Sylvia plath was one of the most dynamic and admired poets of the 20th century. It was published byfaber and faber eight years after her death in 1971 as part of thecollection crossing the water. May 23, 2011 sylvia plath graduated smith college with honors in june 1955. Explication of mirror by sylvia plath sample essays.
In essence, the appearance of the double is an aspect of mans eternal desire to solve the enigma of his own identity. Jul 19, 2010 a playful poem that presents a mirror as having human characteristics. Within this poem, there is a clash between truth and perception. I am not cruel, only truthful 5 the eye of a little god, fourcornered. The preceding posts covers a c19 sextant restoration and making a keystone sextant case on christmas eve of 1974, the small city of darwin in northern australia was struck by cyclone tracy, a very compact and intense cyclone with winds gusting to well over 220 kph 140 mph. Sylvia plath is so ingrained in popular literary culture that her mythical. In the ensuing years her work attracted the attention of a multitude of. The overall meaning of the poem mirror pen and the pad. By seeking to read the riddle of his soul in its myriad. While living in winthrop, eightyearold plath published her first poem in the boston heralds childrens section. In a letter to her brother warrenthat appears in the first of two volumes of the letters of sylvia plathsylvia plath writes of her mother. In the magic mirror, plath hypothesises that the literary phenomenon of the double is related both to contradictions in mans character and to the complex. She cant take big problems or excitements without staying awake all night, and so our main responsibility is to give her the illusion only now it hardly seems like an illusion that we are happy.
Or you can download it in pdf here, if youre willing to sign up for the sites. Plath an american poet, novelist and short story writer. A jungian alchemical reading nephie christodoulides, university of cyprus in this paper i propose a new reading of sylvia plaths honor thesis the magic mirror, a reading which, like the idol in a magic mirror demonstrating a disturbance. The narrator, that is the mirror, begins by saying that it is silver and exact. Thereafter, she went to england to study at newnham college under. The poet brings out the fact that mirror is accepted as the most truthful after god but is the most hated by people who expect a more beautiful reflection of their figure than what is real. Background of the poem the poem was written by sylvia plath in 1961. This applies to both of the characters described in the poem.
Reflections of self and other in sylvia plaths mirror. Mar 02, 2020 sylvia plath was an american poet best known for her novel the bell jar, and for her poetry collections the colossus and ariel. Here, the depths hide something frightening and sinister. She married fellow poet ted hughes in 1956 and they lived together first in the united states and then england, having two children.
Sylvia plaths mirror sylvia plaths mirror offers a unique perspective on the attitudes of aging. In mirror, sylvia plath gives us the point of view of the mirror actually a mirror in the 1960s, a time when the meaning of plaths reflection, and womens reflections in general, were rapidly changing. Written in firstperson point of view, the speaker is the mirror. In the ensuing years her work attracted the attention of a multitude of readers, who saw in her singular verse an. Her originally submitted typescript is held by the mortimer rare book room at smith college a. Sylvia plath was an american author and poet who lived from 19321963. The poem is written from the mirror s perspective and details what it. Jul 31, 2016 in the second stanza, sylvia plath introduces a new element to the poem. The poem is narrated by the mirror, which doesnt provide an unbiased and impartial view on its character contrary to what the mirror claims. I recommend you to read the laburnum top by ted hughes. Sylvia plath wrote the poem in 1961, just two years before her actual. The feminist movement was becoming more prominent just as plath herself was beginning to experience motherhood and to enter middle age. Reflections of self and other in sylvia plaths mirror imagery. She uses poetry as a way to confess her feelings, to express and release her pain in life.
Line by line summary of mirror by sylvia plath mirror is written in blank verse and is divided into two stanzas. I agree with denvor fernandez because people really do hate the truth and they turn to other things to tell them what they want to hear like the woman turns to the candles and the moon to make her prettier. She had spent her senior year working on a special honors thesis which she titled. Mirror by sylvia plath is one of the great american lyrical poems. Its on microfilm at the smith college library and there should be a copy in smiths plath collection. A jungian alchemical reading download download pdf. Mirror by sylvia plath is a poem narrated from the perspective of a mirror.
