The poem "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath takes us into the thoughts of a woman by presenting the situation from an interesting perspective. The "Mirror" is a poem which incorporates various poetic techniques that are effective in shaping meaning and creating a mood. It features the techniques of personification which give significance to the poem and reflect the poetís life as well as discussing themes such as a womanís role, depression, and the passage of time. It also uses imaginative language that also contributes to the mood, which is dark and emotional.
'Nickand the Candlestick' is an extraordinary complex and intellectuallydifficult poem but that difficulty is not a high gloss imposed on the poemby a mind still confined by an academic tradition, it is the natural attributeof what Sylvia Plath called 'that unicorn thing--a real poem.'
Source: Eileen Aird, "'Poem for a Birthday' to 'Three Women':Development in the Poetry of Sylvia Plath," in Vol.
Throughout the poem Sylvia Plath sheds light on the status of women within society; in the same way that women depend on the mirror, they depend on men. According to Sylvia, women are marginalized, belittled and entangled in male-domination. The poem is a kind of rebellion against the so-above-depicted status of women. Sylvia stresses the idea of women's ability and capacity to introduce a revolutionary change. A change, the seeds of which are planted thanks to the poem.
This becomes very clear if we compare Lowell's own comment on the intentionof with Sylvia Plath's note on 'Daddy.' Lowelltold an interviewer: 'there was always that standard of truth which youwouldn't ordinarily have in poetry--the reader was to believe that he wasgetting the real Robert Lowell!' whereas Sylvia Plath wrote of 'Daddy':'The poem is spoken by a girl with an Electra complex.
"Mirror" is one of Sylvia Plath's most popular poems. The poem handles an issue that is of pivotal importance to all women women's submission to male domination.
Inthe daughter the two strains marry and paralyse each other--she has toact out the awful little allegory before she is free of it.' Sylvia Plath'scomment is not an evasion of the confessional aspect of the poem but anindication of the extent to which the personal is subordinated to a muchmore inclusive dramatic structure.
The poem refers much to Narcissus and shows Sylvia Plath's dramatic depression and suicidal images. When the poem states that "turns to those liars, the candles or the moon" she refers to the fact that they are untruthful because they do not reflect the truth only the mirror is the only object that reflects the real truth because it has no preconceptions.
I am a tenth grade student completing a research paper about Sylvia Plath. Using the Contemporary Literary Criticism volumes at my schoolís library and some comments on this forum, I have concluded the following about her poem "Mirror".
It is clear that Sylvia Plath's descriptionof 'Daddy' and 'Lady Lazarus' as 'light verse' is descriptiveof a mode which contrives a highly sophisticated blend of the ironic andthe violent.
I am not as in depth in my knowledge of Sylvia Plath as others seem to be here in this forum but after reading "Mirror" I have developed some of my own ideas.
What she did achieve for the first time in however, was the wry, mocking humour which in frequentlyallows her to maintain the balance between public and private by deflectinginterest from 'the needle or the knife.' 'In Plaster,' which owessomething to Sylvia Plath's observations of a fellow-patient when she wasrecovering from her appendectomy, is wry, brilliant, humorous in its portraitof the relationship between cast and patient.
Sylvia Plath's own analysisof some of the poems in this volume is penetrating: bewailing their lackof dynamic accuracy with the self-mocking irony she employs with such brilliancein she indicates the gulf between poetry as craft,the period of and poetry as necessity, the periodof The poems, she says, are like those pickled foetusesof specimens for learning not the real livingbeing and yet:It wasn't for any lack of mother-loveO I cannot understand what happened to them!
It is a Paradise of autonomy and recognised identity, an imageof completeness and completeness is one of the central subjects of achieves the ironic perspective but itfails to organise the opposites of Plath's vision into the drive towardsperfection of A final demonstration of the distinction between the assurance and imagisticrichness of the late poetry and the valuable experiments of the transitionalperiod lies in a comparison of 'Candles' with 'Nick and the Candlestick.'Both poems start from the imaginative associations of a mother nursingher child by candlelight but whereas 'Candles' goes no further thana consideration of the passage of time which links the Edwardian grandparentswith the new baby, 'Nick and the Candlestick' encompasses the painfulworld of the creative imagination and the potential dangers of the man-madeworld but is able to move beyond both in the affirmation of the mother'slove for the child:You are the oneSolid the spaces lean on envious.
The last line of the poem reads "Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish," indicates that she feels insecure about her reflection. It is interesting that Plath chose a fish instead of any other animal. When Plath used a lake in place of a mirror she may have needed a creature that lived in a lake to compare her feeling of living in the mirror. She is trying to make to point that a fish depends on water the same way the woman depends on the mirror. Usually fish are very glamorous animals because they come in all different shapes and sizes, but the women in the poem contradicts that stereotype. She sees herself as a something terrible because of her fading beauty. Sylvia Plath suffered from depression and had very little compassion for herself. This poem shows how she was scared from the truth the mirror was showing her. Throughout this poem there is a theme of the truth and lies. The poem "Mirror" is about a women torn between the true picture of herself and the distorted image others see of her.