There are a lot of beliefs surrounding mirrors. For example, if a person breaks a mirror, they get seven years of bad luck. In Irish folklore, witches can peer through mirrors to get a glimpse of their victims, and that’s why people cover their mirrors up. In the fantasy genre, mirrors are often used as gateways to other worlds.
There’s also a lot of symbolism surrounding mirrors. When a mirror shatters and you see a person’s reflection in the mirror, it means that they’re dealing with a perception of themselves that isn’t true. Perhaps it’s a reveal of someone’s true selves, or show the individual’s mental state. They can also be used to show how vain it is to worry about appearance or talents.
Either way, mirrors can play an important role in literature. For instance, the portrait in The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde acts as a mirror that demonstrates the protagonist’s true colors. In Evanescence’s music video, Everybody’s Fool, the lead singer smashes the mirror when she realizes who she tries to portray isn’t actually her real self. These very instances show just how powerful a tool mirrors can be.
It’s something that I hope my newest short story, Shattered, deals with. The protagonist is feeling unfulfilled in his life, and takes out his frustration by shattering mirrors in an abandoned warehouse. One night, when he goes to the warehouse, he meets a young man making wind-chimes out of the broken shards. Where the story goes, you’ll just have to read.
But as you can guess, mirrors play a big role in this story, besides the obvious. One is wanting to tear his own life down, the other is trying to build something back up. And while it might not be as edgy as Everybody’s Fool, and or as creepy as the witches from Irish legend, but I feel it’s interesting nonetheless.