This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Literary Techniques Used In Sylvia Plath's Poem, Mirror

993 words - 4 pages

Mirrors show us who we really are, whether we want to believe it or not. Makeup may help cover the exterior flaws, but when we look in that mirror we all know what we really look like. Mirrors let us see how we are changing and the way we perceive ourselves. Women, more often than men, have self-esteem issues because of what they see in the mirror. They find every little thing they believe is wrong on their face. A huge cause of their insecurities is because of the pedestal's women are put on by men. Accepting who you are and what you look like is the only way you are going to truly be happy. In the poem "Mirror," the author, Sylvia Plath brings into perspective the true importance of mirrors. She brings the past, present and future all into effect in the two short stanzas in this poem. Plath uses symbolism, personification, and metaphors to convey her theme that mirrors reflect who we are and how others see us.
Plath uses symbolism on numerous occasions in this poem. Symbolism is a representation of something through symbols or hidden meanings of objects or qualities. She begins the poem using symbolism when she says, "I am silver and exact" (1) which is a symbol for a mirror. She carries this symbol throughout the poem because the poem is based mostly around a mirror. Another example of how Sylvia Plath uses symbolism is when she brings into play, the words, "swallow (2), unmisted (3), tear (14), and lake (10)" to describe water. Water reflects images just as a mirror can do. Water on the other hand does distort an image. This goes back to how women try purposely to find anything and everything they feel are blemishes. Men have damaged the self-confidence of women by expecting the perfect woman, but we can only give them so much. Using this as a symbol, Plath makes sense of what the poem is truly about. Plath brings a final use of symbolism to the table when she says, "In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman / Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish" (17-18). The symbol for these lines are time, specifically the words drowned and an old woman. These particular words are saying that the young girl drowned, then an old woman rises, showing change overtime.
Personification is a large aspect of this poem because of the fact that the mirror is given human-like characteristics throughout the poem. This is personified because Plath gives the mirror the ability to feel emotions such as anger. The mirror feels anger in the second stanza and expresses this feeling by saying, "The she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon" (12). The mirror is also personified because the mirror is given the ability to think. It shows this when it says, "I think it is a part of my heart" (8)....

Find Another Essay On Literary Techniques Used in Sylvia Plath's Poem, Mirror

Sylvia Plath's Mirror and D.H. Lawrence's Piano

1427 words - 6 pages the reader will experience. The theme of a poem holds the true meaning and point of the poem and is explained using the above literary techniques. While “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath and “Piano” by D.H. Lawrence both contain imagery and tone to convey the poets’ common theme of the longing for the past to revive itself, the poets use different poem structures that further convey their overall message. Both poems, “Mirror” and “Piano” have subjects

Women's Fight Against Social Convention in Sylvia Plath's Poem, Ariel

620 words - 2 pages Women's Fight Against Social Convention in Sylvia Plath's Poem, Ariel "Ariel" is the title poem from Sylvia Plath's controversial collection of poetry written during the last few months of her life in 1963. The traditional gender roles of 1960s America promoted a double-standard and wrongly imposed upon women the idea of a "Happy Housewife Heroine" who cherished "the receptivity and passivity implicit in (her) nature" and was "devoted to

An Analysis of Sylvia Plath's Poem, Daddy

803 words - 3 pages An Analysis of Sylvia Plath's Poem, Daddy Sylvia Plath's famous poem "Daddy" seems to refer quite consistently to her deceased father (and obliquely to her then estranged husband Ted Hughes) by use of many references that can clearly be associated with the background of Otto Plath, emphasizing his German heritage. These include the "Polish town" where Otto was born, the atrocities of the German Nazis in the Second World War ("Dachau

Analysis of Sylvia Plath's poem "daddy"

737 words - 3 pages To attempt to summarize "Daddy" would be an injustice to its many layers of meaning. However, in short, it is a poem in which the speaker tells of her father's early death in her life and the lingering effects it had on her, resulting in an unhealthy preoccupation with him and a desperate need to rid him from her life so she can finally move on. It is not immediately apparent whether the term "daddy" refers to the speaker's actual father or

Literary Techniques Used by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in Crime and Punishment

2039 words - 8 pages A Study of the literary techniques used by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in Crime and Punishment to convey the downfall and subsequent rise of the main character. "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is the story of a young student Raskolnikov and his need to murder an old woman to prove one of his many philosophies. The book begins with the murder, but the primary focus is on his reasoning and reactions before and after the act. It is

