Study Guide

Mirror Appearances

By Sylvia Plath

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A poem written from the point of view of a mirror is practically required to be, to some extent, about appearances. This mirror tells us repeatedly about how accurate and unbiased it is in showing appearances – which doesn't work out so well for the aging woman in the second stanza, who seems very concerned with the way that she looks. This poem explores the importance and transience of appearances.

Questions About Appearances

  1. What effect does this poem's point of view have on the theme of appearances?
  2. What are the differences, if any, between the reflections in the mirror and the reflections in the lake?
  3. Why is the lake, or her reflection in the lake, important to the woman?
  4. In this poem, what is the relation between appearances and what the woman is looking for – what she really is?

Chew on This

The point of view in this poem emphasizes the theme of appearances.

In this poem, the woman searches for herself by looking at her physical appearance.

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