Comparative Essay

Assignment: Paragraph Response A Secret Lost in the Water & Mirror Image What is “Self-discovery”? The dictionary defines discover as “to gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown)”. In the short stories “A Secret Lost in the Water” and “Mirror Image”, there is a co-relation in the theme of self-discovery as well as few other similarities. Such as there are similarities, there also differences in between the two. The follwing paragraphs will discuss the topics above and bring insight on what “Self-discovery” means.
In the story “Mirror Image” the protagonist, Alice, is learning how to be herself and adjust to a new body after having her brain transplanted. As the story progresses, Alice struggles to come to terms with her apperance and how she is percieved by her family and others. In particular Jenny, Alice’s twin sister, finds herself jealous and some what resentful of her twins new appearance, while Alice starts to be pleased with herself. However, after certain events occur Alice starts to have doubts in herself, but after a brief meet with the father of the girl whose body her brain was tranplanted in, Alice realizes that “Alice was here”.
In the end Alice realizes that although she is in a new body, she is still has to learn to be herself. “A Secret Lost in the Water” is about a boy who is taught a skill/secret, however forgets this skill/secret once he became an adult and can be assume that regrets forgetting what was taught to him. In the beginning of the story, the boy’s father approachs the boy and tells him that he will teach a skill or secret that was passed down on to him by his father. The boy leaves his village and after some time returns as an adult and discovers that he has lost the skill his father taught him.

It is assumed that the man now feels regret for having forgotten this ability and discovers that perhaps it was not the ability that was important but the meaning of it, of not forgetting who you are or where you came from. Between the two short stories there is a co-relation of theme, however it is clear that there are differences within each story and theme is not the only difference/similarity. Both stories have protagonists that, in a way, lost their sense of identity and the theme in both short stories involves self-discovery.
In comparison each story have different conclusions of the theme, in “Mirror Image” the protagonist some what resolves her issues, however in “A Secret Lost in the Water” it is unknown whether or not the protagonist ever resolves his issues. In both stories, one can observe that there is symbolism in the form of a mirror and an adler branch. In “A Secret Lost in the Water” the boy is taught an ability with an adler branch by his father, where as in “Mirror Image” Alice is given a mirror from her father. Both symbolize a message that their fathers are trying to convey about what the protagonists seems to have forgetten about themselves.
Both short stories have elements which are obvious in comparison, yet both have differences that are evident in a subtle manner. The theme of self-discovery has been apparent in both “A Secret Lost in the Water” and “Mirror Image”, and though both stories have similar elements, it can been seen that both have differences as well. Through reading both short stories and the observations shown, the reader can begin to gain some insight in to what self-discovery means. However, does anyone every truly learn who they are or is it a constant question of “who are we? “. Does anyone ever truly stop re-discovering themselves?

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