Ncert Cbse English (Communicative)
Interact in English Literature Reader
MIRROR (Poetry) by Sylvia Plath
Solutions of CBSE Guess questions
Question.1: Read the stanzas given below and answer the questions.
Whatever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
(i) Explain: ‘I have no preconceptions’.
(ii) Who is the speaker? Which figure of speech is used in ‘I swallow’?
Answer: (i) ‘I have no preconceptions’ means that the mirror reflects the image faithfully without any bias or discrimination. He presents the reality.
(ii) The speaker is the mirror itself. The poet has personified the mirror as an individual.
Question.2: Read the stanzas given below and answer the questions.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back and reflect it faithfully,
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands,
I am important to her
(i) Who says: ‘Now I am a lake’?
(ii) Why is the woman in tears?
(iii) Explain: .Searching my reaches’.
(iv) Who is ‘she’ in the above lines?
(v) What does the mirror reflect faithfully?
Answer: (i) It is the mirror that now calls itself a ‘lake’.
(ii) The woman is in tears because of the loss of her youth and beauty due to her ageing.
(iii) ‘Searching my reaches’ means looking into me (mirror) for her lost youth and beauty.
(iv) ‘She’ is a lady who is looking at her reflection in the mirror.
(v) The mirror reflects faithfully the image of the woman. It shows the sign of old age apparent on her face.
MIRROR (Poetry) by Sylvia Plath
Class 10, Solutions of CBSE Guess questions
Question.3: The woman in the poem ‘Mirror’ searches for something in the depth of the mirror. What is it?
Answer: The woman in the poem ‘Mirror’ searches for her lost youth and beauty. She is also having a close look at her face to gauge the damage that time has done.
Question.4: How the poem ‘Mirror’ brings out the inevitability of ageing and the death?
Answer: The poem brings out our sense of anxieties and confusion which is the result of ageing. Nobody wants to grow old; everyone desires to remain young and beautiful ever. We fail to understand that life is transitory and ageing and death are unavoidable and inevitable. Hence, we need to develop an objective outlook and an inner strength to face all stages of life gracefully.
Question.5: Why has the mirror been called the “The eye of a little God”?
Answer: The mirror sees everything from all the four directions. The mirror has an all around perception. The mirror is unbiased and fair like God. The mirror gives its judgment in the form of images very truthfully. The God also is omnipresent and impartial to everyone.
Question.6: Who disturbs the mirror’s meditation and how?
Answer: The mirror keeps on gazing at the opposite wall steadily like a person meditating with a stir in his mind and body. The mirror’s meditation is disturbed by darkness or whenever some one comes in between the mirror and its opposite wall.
Question.7: Who calls the ‘mirror’ cruel and why?
Answer: The woman calls the mirror cruel. She wants to live in a world of illusion and does not want to accept the truth that she has grown old. She does not have the maturity to understand that the mirror only reflects back what comes in front of it. It does not have the power to change somebody’s appearance. But the woman finds it difficult to acknowledge the truth and so, she the ‘mirror’ cruel.
Question.8: The poet says that the mirror has no preconceptions and is only truthful. Explain.
Answer: The mirror is free from preconceptions and prejudices. It shows only the true image of an object. Its view is not tinted. The mirror does not get carried away by emotions. It has a clear vision and does not get misted by looking at beautiful people or ugly faces. It is unbiased, unmisted. It is never bothered about the feelings of the person looking at it. It performs its job honestly and in the best manner. It shows the people their true images in true colour. Like God, a mirror gives an impartial judgment through its images. Though people call it cruel, it is not so because it reflects the true image of a person without any distortion.
Question.9: Why have the candles and moon been called liars?
Answer: The candles and the moon are called liars because under their dim and dull light the woman is not able to see the wrinkles and the lines on her face. The dim lights hide the reality that she has grown old and has lost her beauty; thus making her feel beautiful and satisfying her vanity.
Question.10: Why does the woman turn to liars like the candles and moon again?
Answer: The woman wants to view her beautiful face in the mirror. But time and ageing have ruined her beauty and her face is full of wrinkles. So, in order to satisfy her vanity she turns to the candles or the moon which make her look beautiful in their soft and faint light.
MIRROR (Poetry) by Sylvia Plath
Class 10, Solutions of CBSE English sample questions
Question.11: Why is the woman agitated and has tears in her eyes?
Answer: The woman looks at herself in the mirror every day. She is fond of viewing her beauty in the mirror and rejoicing and exulting over it. But when she sees her wrinkled and ageing face in the mirror she is upset, agitated and has tears in her eyes.
Question.12: How does the mirror important to the woman?
Answer: The mirror is important to the woman because she looks at herself in the mirror every day to see her face. It is important to her because through it she meets her true self. She also muses over past, present and future. She is upset when she sees her wrinkled and ageing face but she turns again to the mirror because it is an important part of her life.
Question.13: How do you consider the poem – optimistic or pessimistic? Explain.
Answer: The poem ‘Mirror’ does have a tone of pessimism in it. The poet is a pessimistic person. She has set high aspirations for herself which she is not able to achieve and goes into depression. In the similar way the woman in the poem is not able to come to terms with life. She is not able to accept the harsh reality that ageing and death are inevitable. Her anxiety, tears and agitation provide some pessimism to the poem. Our attitude makes a lot of difference. We should reconcile ourselves to reality, accept upheavals’, upsets and death as an integral part of life. So, the poem does reflect some tinge of pessimism but all in all it is not a pessimistic poem.