Atwood's Tricks With Mirrors as a Declaration of Female Independence

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Atwood's Tricks With Mirrors as a Declaration of Female Independence

Relationships are complex things, with ever-changing dynamics. Some traditional roles are always played in the constant search for balance between giving and taking in relationships. Women have historically and stereotypically played the role of "giver" in male-female romantic unions. In recent years the gender laws of relationships have been changing and evolving, but even as recently as the 1970s and 1980s women have been restricted to the role of complacent giver in their relationships. Their freedom of thought and even private speech have been impossible to repress, however, and through broadening that communication, things have been forced into change. A perfect
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She is only a mirror, after all. The speaker tells us that her lover is blind - whether willingly or not is not identified - to the truth of their relationship when she says that, during their intimate moments, "your own eyes you find you / are up against closed closed," (lines 16-17). She speaks with a bitter tone, clearly showing that she is displeased with her situation and the constant expectations she must meet. At the same time, though, she writes with an open-handed honesty - she is simply a mirror telling her story, it seems. The introduction that Part I provides us with identifies the problem the speaker is facing - she is at once unhappy but has willingly placed herself in her role as mirror.

In the second part of Atwood's poem, the speaker describes the undeniable feelings that come from being a separate entity apart from her lover. Even as a mirror, there is more to her than there seems. As a woman hiding behind the metaphor of a mirror, the speaker seems to be telling her lover that the facets of her personality and physical appearance should not go unnoticed in the shadows of the way she serves to reflect. She tells her lover, "There is more than this dead blue / oblong eye turned outwards to you," (lines 18-19). In the same stanza, she describes the other parts of the mirror: the frame and its intricacies that do not reflect the

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