The Lady in the Looking-Glass
Virginia Woolf was a literary great for either gender (1222), but she also wrote much on sexual politics. Shut out of an education due to her sex and having a mother whose main profession was her beauty, she grew up in a world with very distinct gender definitions. “The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A reflection” taps into this. I have long thought “people should not leave looking-glasses hanging in their rooms” (1224). It causes unnecessary attention to one’s physical appearance. That becomes the focal point of this story’s character’s existence. She is unhappy with her inside and outside appearance. This becomes clear through the modern tools of stream-of-consciousness, narration and character. As in the other works I just touched on, all the emphasis is on the character (hence the stress on psychological components). The mirror just serves as a metaphor. The reader discerns that there might be a split of self. It’s questionable whether the woman really is the Isabella that she’s said to be or just Virginia. There are differences between what the house looks like in real life and then within the mirror. There is light. There are shadows. Woolf even incorporate animals! As everything changes, one can gather that Woolf is making a point that life itself is fluid. It is always game for change. That isn’t to say that one must change with it, though. The reader is told that the interior remains the same throughout it all. I interpret this to mean that one can remain the same throughout it all. What matters is that he knows himself and stays true to that. I try to do that as much as possible, but what’s important to bear in mind is that mirrors only sow so much. They can’t reveal whether someone’s blood is boiling or heart is breaking. On the surface everything might just look fine, but that doesn’t mean anything. I know I’ve spent so much of my life being an illusion—not because I’m unafraid to be myself but because I don’t want to burden people with my problems. My friends found out stuff about me which had occurred at the beginning of the year at the very end of the year, and they couldn’t believe I hadn’t said anything. One friends went so far as to make her facebook status, “Sometimes the best actors you’ll ever know are the people right around you.” Sadly, that is so true. Luckily, I have still disclosed details of them when would have made them angrier with me because they care so much. Too much, really! But my point is appearances can be deceiving. Everyone who knows me realizes I’m not a single stereotype that typically would come to mind. Premature judgments only cause me to laugh. Woolf is really inspirational and philosophical to touch upon this. Somebody had to, and she nailed it.