Do you detect consistencies between Sylvia Plath's poem "Mirror" and Margaret Atwood's poem "Morning In the Burned House"? Why or why not?

There are certain consistencies in the poems, such as the fact that both show readers a woman who has aged and must deal with her personal feelings and the consequences of aging. The woman in "Mirror" is sad about aging, even dreading the passing of time and its effects on her face, however, while the woman in "Morning in the Burned House" is "alone and happy" and feels she has become radiant.

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While there are certainly a number of differences between the two poems, both seem to depict a woman who is very aware of the loss of her youth. In "Mirror," a physical mirror narrates, describing a woman who comes back to look at her reflection in the mirror again and again. While the mirror once reflected her as a "young girl," it now shows her that she is becoming an "old woman," something that seems to make the woman incredibly sad, as she responds with "tears and an agitation of hands" when she sees her appearance reflected truthfully. In "Morning in the Burned House," it is a woman, herself, who narrates, and she seems to mourn the loss of the people who populated her youth, the physical house she seemed to share with them, as well as "[her] own body." She feels as though she has been changed to "cindery, non-existent, / radiant flesh." However, while the woman in Plath's poem feels sad and seems to dread the old woman becoming clearer in the mirror, the woman in Atwood's poem does not seem to share this dread. In fact, she claims to be "alone and happy." Age, for Plath's woman, is like a "terrible fish," but for Atwood's woman, she has become "radiant" and "Incandescent," words that have a much more positive connotation. In this sense, then, the poems are inconsistent in their treatment of aging.

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