Read this article to know about the summary and analysis of The Looking Glass by Kamala Das. The poet talks about the problems that a woman being a woman faces. The patriarchal society has made the woman dependent on man which ultimately leads to her misery. It is is a confessional verse.
Summary of The Looking Glass
In stanza 1, the poet says that it is quite easy for a woman to get the love of a man. A woman just needs to be honest about her womanly needs. She should stand naked before the mirror with her man. This will make the man feel stronger while on the other hand, the woman will be softer, younger, lovelier.
The lines are quite ironical because the poet is not praising the qualities of a woman but exposing their reality. The soft, young and lovely body of the woman is what makes the man believe that he is strong.
Again the poet continues the easy ways to make a man love her. A woman needs to accept the man’s admiration and praise for her body.
While in the bathroom, she should look at the perfection of his limbs, his eyes reddening under the shower, his shy walk across the bathroom floor, dropping towel, and the jerky way he urinates.
These are the things that a woman should look at carefully as they make him her man. However here again the dependence of woman reflects. The lines symbolise the fact that the woman needs a man in order to please her body.
The woman should gift her womanly traits to the man like the scent of long hair, the musk of sweat between the breasts, the warm shock of menstrual blood, and all your, endless female hungers (her craving for the sex and intense love).
The lines depict how superior is the woman to a man as she possesses ample qualities which are a gift for the man. But these qualities ultimately become the tools of exploitation (as depicted in her poem An Introduction). Hence being a woman is a blessing in disguise.
The poet again repeats the beginning line, Oh yes, getting a man to love is easy. However, as the love is not everlasting and thus living without him afterwards may have to be faced. The dependence of woman thus leads to her misery.
The woman becomes a walking corpse. Her eyes quest for her man while meeting strangers. The ears like eyes long for the voice which once called her name and praised her body. The body of the woman which used to get pleasure with man ultimately has to suffer without him.