This early essay (1949) identifies the point at which the "I" (ego) begins to formulate itself as a socially constructed agent.
In Lacan's terminology, the mirror stage is the hinge between the *Imaginary and the *Symbolic (concepts we'll discuss further in class).
These concepts are used frequently in contemporary literary criticism and theory.
As usual, cuts and explanation that I make are in square brackets; the paragraphs have been numbered for ease of reference.
The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience"