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Personally I saw the poem as a vivid portrayal of a woman's toil through a very reliable persona the 'mirror.' The pathetic irony is that in truth or deception she is ultimately wretched hence the juxtaposition of the words and in verse 3. As for the second stanza, the poet's emphasis is stressed upon the relentlessness of time which has taken its toll on the woman. I personally feel the image of the who has expresses an innocence and blissful ignorance which has long passed and tossed her willy-nilly in the harshness of this tough reality. I also feel that such insight into one individual's suffering would be nowhere near possible without the involvement of the self, leading me to believe that the woman is in fact Sylvia herself. Hints at this include her reference to; in which the candles and the moon are both of romantic symbolic value, and it is known for a fact that she and her ex-husband were not of good relation.

An essay about mirrors and body images - …

This change is to throw us off. Though water is in essence a mirror, I think we as humans tend to romanticize water, whereas a mirror is rather sterile. But when you think about it--they both do the same thing. So, usually, we can find our own personal lake right below our little personal mirror in the bathroom. It's called zee sink. Each morning when we wake, we usually fill the sink with water to wash our faces or whatever. Viola--a lake.


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I disagree completely that Sylvia Plath's poem "Mirror" is in fact a reference to God. I do not believe it is in anyway a reference to how God perceives us, or what we do. Nor do I believe it to be a metaphor for Plath's relationship with Hughes. There are an indefinite amount of ideas one can conjure up about what this poem is trying to convey to the reader for example: "I think it is part of my heart but it flickers." This could be a reference to heart problems Plath suffered... The over analysing of poetry is an injustice to the simple beauty that poetry is. You do not need to be an academic, or a philosopher to read a poem and understand it. You do not need to search for a deeper meaning, if a simple one has already shown itself to you. The one thing that I believe should always be followed in analysing poetry is; "If the poem has no evidence of what you are stating at all, then your statement is not true." To give my own oppinion on the poem, I will simply say I believe that the mirror and the woman are a metaphor for Plath's search for what she wants to see as herself, in her troubled mind. The mirror always shows the truth, and Plath knows that it will never show her as the young woman she once was, that was "drowned in the mirror" long ago. This poem is dark and depressing.. but beautifully written by the dark and depressed Plath. I wish she were here today, so she may share with us the true meaning of the poem only she will ever honestly know... It has been amazing to read all the different ideas and views on "The Mirror" and constantly enlightening to hear new ones. As a member of a year 11 literature class, I love to open my mind with others peoples views, even if they are delving a little too deep...


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chiefly concerns Sylvia Plath's divided self. The reflecting mirror is the self that is deeply depressed, she is in a state of trance, the depression she experiences is almost paralysing her. The woman looking into the mirror is Sylvia as a growing woman, searching for the psychologically healthy self which she knows exists, but isn't quite sure how to surface it(surface it from the depths of the lake, which is a metaphor for the depths of her repressed mind). In her journals Plath revealed that she was aware of her desperate, depressed states, and with the help of her doctor, together with self-disipline she hoped to learn to deal with her negative feelings and morbid thoughts. The woman growing older is Sylvia attempting to handle these emotions.

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Jeffery from Orlando (see comments above, near top, Sept 4th 2002) has the right idea with his comments this poem, I agree whole-heartedly with him. To me, the entire meaning of the poem is this: Sylvia is simply using the mirror as a symbol of her abject horror at old age and its ravages on her face. This is something which women all over the world can identify with. She is depressed that her youth is over, and the mirror has no sympathy, it simply reflects her pain.