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Comment 30 of 160, added on June 1st, 2005 at 10:13 AM.
I enjoy this poem alot, this very poem is what got me interested in Slvia
Plath.Through the poem "Mirror" Plath expresses herself through the mirror.
In certain lines she shows that she is dissapointed in herself and doesn't
want to get old.
tina from United States
Comment 29 of 160, added on May 17th, 2005 at 10:05 PM.
well, I really like this poem. I had used this poem as a presentation
material in my poetry class, and it was wonderfil. The lecturer was very
impressed. I had a good learning from this poem and more knowlegde about
Sylvia.I think she describes herself as a mirror.I just want to read this
poem again and again.
Comment 28 of 160, added on May 4th, 2005 at 5:04 PM.
I would just like to thank Jenny Shungu from the U.S. for offering such an
extensive analysis on this poem. I'm not not that great at interpreting
poetry. After I read this poem, I analyzed it myself and wanted to compare
mine to others analysises. I find many simalarities between mine and hers.
I will sure take her ideas and mix them in with mine. Thank you very much!
Nicole Z. from United States
Comment 27 of 160, added on April 20th, 2005 at 9:34 AM.
I think the peoem is ruined by its abrupt, and quite honestly, random
ending. I have read all the comments on what the 'fish' is supposed to be
and don't really see any of them as viable if anyone has any isights i
would much appreciate them, especially with the end of a poem being so
from United Kingdom
Comment 26 of 160, added on April 19th, 2005 at 4:47 PM.
This poem is important. It is clear, and though it may be a metaphor for
her life or her personal experiences such as suicide attempts or her
husband's infidelity, it can also be taken at face value. The fact that it
can be enjoyed on both levels allows it to reach out to a wide audience,
which makes it a true success.
Kathleen from United States
Comment 25 of 160, added on March 27th, 2005 at 4:58 PM.
you guys are disgusting and disrespectful. mirror is a beautiful poem about
love, lies, truth and self esteem.
belinda from Australia
Comment 24 of 160, added on March 27th, 2005 at 5:28 AM.
Did anyone else feel like a wank after eading this poem
Xoidsfh from China
Comment 23 of 160, added on March 17th, 2005 at 9:28 PM.
ylvia Plath was born in Boston in 1932, and she passed away in 1963.
Although she lived a very unique lifestyle Sylvia Plath became a very well
known respectable poet. Plath published her first poem at the age of eight.
She suffered from a serious mental illness, and committed suicide at the
age of thirty. She wrote many poems, but the ones selected by her late
husband Ted Hughes were published in 1985. Among the poems that were
selected was one of her most famous piece called Mirror.
The poems Mirror is about a women looking to a mirror for its truthfulness
when searching for her true identity.
The mirror in the poem symbolizes truth. Truth is a powerful tool in the
piece. The mirror is cold and sharp like its touch. When you look into a
mirror you only see what is there, the phase “Whatever I see I swallow
immediately”2 supports my statement. If a person has flaws a mirror will be
straight forward and display them with no hesitation “Searching my reaches
for what she really is”11. In the first stanza, the “I am not cruel, only
truthful”4 phrase reveals the mirror's personality and charter. Unlike
humans a mirror cannot judge her with opinions. Sylvia Plath uses
onomatopoeia to give the mirror human characteristics. On line five she
writes “The eye of a little god, four-cornered” which shows that the mirror
is given God-like powers over the women. It becomes almost an obsessive
relationship between the mirror and the women because she looks to the
mirror for comfort only to confronted with the truth about your youth
The mirror triggers conscious and unconscious memories of her life
faithfully. On line thirteen it reads “ I see her back, and reflect it
faithfully” once again showing that truthful charter of the mirror.
Regardless of the fact she hates her reflection the women becomes dependent
on the mirror, and on line fifteen you can see that relationship were it
saws “I am important to her. She comes and goes”15. The phase “I am silver
and exact. I have no preconceptions”1. Shows that a mirror is not capable
of showing anything else, then what is put in front of it. The mirror shows
no color and has no preference.
Although the mirror revels reality the women still clings to objects that
blind her from the truth. In the second stanza, the phases“Then she turn to
those liars, the candles or the moon”12 shows that the women is attempting
to hide her flaws behind the darkness. It is very clever that Sylvia Plath
used the candles and moon light in this poem because those two items
usually are used for romance. While searching for her identity she
contradicts herself by running away from the truth, instead of embracing
Even away from the mirror the woman is forced to face reality through
nature. The lake is very similar to the mirror because they both reveal the
women's true identity and honest reflection. Plath uses a metaphor to refer
to the candles and moon as lairs because they just reveal shadows, and they
only show half of the big pictures. The candles and moonlight don't give
the exact truth like the mirror. The candles and moon are just distractions
to finding the essential self. The candle and moonlight show her a
deceptive delusion by hiding winkles, dentures, hair loss, and weight
The phase “Now I am a lake”10 reveals the transformation of the mirror.
The women then realizes even outside of her home she can't escape the
truth. It is obvious that she is unhappy with her reflection. On line
fourteen it states “She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands”,
which implies that she is aging, and it is difficult for her to except the
aging process with open arms. While she is crying the mirror sees it was a
reward and has no sympathy. The women misses the youth and beauty of the
young girl she was. On line seventeen it states “In me she has drowned a
young girl, and in me an old women”17. It is very difficult for the women
to go though the aging process because she feels depressed and
The last line of the poem reads “Rises toward her day after day, like a
terrible fish”18, indicates that she feels insecure about her reflection.
It is interesting that Plath choose a fish instead of any other animal.
When Plath used a lake in place of a mirror she may have needed a creature
that lived in a lake to compare her feeling of living in the mirror. She is
trying to make to point that a fish depends on water the same way the woman
depends on the mirror. Usually fish are very glamorous animals because they
come in all different shapes and sizes, but the women in the poem
contradicts that stereotype. She sees herself as a something terrible
because of her fading beauty. Sylvia Plath suffered from depression and
had very little compassion for herself. This poem shows how she was sacred
from the truth the mirror was showing her. Throughout this poem there is a
theme of the truth and lies. The poem Mirror is about a women torn between
the true picture of herself and the distorted image others see of her.
Jenny Shungu from United States
Comment 22 of 160, added on February 28th, 2005 at 9:01 PM.
I think this is a beautiful poem which doesn't have to be over analyzed.
What I like to do is just sit back and enjoy the beauty of it.
from United States
Comment 21 of 160, added on February 2nd, 2005 at 12:02 PM.
I noticed as I read on the comments were a wee bit upset with the
professor. Although I must agree with him. Without reading “The Bell Jar”
or her Bio you are going to take a poem and reflect it toward your life’s
emotions and strife or you will try to analyze with what you do know about
her. In “The Bell Jar” there is a entire explanation about the mirror.
She had attempted her first suicide with sleeping pills in the crawl space
of her home. She took too many which saved her life. (she vomited them
up). She was there for 3 days before she was found. In the hospital she
talked a nurse into giving her a mirror. The nurse refused at first then
finally let her have it. At the sight of herself swollen, bruised and bald
she dropped the mirror and broke it. She ended up in a mental institution
undergoing shock therapy. Which would explain the bottom portion of the
poem. I have noticed in my independent study of Plath she basis most of
her writings on her own life and strife. Cueing in actual events. Once
you’ve read the “Bell Jar” which I recommend and more vivid bios her works
make so much more sense in aspect to her herself. Hope this cleared up
some of the fogginess. After reading this comment, reread the poem. See
what you think.
from United States
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