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Mirror by Sylvia Plath Who is the narrator of this poem?

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1 Mirror by Sylvia Plath Who is the narrator of this poem?
Find a line or phrase that suggests the mirror is unaffected by personal feelings. What does ‘meditating on the opposite wall’ mean? Why does Plath describe the wall as ‘part of [her] heart’? How does the mood alter in the second stanza? What do you think the woman is doing? What does the lake symbolise? Why does she call the candles and the moon ‘liars’? Write a short paragraph explaining why you like or dislike this poem.


3 Background on Sylvia Plath
Born 1932, died 1963 Suffered from depression and low self- esteem Committed suicide three days after writing 'Mirror' Married to poet Ted Hughes – their divorce was said to be the reason behind Plath's suicide

4 Essay Writing Using 'Mirror' by Sylvia Plath
Re-read the poem and make notes on what it means to you Remember to use quotations (including quotation marks) throughout your essay.

5 Introduction -Give the title of the poem and the poet.
-Say what sort of poem it is (in this case – free-verse – it doesn't rhyme – and laid out in two stanzas) -Write a few short sentences about the subject of the poem (truth, reflection, death, suicide...)

6 Imagery -What are the pictures used in the poem? Why do you think they are used and what effect do they have on the reader? -What metaphors, similes and personification are used? -What senses are tapped into? Does this help you enjoy or understand the poem?

7 Form & Structure -Are there any interesting features in the poem from the way it appears on the page – e.g. shape, length of lines, number of stanza

8 Rhyme & Rhythm -Does the poem rhyme? If so, what pattern is used – e.g. ABAB, ABCB -Are there any strong beats in the poem – rhythm? -If so, say why the poet might have used them.

9 Language -Does the choice of words used by the poet help us understand her feelings? -Poets use certain words to trigger how we think about a poem – which words do this? -Think about the sound of the poem – which techniques are used? e.g. Alliteration, Onomatopoeia

10 Themes -Explore the themes and ideas more carefully.
-What is the poem really about? What message is Plath trying to put across?

11 Conclusion -How do you respond to the poem? Does it work for you?
-Give your thoughts and feelings about the poem.

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