The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection

Activity

A)1. The mirror reflects both the picture we show society and one’s reality. It frames the truth, even if is not what one wants to see or accept. This also happens to Isabella, she is framed by society to be someone who she isn’t. She isn’t able to show her truth.
2. There is a contrast of chaos and tranquility. The outside of the house, as reflected by the mirror, is a garden that is well taken care of. The flowers are all neatly cut and there is order. There are different types of flowers in the garden, adding colors and beauty to the walls. This can show how the flowers cover the ugliness of the walls. As if it hides the truth and distracts the viewer with the different kinds of flowers. This can represent Isabella’s outer self since she creates a facade. She is able to conceal her truth with superficial objects, like the way she dresses and her social life. Whereas the inside of the house is the complete opposite. The inside of the house is a symbol of a person’s true self. The mirror shows a place of total disorder. As if one’s thoughts are all mixed and there isn’t tranquility, like in the garden. The narrator describes the inside of the house by speaking about the faded colors in the objects and how nocturnal creatures appear and start creating chaos. The way that it is narrated, conveys a dark and depressing atmosphere, which comes in contrast with the outside. It symbolizes how Isabella’s mind is the complete opposite of what she shows people. Her mind and thoughts are all scattered. There is no clarity in her head. (I combined questions 2 and 3)
4. The narrator describes Isabella in three different ways. It creates her portrait through the mood inside the room, her own imagination and with the presentation of Isabella in the mirror.
5. Since the narrator doesn’t know Isabella, the facts that are narrated are a product of their imagination. But, we could say that Isabella was rich and a spinster.
6. To imagine Isabella’s life, the narrator uses the letters that Isabella receives, the way she dresses, the garden and the cabinets were she hides the letters.
7. For the narrator, Isabella’s letters are supposed to conceal her true self. The narrator believes that if someone were to read those letters, they would be able to know Isabella. Her passions, experiences, her life. The reader of the letters would be able to connect more with Isabella.
8. According to the narrator, it is possible to know objectively one’s inner reality. This is due to the fact, that the mirror inside one’s house can reveal the inner reality of someone. The mirror can reflect both sides of a person, what we show people and who we really are, even if it may not be an image we like.
9. I believe that her conclusion would be that the inner self of an individual cannot be known. The whole story is a metaphor. The house symbolizes Isabella’s mind, whereas the garden, what Isabella shows the world. Considering this, the mirror can only tell yourself who you really are, not society itself. For society to know who you really are, your inner self, you would become the mirror. You have the choice to tell the rest your reality.
10. I think the role of the mirror in the story is to show someone’s reality. The mirror showcases both sides of Isabella, her inner and outer self. The outer self can be reflected through the garden, whereas the inner self is portrayed through the inside of the house. What the mirror is trying to convey is how we, as people, tend to show others something that isn’t true, a facade. But, once we are alone, we are our truest self. We are able to be free, in a way that we don’t feel judged by society.
11. This technique can be identified in this story since the writing shows that Woolf wrote what first cross her mind, causing the chaos that can be seen throughout the whole story, but especially when the narrator describes Isabella’s house, which is a symbol of her mind.

B) House

Garden

C) The text can be related to the story, “A Lady Through the Looking Glass: a Reflection”, because both of them, speak about similar topics. The Woolf’s story portrays the inner and outer self of Isabella Tyson. It shows two different aspects, what Isabella shows society and who she really is. Isabella Tyson is expected to be married to a man and take care of the children. She is expected to be delicate and elegant, like the garden. When in reality that isn’t who Isabella really is. Isabella is empty. She doesn’t want to show this side to society, due to the judgment she’ll receive. The text deals with what women are expected to be. What Isabella should be. The text explains that women at that time shouldn’t be writers, because that wasn’t their job or what they were meant to do. Women had to take care of the children and be housewives. This demonstrates that the views of society were not flexible causing women to be a product of mankind, rather than who they wanted to be. As mentioned previously, Woolf deals with this topic in her story through Isabella.

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