?Literary Techniques Used in Hamlet?, by William Shakespeare

1086 words - 4 pages In what way do the techniques used in a prescribed text develop ideas and influence your response as a reader? The revenge tragedy, “Hamlet”, by William Shakespeare is a tale of murder, secrets and lies where a son is called upon by the ghost of his father to avenge his death. Shakespeare uses a range of techniques in order to influence the reader’s understanding of “Hamlet’s” main themes and

Analysis of Sylvia Plath's poem "To Eva Descending Upon the Stair"

683 words - 3 pages Sylvia Plaths' poem "To Eva Descending the Stair" may at first seem only a petty, pretty piece with a few good alliterations which plays upon the overused mystery of the cosmos. However, beyond the references to the moon, sun, and stars, Plath cleverly hides deep symbols of pagan religion and the feminine divine.The title of the poem is the first and only mention of Eva, presumably the addressed "you" in the rest of the poem. Eva could easily be

The Literary Techniques Used to Evoke the World of Senses in Keats Odes

1551 words - 6 pages his diverse and vast use of literary and poetic techniques. In Keats “Ode to a Nightingale” we see the sense embodied through a variety of different literary techniques and in particular his use of synaesthesia imagery. The dejected downhearted nature of the poem promotes emotion in the reader even before noting poetic devices at work. The structure of the meter is regular and adds to the depth of this poem. Throughout this piece the use of

"There is more to poetry than moods and feelings, using Sylvia Plath's poem "Cut" as an example

1615 words - 6 pages settling back into reality after her intense emotional release. This realization of reality is genuine because she refers to the thumb as what it literally is - contrasting with her cryptic, ambiguous descriptions of it. When read aloud, the words come out calmly and slowly, creating a sense of peaceful tiredness to conclude.Poetry is not just about emotions and feelings. Using Sylvia Plath's poem, Cut, as an example, it shows that poems can tell detailed and fascinating life stories in just a few short stanzas, using various forms of poetry devices. Plath's innermost thoughts, darkest desires and psychotic tendencies are all revealed in her poetry.

"Snow Falling on Cedars" by David Guterson - A discussion of some literary techniques used in the novel

1157 words - 5 pages The novel "Snow falling on cedars" by David Guterson is an excellent literary example wherein the author has made use of several literary techniques. These techniques have been effectively placed throughout the novel and help in moving the story forward. Even more importantly, the literary devices used by the author complement the various themes in the novel, like the discrimination in society and the internal war of the two war veterans - Kabuo

This is an essay about the literary techniques used in a shirt story titled "Senior Picture Day", by Michele Serros

1868 words - 7 pages however is very comedic and lighthearted. The author does not try to lecture the reader or force the issues dryly down our throat. To this end, Michele Serros effectively uses the literary techniques of point of view and setting to help the reader understand and relate to the theme she is trying to relay to the reader. Point Of View Point of view within literature is the perspective from which the story is relayed to the audience. In the case of

Similar Essays

Sylvia Plath's Mirror Essay

954 words - 4 pages seen through the usage of words like "replaces the darkness", "drowned a young girl" and "a terrible fish". Which when combined together creates an extremely negative outlook on aging as something that not only destroys our reflection but also ones sense of identity, purpose, and confidence. The critical comparisons found in Sylvia Plath's "mirror" portray a distinctive attitude towards aging. Through contrasting the two

Sylvia Plath's Poem Daddy Essay

2347 words - 9 pages Sylvia Plath's Poem Daddy Plath expressed a feminist point of view in her poems, She was not a very radical feminist, but she did show her rage against men in her works. In "Daddy", Plath expresses her feelings about her family, and the prominent male figures in her life: Sylvia Plath's father Otto Emil Plath, and her husband Ted Hughes. The title itself sounds feminine. This poem is divided into two parts. The first

Metaphors Analysis In Sylvia Plath's Poem

958 words - 4 pages Metaphors Analysis in Sylvia Plath's Poem In Sylvia Plath’s poem, Metaphors, she uses striking imagery to explore her ambivalent attitudes about pregnancy. For example, she uses a negative metaphor saying she is an elephant, meaning she thinks that she has become very fat since she got pregnant. On the other hand, she uses a positive metaphor saying the baby is precious, meaning although pregnancy has its down sides it

Truth, Illusion, And Examination In Sylvia Plath's The Mirror

663 words - 3 pages Truth, Illusion, and Examination in Sylvia Plath's The Mirror           Who would be so pretentious as to suggest that they were "silver and exact," and that they "have no preconceptions?" Poet Sylvia Plath dares to "meditate on the opposite wall" in her poem The Mirror to reveal to her reader some of her own insecurities, the theme of this, and several other of her poems. The poet does some introspective exploration in both stanzas; the