Mirror by sylvia plath uses a couple of different figures of speech in it to get its point across. Hence, although the narrators form has changed, its function hasnt. I am silver and exact, i see her back, and reflect it faithfully, these descriptions follow the definition of a mirror. Born in boston, massachusetts, she studied at smith college and newnham college at the university of cambridge, before receiving acclaim as a poet and writer. Ever caught yourself looking in the mirror a little too long, just staring at your own reflection. Plath suffered from depression most of her life and, perhaps, often felt more sympathy toward the mirror than to the face reflected within. This poem from sylvia plaths first collection, the colossus and other poems, explores the idea that the oppressed will quietly rise up, or the meek shall inherit the earth, as in mathhew 5. This idea is first presented through the form of the stanzas where the mirror is silver and exact plath 1 then when the mirror is now a lake 10.
The monster in plaths mirror, essay date october 1993 in the following essay, freedman discusses plaths use of the mirror as a symbol of female passivity, subjugation, and plaths own conflicted selfidentity caused by social pressure to reconcile the competing obligations of artistic and domestic life. Analysis of sylvia plaths mirror sylvia plath is known as the poet of confession. The duality that sylvia plath wrote about in her thesis provides the basis for the personality of esther, the protagonist of plaths the bell jar. This is an interesting poem and what makes it even better is that she talks as if she is the mirror. Mirror by sylvia plath by cecilia gaultney on prezi. Introduction the problem of the double personality has been of central concern to man from primitive times to the present. The mirror imagery in plaths poetry, therefore, signifies the. She is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for two of her published collections, the colossus and other poems and ariel, as well as the bell jar, a semiautobiographical novel published shortly before her death. Get an answer for what is the poem mirror by sylvia plath about. Mirror by sylvia plath shows the shallowness and superficial concerns of women through the personification and the description of a mirror reflecting a womans life and her character. An analysis of intimacy in sylvia plaths poetry 17 fourth stanza with its own reflection in the mirror of loyal and unique loneliness.
Oct 27, 2017 in a letter to her brother warrenthat appears in the first of two volumes of the letters of sylvia plathsylvia plath writes of her mother. The mirror is described as a lake, because the woman who stands before it, seeing her image tries to look deep into every part of her image. A study of the double in two of dostoyevskys novels in january 1955 and graduated from smith with highest honors in june 1955. How sylvia plaths rare honors thesis helped me understand my. What is the message behind mirror, sylvia plath s poem. Sylvia plaths poem mirror, written sometime between 1960 and 1961, actually contains not one, but many metaphors implicit comparisons between two seemingly different things. Sylvia plath s mirror sylvia plath s mirror offers a unique perspective on the attitudes of aging. Mirror displays tremendous insight and objectivity into the natural human behavior of growing older.
I am not cruel, only truthful in the poem, mirror, by sylvia plath, which can be read in full here, the mirror gives its own description and says that i am silver coloured and i am very accurate while reflecting the images of the objects that fall on my surface. A study of the double in two of dostoevskys novels. On november 20, 1962, three months before her death, sylvia plath was living in devon, england, when she wrote to her college. We know mirrors dont talk but that just makes us more curious about what this mirror is going to say. She changes the narrator from the rectangular mirror, meditating on the opposite wall, to a lake. While living in winthrop, eightyearold plath published her first poem in. Teaching climate change in this increasingly challenging time. A jungian alchemical reading nephie christodoulides, university of cyprus in this paper i propose a new reading of sylvia plath s honor thesis the magic mirror, a reading which, like the idol in a magic mirror demonstrating a disturbance. Return to article details sylvia plaths the magic mirror. Whatever i see i swallow immediately just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike. Sylvia plath project gutenberg selfpublishing ebooks. Jul 31, 2016 line by line summary of mirror by sylvia plath mirror is written in blank verse and is divided into two stanzas. Sylvia plaths poem, mirror, symbolizes the troubled self of the woman, especially the woman artist who has to reject the given masks imposed on her by the patriarchal society and see herself as an artist and an individual.
