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MLA
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Literature & Language
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English (U.S.)
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Poem Analysis of Sylvia Plath's 'The Mirror' (Essay Sample)

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the poem I want to Analysis is call Mirror by Sylvia Plath source..
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April 30, 2013
Reflection as Self-Realization: Poem Analysis of Sylvia Plath`s "The Mirror"
Is a mirror really passive? Does it simply reflect things as they really are without changing anything in the world? Sylvia Plath`s "The Mirror" says otherwise. Sylvia Plath, the American poet who is recognized as the proponent of the genre of confessional poetry, actually mirrors her whole life with her words. Sylvia Plath`s lifelong bout with depression, tumultuous marriage, and ill-fated suicide makes her one of the widely controversial poets of our time. Her poem "The Mirror" would actually demonstrate the most active element of the mirror which is to reflect. Sylvia Plath`s poetry demonstrates the power of the mirror to reflect the lives of the people as it becomes a dynamic force which leads to self realization and the breaking of myths.
At first, Plath seemed to demonstratethe mirror as lifeless and unfeeling but then again it speaks and has a heart. In the first paragraph we read, Whatever I see I swallow immediately….the opposite wall…I think is part of my heart CITATION Pla13 \l 1033 (Plath). The poet gives a mirror its own voice. The mirror becomes a person and this person has a heart that beats. Earlier in the poem, the poet describes the mirror as the eye of a little god, four-cornered CITATION Pla13 \l 1033 (Plath). This technique used by the poet forces the reader to treat the mirror not as an inanimate object but as a real person with heart and feelings. Literary critique Jeannine Johnson would assert that Plath personifies the mirror with the capacity of speech that only human have in this planet CITATION Joh13 \l 1033 (Johnson). From this moment on the reader would have to contend with the mirror`s ideas about life.
In the second paragraph the mirror would then have the control of the reader`s imagination by saying that it is … a lake where….a woman bends over me searching my reaches for what she really is CITATION Pla13 \l 1033 (Plath). In this stanza the reader is led to unquestionably believe that the mirror is a lake. The lake symbolically compels the reader to unconsciously invoke the archetype of the god Narcissus. It conjures images of magic, mystery and enchantment that can either blind one as in the vanity of Narcissus or lead one to self realization. Plath`s mirror is not one of vanity but one of knowledge where the woman searches the mirror`s reaches for what she really is CITATION Pla13 \l 1033 (Plath). After this, a radical thing happens. The woman turns against the myth creators such as the candles and the moon that conjures memories of happiness, romance and hope. The mirror then leads the woman to see the emptiness of her life as she is led to drown the young girl of her happy childhood (when her father was still alive at the age of eight) and becomes afraid of a future where she will dread the coming of old age like a terrible fish CITA...
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