held by society (Poets.org 1). “A Birthday Present”, written by Sylvia Plath, demonstrates an obvious representation of her emotions and attitude toward life.... [tags: Poetry, Suicide, Death, Meaning of life]
755 words (2.2 pages)