Poem Analysis

786 words - 4 pages

Poetry is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience.” Sylvia Plath is a poet well-known for her ability to relate to her readers by putting her own struggles and anxieties into her work. Throughout her lifetime, Plath struggled with severe, chronic depression and was deemed unstable at the age of thirteen after locking herself in a basement and attempting suicide. In her early twenties, she struggled to preserve her crumbling family and waning literary career, while her infidel husband seemed to be swimming in academic success. In 1961, roughly two years before her suicide, Plath wrote the poem “Mirror” which reflected ...view middle of the document...

” The speakers blatant harshness is validated, because it does nothing short of telling the reader that it is “unlisted by love or dislike”, therefore the mirror does not have the ability to play favorites. Jeannine Johnson says that although the mirror is an inanimate object Plath personified, it is “a kind of nonjudgmental and unemotional character that humans lack” (122.) Freedman also entitles Plath’s poem as a “funhouse maze of destabilizing self-entrapment,” since it is also the poem that mostly demands “vigorously on the unaltering precision of the mirror’s reflections” (58.) In the second stanza, the speaker switches from a solid mirror, to a lake. While the tone of the first stanza is almost playful, the last stanza’s tone shifts to a darker tone. A lake, like a mirror, has the same reflective properties, but also suggests depth, coldness, the unknown, and the threat of death (Poetry for Students 117.) At the beginning of the poem the reader is given context clues to assist in figuring out who the speaker is, where as on line ten the reader is given a simple “Now I am a lake” which begs the question “who is the lake?” While a mirror is still and hard, a lake is ever-changing and fluid. But while...

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