In the poem “Mirror,” by Silvia Plath, the speaker takes on two separate yet similar personas that are represented in two distinct stanzas. In the first, the speaker is representing an actual mirror as it is noted that it hangs on the wall and only shows truthfulness in the reflections that are shown. There is little interaction between the speaker and any other subject that may be viewed within the reflections. In fact, the speaker appears to be lonely and longing for some form of interaction. In the second stanza, the speaker continues to discuss reflections but instead these are not indoors in a mirror but rather outdoors in a lake. The speaker appears to interact with those who view themselves in the reflection and even suggests that the lake consumes these lookers.
The sadness appears to be in the spectators more so than in the speaker as the speaker seems to be a part of a larger story. In the first stanza the speaker seems to be sharing his or her own story of sadness whereas in the second the speaker appears to be sharing the sadness that has been consumed in the reflections and carried by those who have looked to the lake for their own identity. However, the similarities between the two remain in the reflections that are viewed despite who may be represented through these visible signs of life passing while the differences remain to be the perception of the sadness and the desire to view change no matter what that change may turn out to be.
This poem is especially important in today’s society as it shows that the perception can depict how a person views themselves and others. A person can choose to only see what they want to see and stay safely in their own atmosphere but they will likely be lonely. It is far better to experience life through interacting with others and trying to understand their journeys as much as one might try to understand their own. In short, the poem encourages people to look around and absorb life instead of simply observing it.