By the time she took her life at the age of 30, plath already had a following in the literary community. If youre not near northhampton massachusetts, or unable to get permission to see it, there were copies printed in book form in the 1980s, but t. The freeverse poem tells the story of a woman who continuously looks at her reflection first in a mirror and then in a lake. Essay on analysis of sylvia plaths mirror 1289 words cram. I am not cruel, only truthful mirror sylvia plath the eye of a little god, fourcornered. The great interest in the sylvia plath manuscript collections, combined with a desire. Her interest in what appears on the surface and what is hidden is reflected in mirror.
It appeared in plaths posthumously published collection crossing the water. Her novel, the bell jar, is strongly autobiographical, and her later poems, such as daddy and lady lazarus, show great power and pathos borne on flashes of incisive wit. Sylvia plath october 27, 1932 february 11, 1963 was an american poet, novelist and short story writer. Sylvia plath bibliography sylvia plath was born on october 27, 1932 in boston, massachusetts. Sylvia plath was an american poet best known for her novel the bell jar, and for her poetry collections the colossus and ariel. Brainstormfivethingsyouknowaboutmirrors,associatewith. Mirror was written two years before plath committed suicide in 1963. A study of the double in two of dostoyevskys novels. Plath is able to emphasize the loneliness, hope, despair, and insecurity that awaits us through.
Sylvia plath submitted her thesis, the magic mirror. This lesson plan presents the poem to the class and is supported by a text lesson that summarizes key points. In the poem mirror, by sylvia plath, the poet communicates the idea that ones perception of youth and old age can influence how one views the passage of time. I am not cruel, only truthful the eye of a little god, fourcornered. The entire poem is told by the mirror itself, meaning that personification is used throughout the poem because most mirrors lack the ability to. The poem mirror by sylvia plath, is a comment on a womans desire to look. Born in boston, massachusetts, she studied at smith college and newnham college, cambridge before receiving acclaim as a professional poet and writer. The magic mirror by sylvia plath sylvia plath graduated smith college with honors in june 1955. She cant take big problems or excitements without staying awake all night, and so our main responsibility is to give her the illusion only now it hardly seems like an illusion that we are happy and successful and independent. The mirror was written by sylvia plath in 1961 but wasnt published until 1971, eight years after her death by suicide. In the second stanza, sylvia plath introduces a new element to the poem. What is the message behind mirror, sylvia plaths poem. While sylvia might sound a little bit like silver, were pretty sure from this firstperson declaration that plath isnt the speaker in this poem.
She was suffering from depression and her poetry is a proof. Jun 15, 2017 mcgee of 303 and lectures on sylvia plaths mirror. Sylvia plath 193263 was an american poet and novelist whose bestknown works explore the themes of alienation, death, and selfdestruction. The magic mirror by sylvia plath sylvia plath info. October 27, 1932 february 11, 1963 was an american poet, novelist, and shortstory writer. A playful poem that presents a mirror as having human characteristics. Sylvia plath graduated smith college with honors in june 1955. Pdf mind over myth the divided self in the poetry of sylvia plath. Her novel, the bell jar, is strongly autobiographical, and her later poems, such as daddy and lady lazarus. Spiderlike, i spin mirrors, loyal to my image plath, 259 the image is synonymous to death, she can only remember but deadly single word of what is left. When they fail to see them look beautiful in the mirror, they. She was a driven person, and she graduated summa cum laude from smith college in 1955.414 498 1053 1073 1496 1359 720 428 1514 1358 1227 644 1175 962 889 296 179 756 643 1302 1033 568 277 1427 691 129 687 41 1321 810 730 894 1071 992 1193 653 255 256 524 701 204 1386