Excerpt: “I studied myself in the mirror. I examined, one by one, the features that gazed back at me. Tired eyes. Eyes that gazed far away at nothing. A set sadness about the lips like in old maid who’d given up all hopes of happiness. A gray face. A stone face. Turned to stone from not living. A black shirt waist, high up to the neck. Not a breath of colour. Everything about me was gray, drab, dead. I was only twenty-three and I dressed myself like an old lady in mourning” (181).
Sara’s mirror reflection is crucial to the development of the story. Not only does it describe how she looks, but it shed lights on how much she had to endure in order to be somebody. Sara is only twenty three years old and she describes herself with “A gray face. A stone face. Turned to stone from not living” almost hints at the fact she is like a walking dead. Sara does not color her life because of what she has been through. This close up examination in the mirror is important because Sara will use every setback and turn them into a power to fight back and make her dreams a reality.
Yezierska, Anzia. Bread Givers: a Novel. Persea Books, 2010.