Sylvia Plath's Poem 'Mirror'

Decent Essays
In today’s day and age, it seems that some would do anything to erase a crease in their forehead, or a crinkle on the outskirts of an eye. Because time is something that we can never get back, growing older is an idea that many try to deny, especially in today’s society. Told from a mirror’s point of view, the mirror in the poem witnesses the truth of what it means to age. Sylvia Plath’s poem, Mirror, is a poem that deals with the truths and lies in the struggle a woman goes through when grasping the reality of aging. The poem is appealing due to the ways in which Plath successfully uses personification, figurative language, and diction in her writing to emphasize this idea, as well how the concept of keeping up appearances and
…show more content…
As the woman has aged, she no longer likes what she sees in the reflection of the mirror, and although it is the cruel reality of life, Plath’s metaphor of a mirror being a lake can be appreciated because to look inside one’s soul is of essence in deciphering who one is.
Another metaphor that can be found in the poem starts on line 12 when the mirror states, “Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon” (12). This use of figurative language of the poem addresses how growing old can be disguised for some time. The light that surrounds both candles and the moon is typically either dim or completely dark. Shedding light upon a subject means to shed light upon the truth and to see everything for what it truly is. If one chooses to stay in the dark, one objects him or her self to be sheltered from reality, just as the elderly woman shelters herself from the reality of aging. This metaphor can be appreciated because here again, Plath’s poem relates to today’s culture. Women especially seem to fear growing old. In order to counteract any signs of aging, many women turn to anti aging creams, or even the occasional (or not so occasional in some cases) Botox injection. Just like the liars, the candle and the moon, these remedies only trick women into thinking they’ve defeated time itself and are still able to grasp onto their youthful appearance. Plath’s comparison of candle and moonlight to liars is genius. The
Get Access