Mirror mirror on the wall/Who’s the fairest of them all?
Almost everyone who was raised in some sort of Western civilization has heard the story of Snow White. Equally poignant is the main antagonist of the story, the evil queen whose goal is to become the fairest of the land. As legend goes, she looks into a mirror and finds Snow White, who she finds to be more fair. She attempts to kill her with a single poisoned apple, but she returns with Prince Charming to save the day.
Stop. Literary Analysis time.
What the crap is the queen looking into a mirror for? As we know, mirrors are basically a lattice of silver atoms that reflect light directly from where it came from. In non-scientific forms, a mirror can only show you whatever is in front of you. It can’t reveal hidden things, nor can it obfuscate them. A mirror can be seen as a symbol of truth and honesty, not able to pass judgment nor to withhold.
In that case, if the queen looks into the mirror, she is merely trying to reaffirm what she already knows. She has the knowledge that she is the best; therefore, looking into the mirror shouldn’t be able to change anything about that judgment. However, we may be able to take this one level deeper.
Often times in Western literature, when we look into something, we are passing judgment. Specifically, by seeing your eyes, you can almost look into one’s soul. When the evil queen, with a dark and heavy heart of sin, looks and sees this, she realizes that the purity outside far surpasses whatever she has on the inside. Of course, we know that her judgment was to destroy the purity, and the events thereafter, but what would we see when we look into a mirror?
My parents recently bought two of those huge Ikea mirrors, and are now trying to hang them. There is this large oval one that is going on their wall, as well as this flat rectangular one in mine. The conflict arises over where to put it. Such a silly conflict, don’t you think? You know, if the case is like a legit court case, it wouldn’t be debated over whether or not if we should rearrange or not, because that’s just stupid. The point of the matter is, who has the personal liberty to decide where it goes? Who gets to choose?
Apparently my mom.
Well, if I look into a mirror right now, I would see quite a bit of fire. Fire burning from confusion and anger, but also fire burning from compassion. She is trying to exert what she things is best, but she is doing so in a loving manner. Looking deeper, I would see both love and hate burning, equally passionate and destructive in those crevasses. What comes out of my heart and into my actions, well, that’s anyone’s call at the moment. But they both exist. And that’s good. And yeah.