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"mirror Image" by Lena Coakley

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Character Sketch Ð'- Alice ("Mirror Image")

The character of Alice in Lena Coakley's "Mirror Image" is insecure and uncomfortable. Alice is going through a change; a change brought on by a devastating car crash which left her clinging to her life in an unresurectable body. Alice becomes the first patient to ever receive a brain transplant, giving her a completely new appearance. Although Alice is entirely aware of this, she is still extremely confused about the new changes, which seem to surround her new life.

"Mirror Image" does not reveal extensive information about Alice's appearance. Alice's eyes, large and dark brown, are mentioned on several occasions during the story. Besides her eyes, no direct information is revealed. Alice's body, however, is often imagined by the reader to be lean and athletic. This imagery is the result of the following quotes. "Alice grabbed a chunk of her thigh, Ð''no cellulite!' " and "Now your going out for cheerleading, for goodness sake.". Alice radiates confidence regarding her new body. "Alice walked across the bedroom like a fashion model, wearing nothing but black bikini underwear." She believes that the change is a drastic improvement on her old body, "Actually, as bodies go, this one is a lot better."

Alice is clearly confused about her identity. Her confusion is best displayed in the following quote: "The eyes are the mirror of the soul, he used to say. Whose soul is that? Alice wondered. For a moment, she considered screaming, but it was too much trouble. Besides, it wouldn't be her scream anyway." Alice exhibits insecure behavior which is proven by her constant self-reassurance. "Just you, Alice, she would say to herself, looking the way you've always looked. " After Alice's encounter with Mr. Jarred, she reassured herself once more: "In a small corner of the sidewalk she wrote her initials, ACS, with the tip of the umbrella."

Alice feels that appearance and personality are two divided parts of "you" and have no direct relation to each other. "This is me in here, Jenny. My brain is me." Clearly, Alice believes that her appearance has not affected her personality. Her family, however, thinks quite contrarily. "You're



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