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Mirror and Warning

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Mirror and Warning The central theme of both the poems is old age. Sylvia Plath and Jenny Joseph express their ideas of old age through the poems 'Mirror' and 'Warning'. The intention of Sylvia Plath and Jenny Joseph are different. The message they want to get through to us differs. Jenny Joseph gearing us up towards old age through Warning and Sylvia Plath making old age sound terrible in Mirror. In the poem mirror, Sylvia Plath uses a lot of dull and negative words making old age sound terrifying "darkness" "drowned" and "terrible". "Then she turns to those liars, the candles the moon" in this sentence she refers to the candle or the moon being a liar putting a negative image. Where as candles and moons are know to be a source of light making it positive. However the poem is very complicated to understand because it has a lot of hidden meanings. She use a lot of vivid language and personification meaning bringing lifeless object to life, for example when she says " Now I'm a lake" first line second paragraph. ...read more.


this indicates that one day everybody must get old so we might as well start to practise and look forward to it. Also in the third paragraph she describes her present life to be very organised, containing a way of life, here she also uses the word "we" in the last line "we must have friends..." to get the reader involved. The dull language in Mirror makes the poem very sad and unhappy. Straight away in the first line we know the lady in mirror has no idea of old age " I have no preconception". We can tell this because later in the poem the lady describes herself as a mirror. One the other hand 'Warning' the first paragraph as well as second is full of ideas and future plans " I shall wear purple, I shall spend my pension, I shall sit on the pavement, press alarm bells, go out in slippers and learn to spit". All these things the lady in Warning intends to do when older. ...read more.


"Rises towards her day after day, like a terrible fish". This quotation shows that day by day the lady is getting older and becoming more unattractive, uglier. The word terrible is used in both the poems. Mirror "Like a terrible fish" giving it a negative image. And Warning "You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat" making it a positive word. The woman in Mirror is dreading old age in fear of becoming uglier. And the woman in warning looks forward to it believing that it is fun being old, like having her youth back. I think 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph is more successful in getting its message across to the readers. Her message is that old age can be really fun, and after reading the poem I believe so too. On the other hand 'Mirror' by Sylvia Plath is also slightly effective but not as much. Sylvia Plath is trying to say old age is something to dread because of how you may look but no everything is about your appearance. Overall Warning wins for being more effective and lively. ...read more.

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