Patrick Brown
Patrick Brown asked:

What did you feel was the significance of Bird (and Snow) occasionally not appearing in mirrors?

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Atembe Fonge Giles Since this is a very liberal take on the classic Snow White, I think the mirrors were an hommage to the magic found in that fairytale, and how the mirror was kind of like the Truth-Teller in the classic Snow White, whereas in this novel the mirror was kind of the opposite--depending on whether the reader trusts the views of Boy, Snow and Bird. Sometimes narrators cannot be trusted in books; they have their own jaded view points and see or remember things differently than they may really be in real life. For instance, Boy suspected Snow of being evil, like the Rat Catcher did of Boy, although neither character proved to be AS evil as the other suspected. Then again, I as a reader could never really say whether or not either Boy or Snow were truly good at heart...

Anyway, I think that Boy was a little obsessed/entranced by mirrors because she was made to believe, by the Rat Catcher, that she was worthless, and I think she realized that her beauty was real and there was something meaningful behind it; she existed and had worth. I think Snow and Bird couldn't see themselves because they were beautiful, but in a world where their looks were either seen as a blessing or a curse depending on the company they were in. It was hard to feel like they belonged anywhere so the mirror was showing that they don't belong in any specific place, even though they both knew they were loved and wanted.
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Ruth Charchian People see what they want (or hope) to see when they look in the mirror. When something unexpected shows up or is missing they are jolted psychologically: "It is a hall of mirrors I'm walking down and I don't look the way I feel." "I see with more than just my eyes." "I told her what happens to me sometimes with mirrors and she said "Watch out; that's your enemy at work, trying to get rid of you." "So I broke the mirror... It tried to give me what I wanted, tried to give me my face, but kept giving me faces that weren't mine."
Mary McLennan Perhaps it's a reflection (no pun intended) of the confusion or insecurity they feel at times about their own identity. What did you make of it? Did you like this book?
Maria I felt that this was a comment on how both Bird and Snow felt 'invisible' as biracial women in a patriarchal, racist society. They experience this in different ways: Bird feels that, as a visibly black woman, she will never be seen as beautiful or given the same place of importance as a white woman. This is why she gets angry with Snow (who is read as white), when Snow says that she also doesn't appear in mirrors. But Snow feels that she, too, is not really "seen" when people lust after her or put her on a pedestal. She is not seen as an autonomous person, but only as an object of desire, a projection. Society forces both women to be seen as either "black" or "white", with their complex heritage rendered invisible.
Tiffany Bird and Snow not appearing in mirrors signifies a lack of self-awareness. And the people around them were not mature or evolved enough, in my opinion, to affirm their beings or offer any sort of education or background on their collective histories.
Allie Espinoza I believe that it had to do with their heritage and their innate beauty. They go hand in hand and perhaps the fact that their heritage may contribute to their beauty.
Donna Dean the mirror showed that they were of african heritage. so it was easier to not see that
Kathy Richardson I think of when Bird asked snow if she was beautiful,after the boy told her she was.when you don't feel pretty,or good about your self you don't see pretty,you see nothing.sometimes you are dressed up,and see yourself as all.that.
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by Helen Oyeyemi (Goodreads Author)
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