Looking in a mirror; Margaret Atwood

Looking in a mirror comes immediately after Two fires in which we know she tells us how her house was
burned. She could had given up trying to succeed in Canada but she does not. She gets up and goes on with
her life in Canada. She suddenly realizes that she has been seven years away from England and that she has
not realized that the time was passing. She feels as if she had slept in England and then, suddenly, wake up
seven years later in Canada. She sees her life as a dream from which she is now waking up to find that she is
not in England anymore.
She has become so used to live in Canada that she does not notice the changes that both her life and she
herself have suffered. In this poem she feels that the seven years that she has spent in Canada are a kind of
dream and that she will wake up in England. But there are signs that point at the evidence that it is not that
way. Both her body and mind have changed a lot.
This poem is in the first journal, at the end of it. She is beginning to realize that Canada is not so bad and
difficult to live in as she believed. She also discovers that she is taking some of the features of the native
Canadians after living in that country for seven years. Her skin is not soft and pale anymore because sun and
cold have thickened and darkened it, her hands are stiff because of working in the house and the garden She is
not what an English lady should be.
She does not like what Canada has done to her and the possessions she brought from England. The hard and
difficult life in Canada has worn her delicate belongings out at the same time that it has done the same to her
body and her mind. Her eyes look tired due to the hard work she has to do but also to the inclement weather
that they suffer in Canada. She cannot recognize in her own face the woman she was when she arrived at
The discovery of this fact makes her think whether she is still herself or she has changed so much that she is in
fact a completely different person. She even thinks that maybe she never knew herself as she thought she did.
This is a very sincere poem about her feelings after having spent seven years living in Canada. She analyzes
the changes that her body has suffered but also the changes that living in this country has provoked in her
mind and in the way she sees and faces things. It makes me think of what I would feel if I were I her same
situation. Probably, something similar.