Poetry Explication Essay: “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath The poem en d “Mirror” written by Sylvia Plath appears initially as providing a physical description of the mirror in a straightforward way through stating its characteristics and purpose which is to provide an exact image of the person peering through it; but as the poem progresses, the mirror increasingly symbolized the personified reflection of women who views herself a maturing individual through time. The mirror apparently is the speaker in this literary work.
At the start, Plath plainly presented an explicit narrative description of the mirror by using adjectives that depict objectivity such as silver, exact, no preconceptions (Plath line 1). The description was further detailed to provide its flat, cold traits focusing on indicating its characteristics as “Whatever I see I swallow immediately” (Plath line 2); and “I am not cruel, only truthful” (Plath line 4). These directly pinpoint the physical description and traits of the mirror.
The narrator in the poem interpreted as the personified mirror and the next set of lines starts to reveal that the mirror has been used over and over again. From the time that a little girl, apparently described as “pink, with speckles” (Plath line 7) up to the statement that indicates “Faces and darkness separate us over and over” (Plath line 8). The reflective ability of the mirror could likewise be served through seeing itself as a lake, a deep container of mysterious secrets that only women seeing themselves through a mirror could understand the subjective meaning it projects: depending on perceptions, feelings, emotions and how people, especially men, relate to them. This was interpreted from the Plath’s statements that “Searching my reaches for what she really is. Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon” (Plath lines 11 & 12). Those liars were symbolized as candles or the moon that give temporary and fleeting light. And the only object that reflects reality is again, the mirror
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