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Analysis and comments on Mirror by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 50 of 180, added on February 7th, 2006 at 8:59 PM.

Just wanted to mention that in my lit class we compared this poem to a
section in Margaret Atwood's "Surfacing" and it made both even more

Ellie from United States
Comment 49 of 180, added on February 7th, 2006 at 3:13 PM.

i just read this poem in english to, i loved it so much i wrote a paper on
it for my other class public speaking.

jamilla from United States
Comment 48 of 180, added on January 29th, 2006 at 3:28 AM.

I think that the beauty of all Plaths poetry comes from the fact that one,
no matter what their personal experiences, can relate. There is a
truthfulness that is undeniable. Each time i read this i fall in love a
little bit more

Hannah from United Kingdom
Comment 47 of 180, added on January 25th, 2006 at 1:54 PM.

It seems to me that there is always something lurking in the distance,
something hidden beneath the surface wanting to escape. A supressed demon
longing to appear in all her poems. It is in 'Mirror' we see the serpent
inside her longing to escapy. The mirror in which she is referring to is,
in my opinion, Plath herself. Strong, well presented, reflecting what she
is meant to be in this world, well structured and refined. The woman in
this poem is the mirrors own reflection of its self. Reflecting not the
inside but scearch for something for something else. This ‘terrible fish’
featured at the end of the poem is th ‘mirror-woman’s’ suppressed demon
beginning to surface. This ‘terrible fish’ may also be brought back to
another one of Plath’s unknown poems, ‘Medusa’ where she talks about her
mother. The un-naturalness of both these images are linked. Mirror is a
very deep poem. The words are the surface but when you dive beneath the
surface you begin to understand a totally different meaning.

Jade from Ireland
Comment 46 of 180, added on January 23rd, 2006 at 7:14 PM.

When the mirror compares itself to a lake, i had this visual image of a
lake until it speaks of the fish my mind shifts the image to a fish bowl
and like when examining the tiny world inside one comes face to face with a
fish, almost mirroring this unfathomable life staring back at you and u
wonder what it is thinking at seeing u starting at it as it comes from the
other side of the looking glass. Perhaps the terrible fish is a comparison
to the girl looking into the mirror and not understanding the image behind
the glass and wondering what that image sees even though it is only a
reflection and not an actual person... and therefore the mirror even though
it is completely unbias shows the reflection, the mirror sees a confused
woman looking into it as if thinking the image is thinking something...just
as humans are always judging themselves even when they are not being judged
by the mirror

Erin from United States
Comment 45 of 180, added on January 10th, 2006 at 8:46 AM.

cool poem

y54thy from United States
Comment 44 of 180, added on December 20th, 2005 at 11:18 AM.

amazing poem. absolutely beautiful.

victoria from United States
Comment 43 of 180, added on December 19th, 2005 at 12:00 AM.

Though different interpretations are very much valid, it is always
essential to go back to the text as some of credibility check. As for me, I
guess the beauty of the poem mainly emanates from its balatant simplicity
that depicts the natural process of aging the search for one's true self.
Note that the poem is rife with such realization, which are further
heightened by the use of personification and some relevant symbolisms (e.g.
mirror, lake, candles, moon), which are very much suggestive as they are.

Gino tiu from Philippines
Comment 42 of 180, added on November 22nd, 2005 at 10:47 AM.

I'm not sure that she is looking at herself, she is the mirror (she is
exact)that is to say that perhaps she has no identity. In the second stanza
the woman she is in the present kills the child she was and the old woman
she will be. She has no past and no future. I guess the poem reflets a deep
pain, a despair. (No hopes, no remembrance).
She is always looking at the others but whitout any feelings ans Plath even
puts distance between her and them "faces and darkness seperate us over and
over" . And at the very end, she is looking for a guide ("candles or the
moon") but they are ephemeral (candle=weak flame, moon= only the reflection
of the sun). The comparison with the fish maybe means that she has only
eyes to see but without any feelings (she is looking at herself, she, the
artist is looking at herself, the weak woman.)
I love this poem.

Claire from France
Comment 41 of 180, added on November 14th, 2005 at 11:01 AM.

I have read alot of skepticism at the use of the fish at the end of the
poem. This is just a guess of course, becuase she can not go back in time
and ask Sylvia herself, but maybe in using the fish she makes old age seem
rotten and that rot rises to her, day after day, like the smell of a rotten
fish and it gets worse everyday.

morgan from United States

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Information about Mirror

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Mirror
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1961
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 11645 times

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