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Force of Nature


As atmospheric, tense, and explosive as her New York Times bestselling debut, ...
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Why do you think mirrors are such a potent piece of imagery in the novel?

Created: 12/24/18

Replies: 5

Posted Dec. 24, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Why do you think mirrors are such a potent piece of imagery in the novel?

"It was like stepping into a fun house mirror. Two faces, each a distorted reflection of the other, looked up in unison." Identical twins Beth and Bree are not the only mirror image in Force of Nature. Alice tells Lauren to "buy a mirror" to understand Rebecca. Two chapters "mirror" one another—they start with the same paragraph although they appear at the beginning and end of the novel. And the narrative begins and ends at Mirror Falls. Why do you think mirrors are such a potent piece of imagery in the novel?


Posted Jan. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickic

Join Date: 09/15/14

Posts: 84

RE: Why do you think mirrors are such a potent piece of imagery in the novel?

A mirror gives you a reflection of the 'real person' with warts and all. It is not so easy to deny one's own nature when peering in a mirror of the soul. Several of the characters were not interested in the truth about themselves and so observing themselves was akin to 'looking through a mirror darkly' as Paul so aptly says in the New Testament.


Posted Jan. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 292

RE: Why do you think mirrors are such a potent piece of imagery in the novel?

The very nature of what we see in a reflected image is complex. Whether the mirror gleams brightly with clarity, or is blurred or distorted, or cracked or even horrifyingly empty serves the imagination of writers throughout the centuries. I like the example that William Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar:

And since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I your glass
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of


Posted Jan. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: Why do you think mirrors are such a potent piece of imagery in the novel?

The mirrored image is, at best, two dimensional - it certainly is not three dimensional or multi-dimensioned. As a result we see only the exterior of the image being reflected and that eliminates the possibility of any interior vision and insight. At Mirror Falls and in the Ranges where the women hiked we see mirror images or face-front images of the environment and the women themselves, but we cannot look into their minds, experience their deeper thoughts about their siblings or children, and this contributes to the building mystery. Much description is provided for surface images of each - thus we see the twins do not look alike, the children of Alice and Lauren are clearly depicted - one very pretty and the other the mirror opposite - yet we cannot see inside them - what has contributed to or caused their personal
traumas. Even their mothers do not appear to have that insight. Erin Falk, however, the author's main and continuing character, is struggling with looking within - and Carmen serves as his mirror - more successfully enabling him to begin to see his real self and situation and confront it by book end.


Posted Jan. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
maribethr

Join Date: 10/29/14

Posts: 26

RE: Why do you think mirrors are such a potent piece of imagery in the novel?

Several passages made me think that the author felt her character's didn't accurately know themselves and that they needed to reflect upon the true person, as if in a mirror. Certainly, the female characters whom we came to know all had more than one presentation of their personality, though they may have always felt they were the personas they projected in the professional arena.


Posted Jan. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
inkdrunnergirl

Join Date: 10/11/18

Posts: 14

RE: Why do you think mirrors are such a potent piece of imagery in the novel?

You never know what someone sees when they look in the mirror, their true self or what they wish they were?


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