After reading the” Lady of Shalott”- Alfred Lord Tennyson and writing about symbolism. I came to an epiphany while I was watching my younger sister talk about the realism of what she watches on television. In that moment, I realized that at her young age she does not know about the behind the scenes set up for every TV show or movie; everything is never as it seems.
It seems that us as a society love to paint things about ourselves that we want for others to see, building walls upon our own insecurities and secrets that we force ourselves to make this illusion, a reality. In the poem, the mirror is a major symbol that led to my revelation. While this woman is upon a curse of weaving in a locked up tower, I see the humdrum of our daily lives reflected through her curse. She is only able to look at a mirror that catches the reflection of Camelot ( the perfect place she is striving for). She is so close to Camelot but in reality so far away. She can only see the reflection of Camelot and never the real thing in fear of breaking the curse.
But you see, the mirror isn’t it an illusion. It shows us what we want to see. The Lady’s own bias led her to believe that she wanted to be in Camelot and that it was a place of good. And perhaps it is a place of good, but what I got out of the poem was that a mirror often reflects reality but in some ways it reflects what we only what to see. It hides the deeper reality of things and alludes to a distortion of the reality instead.
While going about my daily life, I see this theme reiterated time and time again. All around us, people portray themselves and mold themselves into a person that they want others to see on the outside. And the circle of this illusion keeps rotating. While I too do this, (I try to keep up a certain image). I realized I don’t have to anymore, because today I finally understood, what is this all for? Why as a society are we all covering ourselves up and distorting the realism of our own lives, of all of our lives? Nothing is ever as it seems. And this rings absolutely true, we feel like we understand our friends. But unless we unlock their hearts we will never get to know who they truly are. It makes me sad to think this, but who are we hiding from? Is it from each other? Because we all are just people who want to be accepted and loved for who we are deep down inside, so why can’t we step out together and just let ourselves be who we want it to be, not the ones we want others to accept!
Love yourselves always!