Analysis Of Sylvia Plath's Mirror And Stop All The Clocks

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Idea: Grief is soul destroying
Poems: Sylvia Plath's Mirror and W. H Auden's Stop all the Clocks

Although the poems 'Mirror' by Sylvia Plath and 'Stop all the Clocks' by W. H Auden reflect different experiences of grief, they both convey that its repercussions are devastating. Plath's extended metaphor focuses on the pain of aging, whereas Auden's elegy explores the grief of the physical loss of a loved one.

The idea of overwhelming grief is evident in the beginning stanza of Stop all the Clocks with the use of the hyperbolic directive "stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone". In this verse, the narrator is asking for the distractions of the world to stop and is begging the audience to make the impossible happen due to the state of inconsolable grief bestowed on him. Contrastingly, the poem of Mirror is an extended metaphor with the narrative voice being the perspective of a mirror. Looking into the mirror is a woman who is grieving the loss of her youth. Whilst the woman is insecure about the depletion of her physical characteristics, the mirror describes itself to onomatopoeically "swallow" anything it sees and has "no preconceptions", conveying that it does not judge her.
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Auden continues the use of hyperbolic directives, such as "let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead" to emphasize his terrible grief. However, it can now be seen the narrator had an intimate relationship with the deceased through the imagery of "he was my North, my South, my East and West", which also insinuates the deceased was his metaphorical compass and he is now adrift because of his loss. Contrastingly, the mirror changes shape throughout the duration of the poem, with the woman contemplating her appearance in the reflection of a "lake". Her insecurity and struggle becomes more evident when she rewards the narrator with "tears and an agitation of

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