The Figures Displayed in Sylvia Plath's Mirror

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The Figures Displayed in Sylvia Plath's Mirror

The speaker in Sylvia Plath's poem "Mirror" is the actual mirror itself, which has been owned by a now "old woman" (16) for quite some time. This woman has looked into her mirror every day for many years now. The mirror is very aware of her presence and its environment when she is not present. The author provides many details in order for the reader to grasp the mirror's view on its ever-day sights, but this would be an impossible task without the major use of figures of speech. Plath uses many figures of speech for the benefit of the reader to completely grasp the tone and theme of the poem. Once analyzed, we see that all of these figures of speech come together to achieve one overall
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Metaphors are very necessary to bring live characteristics to the mirror: "The eye of a little god, four cornered" (4). Metaphors such as this one not only bring a sense of life to the object, but compare it to a god. This gives hint to the implied power that the mirror has. It sees everything (in its four cornered view) and nothing is hidden when in its sight. Another interesting metaphor is the comparison of the wall with a piece of the mirror's heart: ."..I mediate on the opposite wall/ ...I have looked at it so long/ I think it is a part of my heart" (6-8). When the woman is not there for the mirror to reflect, there is only the opposite wall. This is such a key part of the mirror's day to reflect the appearance of the wall, that it thinks it is a part of its heart. It goes on to say that "it flickers" (8), meaning that the wall is not always there, but faces interfere with its visibility. These faces are those of the owner.

The author continues into the second stanza with the mirror narrating its sights. The infamous woman is introduced: "A woman bends over me" (10). More metaphors are noticeable when the mirror notes on her search for whom "she really is" (11). When she cannot find herself in the mirror, "she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon" (12). The candles or the moon are being compared to liars, accused of not telling the truth of who she really is. There is also a great use of imagery that is used with the intention of conveying the

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