Summary Of Louise Gluck's The Mirror And Mock Orange

1722 Words7 Pages
Desire is a major component of love in which a person yearns for and craves their partner, because to them, they are nothing short of perfect. The issues that then arise are, what if you see your partner as so perfect, they can never live up to your standards and the love fades, or the opposite, your deepest desires go unfulfilled and this once marvelous love is now mediocre. In Louise Gluck 's lyrical poems, "The Mirror" and "Mock Orange", we see two different portrayals of a desire that are insatiable by the beloved. Both of the poems are centralized on a man that is unable to pass the judgement of the author, whether it be from being too perfect, or not good enough. The author battles with love and desire as two components that aren 't…show more content…
The idealization of the lover and the expectations that follow create turmoil for Gluck in both of these poems. While both poems deal with this internal struggle, Gluck takes two very separate and distinct approaches to the way she sees the beloved, and the problems that arise because of this. In "The Mirror", Gluck is obsessed with the beloved as this perfect and godly man. She describes him with such passion, she utters to herself, "Watching you… I wonder what it is like to be so beautiful" (lines 1-2). We see here that her desire of him is based on his physical appearance and prowess. It is disconnected with love, because if she were to be in love with him, it would be every part of him, but it is only his appearance that she lusts after and wants to remain perfect. Her desire 's however go unfulfilled by him, as he cannot be what she wants him to be. And her perfect world and idealization of him comes crashing down on her in the last line, "not the reflection I desire" (line 12). Here her use of the word desire as her ending line further pushes the fact that this is not necessarily a man that she loves, or she would have said "not the reflection I love", but instead it is that which she desires. Because she sees him so as so perfect, him cutting himself serves as a mutilation to her. She believes he is changing his body and realizes that he isn 't perfect, she says "see you correctly" (line 10), she comes to an epiphany in this moment of new self-awareness that…show more content…
The idea that the beloved needs to be able satisfy the desires of the lover is a theme that Gluck connects both these poems too. While she approaches the situation the lover is in, and their feelings about the beloved in two very separate ways, they are still both connected by the feelings and tensions between the lover and the beloved. She comes to an epiphany in both poems about the lover being unable to fully satisfy her desires even though it is in two different manners. Overall, the main theme these two poems are hitting is desire 's mistakes. The idea that the there is some sort of flaw in either the way you desire the beloved, or the desire 's themselves are flawed. We see two angles from each of the poems and how Gluck manipulates them to hit both sides of wanting and resenting the desires. The way the poems are framed, makes it seem like another theme is having desires but with a lack of love. The desire is purely based on physical attraction and lust. In her descriptions of these single intimate moments in time, we can see that the focus is less on the emotional and spiritual connection with the beloved, and more on the bodily pleasures of the lover. These two poems allow the reader and the author to analyze intimate moments with a partner and listen to Gluck 's theories of if you are only obsessed with desires and not love, you will always remain only

More about Summary Of Louise Gluck's The Mirror And Mock Orange

Open Document