Essay on The Poem Mirror By Sylvia Plath

Essay on The Poem Mirror By Sylvia Plath

Length: 1053 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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). This symbolizes the woman’s attempt to look at things that will reflect back an image she desires, a fake image versus reality. The mirror, however, only gives her the truth, making her cry out of frustration. The poem deals with the topic of self-image that many women today are struggling with. Through using elements such as personification, diction and imagery, Plath poem tells us a story dealing with a woman’s difficulty with her aging appearance, but the meaning of the poem can extend even further, explaining to the reader the difficulty of accepting truth amongst more pleasant lies.
The poem begins with the mirror describing itself. While real life, mirrors are inanimate objects, the author uses personification. In this way, Plath allows us to see the story as the mirror sees it. Considering that a mirror only sees the truth, we are also given a story without alterations. In the first stanza the mirror tells the reader what it is. In the first verse the mirror tells the reader “I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions” (1). Further, in the third and fourth verse the mirror tells the reader that it is “unmisted by love or dislike. I am not cr...


... middle of paper ...


...s and distorted images of herself, the mirror always reflects to her the reality, one that hurts her. The woman dislikes reality, but she still looks in the mirror every morning as “each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness” (16). Regardless of the pain that comes with learning the truth, the truth is important to the woman. It is a part of who she is, and day by day, she gets more used to the idea that her youth is fading away. While Plath’s poem narrates a simple narrative, the story of the poem can extend into the complexities of everyday life, in particular, the story relates to difficulties of accepting harsh truths. Through the narrative, and through the use of various rhetoric strategies, Plath tells the reader that things can be unpleasant and harsh. While it is tempting to take in pretty lies, reality is like a mirror, only presenting the truth.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Literary Techniques Used in Sylvia Plath's Poem, Mirror

- 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]

Strong Essays
922 words (2.6 pages)

The Figures Displayed in Sylvia Plath's Mirror Essay

- The Figures Displayed in Sylvia Plath's Mirror The speaker in Sylvia Plath's poem "Mirror" is the actual mirror itself, which has been owned by a now "old woman" (16) for quite some time. This woman has looked into her mirror every day for many years now. The mirror is very aware of her presence and its environment when she is not present. The author provides many details in order for the reader to grasp the mirror's view on its ever-day sights, but this would be an impossible task without the major use of figures of speech....   [tags: Poetry Poem Sylvia Plath mirror Essays]

Strong Essays
901 words (2.6 pages)

Ted Hughes’s Pike versus Sylvia Plath’s Mirror Essay

- Hughes’s “Pike,” Plath’s “Mirror” Abstract: Sylvia Plath’s 1961 poem “Mirror” can be read as a rejoinder to Ted Hughes’s 1958 poem “Pike.” Plath shrinks her husband’s mythic grandeur to reveal a psychodrama of the self as a vanishing façade. Sylvia Plath’s 1961 poem "Mirror" builds up to the appearance of a terrible fish, an internalized counterpart of the watching consciousness under the dark pond of Ted Hughes's 1958 poem "Pike." Whereas Hughes's poem evokes the spirit of the place and the genetic residue of England's violent past, a version perhaps of Clarence's dream of the sea of fish-eaten victims of the Wars of the Roses in Shakespeare's history play Richard III, and the sunless sea...   [tags: Ted Hughes Sylvia Plath Poetry Poet Poem]

Strong Essays
2026 words (5.8 pages)

Sylvia Plath's Mirror Essay

- Sylvia Plath's Mirror Sylvia Plath's "Mirror" offers a unique perspective on the attitudes of aging. "Mirror" displays tremendous insight and objectivity into the natural human behavior of growing older. Plath is able to emphasize the loneliness, hope, despair, and insecurity that awaits us through mankind's incessant addiction with reflection. "Mirror" expresses the problems associated with aging through terse comparisons between reality and desire. Plathe's strength of "Mirror" lies in its ability to establish a solid comparison among appearance and human emotions between the first and second stanzas....   [tags: Papers Sylvia Plath Poem Poetry Essays]

Strong Essays
804 words (2.3 pages)

Sylvia Plath’s “Mirror”: How a Woman Matures Essay examples

- 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,]

Strong Essays
880 words (2.5 pages)

Analysis of Mirror, by Sylvia Plath Essay

- The theme of this poem is perspective, how the woman sees herself and how she is actually portrayed. In other words this poem is bashing the idea of vanity and replacing it with reality. Plath uses different types of figures of speech to try to make the intended theme clear. In the first nine line of the poem, personification is used to promote the theme. The second section of the poem lines 10-14 Plath uses metaphors, paradox and a jealous tone to relate to the theme of the poem....   [tags: poem, vanity, reality]

Strong Essays
1105 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Truth, Illusion, and Examination in Sylvia Plath's The Mirror

- Truth, Illusion, and Examination in Sylvia Plath's The Mirror           Who would be so pretentious as to suggest that they were "silver and exact," and that they "have no preconceptions?" Poet Sylvia Plath dares to "meditate on the opposite wall" in her poem The Mirror to reveal to her reader some of her own insecurities, the theme of this, and several other of her poems. The poet does some introspective exploration in both stanzas; the two carefully intended to 'mirror' each other. It is her use of private or contextual symbolism, her use of symbols to create an atmosphere of truth versus illusion, and her design of the mirror to symbolize her inner-self that make this poem such a vehi...   [tags: Sylvia Plath Mirror Essays]

Strong Essays
660 words (1.9 pages)

The Song And A Song By Demi Lovato, And Sylvia Plath 's Poem Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
1299 words (3.7 pages)

Mirror by Sylvia Plath, 789-790. Essay

- Mirror by Sylvia Plath, 789-790. Why Silvia Plath wrote a poem about a mirror. Sylvia Plath was born on 27 October 1932, at Massachusetts Memorial Hospital. She was an excellent student in high school. Her first poem appeared when she was eight. Once graduated from high school, She entered Smith College in 1950 on a scholarship. On 24 August 1953, she attempted suicide swallowing sleeping pills. Sylvia was readmitted to Smith College for the spring-semester 1954 after receiving electro shock therapy treatment for her recovery....   [tags: English Literature]

Free Essays
538 words (1.5 pages)

Sylvia Plath's Poetry Essay

- Sylvia Plath's Poetry Wrapped in gaseous mystique, Sylvia Plath’s poetry has haunted enthusiastic readers since immediately after her death in February, 1963. Like her eyes, her words are sharp, apt tools which brand her message on the brains and hearts of her readers. With each reading, she initiates them forever into the shrouded, vestal clan of her own mind. How is the reader to interpret those singeing, singing words. Her work may be read as a lone monument, with no ties to the world she left behind....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Poem Essays]

Strong Essays
2871 words (8.2 pages)