NCERT (CBSE) English (Communicative)
Class X, Interact in English Literature Reader
MIRROR (Poem) by Sylvia Plath
NCERT Solutions of English Textbook Exercise Questions
Q.III: Answer the following questions:
1. When the poet says that the mirror has no preconceptions it means:
(i) it reflects your image objectively.
(ii) it gives a biased view of the person.
(iii) it is emotionally involved with the person whose image it reflects.
2. Why has the mirror been described as being ‘unmisted’? What is the image that the poet is trying to convey about the nature of the mirror?
Answer: The mirror has been called unmisted because it simply shows what it sees. It does not change the image if somebody shows love or hatred to him. Mirror is free from preconceptions and prejudices. The image that the poet is trying to convey about the nature of the mirror is that it is unbiased and does not distort the reality.
3. How does the mirror ‘swallow’? What is the poetic device used here?
Answer: The Mirror swallows everything that comes in front of it immediately by showing its reflection without any distortion. The poetic device used here is personification. It is compared to a person who swallows everything. Therefore it is also a metaphor.
4. From the poem find out the words that have been used to describe the mirror. For example, exact ….
Answer: These words are – truthful, unmisted, not cruel, four cornered, having no preconceptions.
5. The mirror has been called a four cornered God because:
(i) it is square shaped
(ii) like God it watches you unbiased and fair from all angles
(iii) it faithfully reflects all that it sees.
6. How does the mirror spend its time?
Answer: The mirror spends its time in contemplating the opposite wall.
7. What disturbs its contemplation of the opposite wall?
Answer: Darkness and faces disturb the mirror’s contemplation of the opposite wall.
8. The ‘pink speckles’ refer to:
(i) the opposite wall that is pink.
(ii) a person with a healthy pink face with freckles.
(iii) spots made on the mirror with red paint.
9. In the second stanza the mirror is compared to another object. What is it? Why do you think this comparison has been made?
Answer: The mirror is compared to a lake. This comparison is made because when a person looks into a mirror or a lake, the memories of life flash across his or her mind as both the mirror and the lake reflect the true identity of the person. Both seem to be deep and reflect images truthfully without any bias.
10. What is the woman searching for in the depths of the pool?
Answer: She is searching for the beauty and grace she had when she was younger
11. The phrase ‘agitation of the hands’ means:
(i) the person is very upset.
(ii) the person’s hands are cold.
(iii) the person is worried.
12. Why does ‘she’ start crying?
Answer: She feels worried and anxious at the loss of beauty. She is upset to see the signs of advancing age. So, she starts crying.
13. Why does the poet refer to the fish in the last line? Why has it been described as being ‘terrible’?
Answer: The stanza containing the last line of the poem starts with the mirror being compared with a lake. Thus, the image of the woman emerging from it has been compared with a fish.
The feeling of losing youth and beauty due to ageing as found by the woman in her image is terrible.
Q.V: Read the given lines and answer the questions that follow:
“A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.”
1. What is the woman bending over?
Answer: The woman is bending over the mirror, now a lake.
2. Why does the woman bend over?
Answer: The woman bends over the edges over the lake-like mirror and searches its depths to know what she really looks like.
3. Is she satisfied with what she observes? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: No, she is not satisfied with what she observes. Her ‘tears’ and ‘agitation of hands’ convey her displeasure and dissatisfaction. She keeps turning to the moon and the candles.
4. Why have the candles and the moon been called ‘liars’?
Answer: The candles and the moon have been called liars because they create the illusion of beauty in their soft light. So, even an ugly face looks glamorous in their faint light. They do not show the woman her real image.
5. Why does she turn to these objects in spite of calling them ‘liars’?
Answer: She wants to satisfy the general human weakness of “appearing beautiful”. The ‘liars’ make her look beautiful in their soft and faint light. Perhaps her ego is also satisfied this way. So, she turns to these objects in spite of calling them liars.
Ncert Cbse English Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) | Class 10, MIRROR (Poem)