In the following passage from Lonely Man Full of Love by Mauro Mevlud Martino, what does "mirror in my bathroom" mean?

A: ‘’Are you quieter and lonelier than me, Rachel?’’

B: ‘’Perhaps, Martin. Perhaps. I want to be good to myself. I have a mirror in my bathroom.’’

A: ‘’I think the main character in my novel Weeping Willow Trees was you.’’

Does it literally mean that she (B) has a mirror in her bathroom? Or does it mean that she spends most of her time looking at the mirror? Or does it have a connotation that she (B) suffers from narcissism?

  • Why wouldn't she just mean that she can see herself?
    – Lambie
    Mar 3, 2021 at 18:03
  • 3
    I think this might be opinion-based, or belong to the Literature SE, but I think maybe "I have a mirror in my bathroom" means "I do not want to live in a way that makes me look bad or unhappy, because I will see it in the mirror which I have in my bathroom". Mar 3, 2021 at 18:14
  • @MichaelHarvey this makes more sense.
    – Aseel
    Mar 3, 2021 at 18:19
  • We can use plain statements to explain something. I don't visit casinos or strip clubs. I have a wife and children. Mar 3, 2021 at 18:34
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    I agree with @MichaelHarvey. The sentence's plain meaning is that she has a mirror in her bathroom so she can take care of herself. There's no need to go further afield here.
    – FeliniusRex
    Mar 3, 2021 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


My simplest interpretation is that Rachel mentions the mirror as providing a literal second person that she can meet, because that is being 'good to myself' compared to her previous experiences with real people; "...if I feel lonely I can alway talk with my reflection". This seems a tragic-comedy, sarcastic expression overall, perhaps ironically hiding an appeal to Martin to help her try a relationship again. I also feel that this mirror-idiom is so bleak that it emphasises the degree of loneliness that she really feels.

  • This actually gives more sense to the context. If I need to translate it is it preferred to keep it literally or not. If not how can you paraphrase it to deliver the meaning intended?
    – Aseel
    Mar 3, 2021 at 18:54
  • In the target language, I'd think how (or if) I'd tell a potential partner that I was lonely but shy of new relationships, but that because my current coping methods weren't really satisfactory I could be available... I'd start by doing it literally, then I'd think about idioms, humor, street slang, then refine this to match the context of the target writing project.
    – OookLout
    Mar 4, 2021 at 19:55

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