NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Reader Unit 8

Mirror Class 10

Unit 8 Mirror Exercise Answers & Summary

Summary of "Mirror"

In this poem the poet, Sylvia Plath explains how the mirror is our true reflection and can be our best critic. She personifies the mirror by making the mirror the narrator of the poem. The mirror asserts that it is silver in colour and exact in appearance. It holds no opinion about the objects that come before it.

In comparison to human the mirror does not have any emotions like love or hatred. The mirror insists that it is not cruel but only truthful. It is proud that it reflects nothing but the reality. The mirror claims to be God's eye that sees an object from all the angles. When there is no one looking at the mirror, it usually mediates looking at the opposite wall which is pink and worn out. The mirror explains that it has looked at the opposite wall for so long that it now feels that the wall is the part of its heart. The mirror also compares itself to a lake which may not be silver but has the quality to reflect the object as a mirror does. When a woman bends over the lake and looks her real appearance in it, she is dissatisfied with the reflection seen.

The mirror considers the candles and the moonlight as liars because their dim light deceives her by concealing her flaws and her age. Mirror asserts the fact that it reflects faithfully what it sees without hiding anything. But the women does not like what the mirror and starts crying. She finds it hard to believe that she is aging and losing her beauty from the mirror's reflection. Despite being hurt by the harsh truth, the mirror is important to the women and that's why she comes again and again to look herself in the mirror.

The mirror that sits in darkness finds every morning the woman comes to check herself in the mirror. The woman has been looking herself in the mirror since she was a young girl. It appears that she has drowned (lost) her youth in the mirror. The mirror is also synonyms for the passage of time. As the days progress along with her (age) she now compares herself with a terrible fish out of water that struggles for its existence. The terrible fish represents old age and death drawing closer to her. Thus in this poem Sylvia Plath has personified the mirror as God, as a lake, even as terrible fish.
<< Previous Chapter 7 : The Frog and the Nightingale Next Chapter 9 : Not Marble nor the Gilded Monuments (Sonnet 55) >>

Unit-8 : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 97

Q1 :  

When do you generally use a mirror?


Answer :

A mirror is usually used to look into one's own self.

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Q2 :  

Is a mirror essential for us?


Answer :

Yes, a mirror is very essential for us, as it helps us look presentable before we meet people.

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Q3 :  

Given below is a list of possible reasons why a person uses a mirror. Tick the ones you agree with:

(i) to check one's appearance

(ii) to look beautiful

(iii) to make sure one is neat and tidy before going out

(iv) to check for a pimple or grey hair

(v) to apply make-up

(vi) to make a phone call

(vii) as a decorative item at home


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Q4 :  

The other word for 'contemplation' is………..

i. contempt

ii. meditation

iii. mediation

iv. thoughtful


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Q5 :  

When the mirror is being described as being 'unmisted by love or dislike' we understand that the mirror is

i. not misted

ii. not prejudiced

iii. has four angles

iv. silver in colour


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Q6 :  

When the mirror says 'it has no preconceptions' it means that:

i. it reflects back an image objectively

ii. it modifies an image as it reflects it

iii. it beautifies an image as it reflects it

iv. it gives a biased view of a person/object


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Q7 :  

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 four angles

iii. it reflects back all that it sees

iv. it never stops reflecting


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Q8 :  

The 'speckles' refer to:

i. a pink object

ii. the opposite wall which has spots on it

iii. a person with pink pimples

iv. pink spots in general


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Q9 :  

The phrase 'agitation of the hand' suggests that the person is:

i. Very ill

ii. Very upset

iii. Very angry

iv. Very happy


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Q10 :  

By saying 'Now I am a lake' the narrator wants to show that

i. the poem is not only about external beauty but also the inside of a person

ii. the lake can also reflect surfaces

iii. the depth of the lake is important

iv. the lake does not show as exact an image as a mirror


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Q11 :  

What is the poetic device used when the mirror says 'I swallow'?


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Q12 :  

How does the mirror usually pass its time?


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Q13 :  

What disturbs the mirror's contemplation of the opposite wall?


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Q14 :  

Why does the mirror appear to be a lake in the second stanza? What aspect of the mirror do you think is being referred to here?


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Q15 :  

What is the woman searching for in the depths of the lake?


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Q16 :  

How does the narrator convey the fact that the woman looking at her reflection in the lake is deeply distressed?


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Q17 :  

What makes the woman start crying?


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Q18 :  

What do you think the 'terrible fish' in the last line symbolizes? What is the poetic device used here?


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Q19 :  

List out the adjectives that have been used to describe the mirror. Add a few more adjectives to the list.


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Q20 :  

In the second stanza why has the narrator replaced the mirror with a lake? What is he/she trying to focus on?


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Q21 :  

Find the various instances of personification used in this poem.


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Q22 :  

A woman bends over me,

Searching my reaches for what she really is.

Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.

What is the woman bending over?

i. the mirror

ii. the lake

iii. the opposite wall

iv. the moon and the candles


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Q23 :  

A woman bends over me,

Searching my reaches for what she really is.

Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.

Why have the candles and the moon been called 'liars'?

i. because they make people beautiful

ii. they hide the blemishes of people with their soft light

iii. they hide the blemishes and make people look beautiful in their soft glow

iv. they can't talk


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Q24 :  

A woman bends over me,

Searching my reaches for what she really is.

Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.

Why does she turn to them in spite of calling them 'liars'?

i. the reality is too harsh for her to bear

ii. she is desperately looking for someone to comfort her

iii. she wants to be told that she is still beautiful

iv. she can hide her signs of graying in their light


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Q25 :  

Imagine you are the mirror. Write a speech that you would like to deliver to the humans who come to see their reflection in you. You could begin like this….

Good Morning dear humans.

I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to express my feelings and share my thoughts with you. As you know, all my life is spent in faithfully reflecting all that comes before my eyes…..


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Q26 :  

Here is another poem on mirror. The narrator calls the mirror a 'fibber'. How is this poem different from the poem by Sylvia Plath? Have a class discussion on the comparison in terms of the theme, the tone and the language used.


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<< Previous Chapter 7 : The Frog and the Nightingale Next Chapter 9 : Not Marble nor the Gilded Monuments (Sonnet 55) >>

Literature Reader - English : CBSE NCERT Exercise Solutions & Summary for Class 10th for Mirror will be available online in PDF book form soon. The solutions are absolutely Free. Soon you will be able to download the solutions.

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