Lady in the Lonoking Glass Essay

Pages: 3 (944 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature


Looking Critically at "The Lady in the Looking-Glass"

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Virginia Woolf is a prominent figure in feminist literature. She wrote many pieces, including poems, and short stories. One of her short stories, "The Lady in the Looking-Glass" is the subject of the paper. The story paints a vivid, conflicted, and alienated picture of the main character of the story, Isabella Tyson. Tyson is a single, wealthy woman, in her middle aged years, living alone in her own home. The looking-glass is a phrase that means mirror, so this is a story about reflections and about the self. Tyson, to the outside observer, has a life that is full of excitement, travel, and independence. She travels the world, risking her health in some cases, in order to bring home beautiful and wondrous cultural artifacts from the far reaches of the world that decorate her home. She is able to finance her trips and her purchases with no outside assistance. Her home is some kind of beautiful tomb, full of objects from around the world, yet there is no life to her house. Tyson has no friends. She has no human connections, no social networks. Tyson is truly alone. The narration alternates between third person and first person. Sometimes this technique makes the reader feel like the narrator is the lead character and is trying to talk about herself from an outside or detached perspective, which would be a reflection of the modernist theme of many of Woolf's works. The looking-glass is the mirror and is the stark reflection of Tyson's superficially fully, but truly empty existence, which is traumatic and tragic to realize. This trauma, tragedy, and emptiness is likely why the opening and closing lines of the story "The Lady in the Looking-Glass" are the same: "People should not leave looking-glasses hanging in their rooms," for if they do, their plain truth of their lives will be revealed to them and any other person(s) who look at the reflection, too.

TOPIC: Essay on Lady in the Lonoking Glass a Reflection Assignment

This story and the author are very much concerned with constructions and layers of the self. This is a theme in the story, a recurring theme in Woolf's overall body of work, and a theme of the modernist period in literature. The mirror and the reflections in the mirror are supposed to symbolize different parts of Tyson's self and her world. There is the public self and there is the private self. There is the self that the rest of the world knows and there is the self that only the self knows. Furthermore, the story considers the parts of the self that remain the same and the parts of the self that are in flux. These ideas are contemplated and explored in the nature of the reflections seen in the looking-glass. Howard contends

The looking-glass motif is a recurrent feature of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Lady in the Lonoking Glass" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Lady in the Lonoking Glass.  (2013, August 14).  Retrieved September 26, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Lady in the Lonoking Glass."  14 August 2013.  Web.  26 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Lady in the Lonoking Glass."  August 14, 2013.  Accessed September 26, 2021.