Sylvia Plath’s Mirror Essay

Sylvia Plath’s Mirror Essay

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“Mirror,” by Sylvia Plath is a poem about the terrible difficulty of truth, especially the inexorable process of age and time. The context of old age is explored in this poem. One of the key devices of the poem includes the speaker or persona of the poem that Plath has chosen to explore the context. The mirror sees the woman examining herself in her day by day. It is a known fact that the mirror thinks that it is precise in its judgment. The very language that the mirror uses displays a matter-of-fact that the mirror is correct in its judgment: “I am silver and exact.” Yet, interestingly, it also says it is “unmisted by love or dislike” although; this statement is doubted later on when the mirror refers to the moon and the candles as “liars.” In a metaphorical way, Plath makes it noticeable that she is a reflection of her parents and she is constantly being separated from them. Sylvia Plath’s poem “Mirror” reflects many different ideas and thoughts. Her poem is dark, full of unhappiness, and only views the world from a pessimistic perspective. Given Plath’s background, it is understandable the poem is full of dark ideas and wild nightmares. In this specific poem, Plath uses imagery, personification, metaphors and expresses all of her emotions that were intended to be placed in this poem which are reviewed by critics.
The poetic devices that are used in this poem, as stated by critics are described. Personification is immensely used in this poem, which is a special kind of comparison, closely related to metaphor that gives life or human characteristics to inanimate objects or abstract ideas (Kirzner 767). Imagery is a language that evokes a physical sensation produced by one or more of the five senses: sight, heari...


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...he lake being metaphorical and using Narcissus as an example also demonstrated the poems subject. Plath wanted to stay youthful, yet if she did she wouldn’t have been able to experience life’s further experiences and the joy of aging with a hint of wisdom. John Wakeman’s review of the devices used in the poem included personification, imagery, allusion, metaphor and the rhyme scheme. His review inertly related with both Drennan’s and Hinkle’s. Although, his usage of the examples used in the poem was different, he still reviewed alongside the free verse rhyme scheme. The concluding line of the poem “rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish” displays the usage of personification, allusion, imagery and metaphors of how if the woman had not spent so much time agonizing over her wrinkles she might have had a happier life and wouldn’t have wasted her youth.

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