Explanation: Expression - The Mirror Class 10 Notes | EduRev

Literature Reader Class 10

Class 10 : Explanation: Expression - The Mirror Class 10 Notes | EduRev

The document Explanation: Expression - The Mirror Class 10 Notes | EduRev is a part of the Class 10 Course Literature Reader Class 10.
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Q1. I am silver and exact.........

Explanation ...

Many mirrors have an electroplated thin sheet of silver to reflect light.

Q2. I have no preconceptions........

Explanation ...

Human beings are coloured and biased in their judgement of others and they have pre-conceived notions about others. The mirror only reflects the truth without prejudice.

Q3. Whatever I see I swallow immediately.........

Explanation ...

The mirror is able to absorb whatever it sees and it in return reflects the picture clearly.

Q4. I am not cruel, only truthful........

Explanation ...

The mirror reflects the reality, the true image and gives no illusion. It may be considered cruel but it is truthful. It does not hide any flaws.

Q5. The eye of a little god, four-cornered........

Explanation ...

The mirror is like a world with its four directions. The four corners of the mirror make it look like a microcosm of the world.

Q6. Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall..........

Explanation ...

The mirror constantly keeps gazing on the opposite wall and appears to be contemplating deeply. The wall has become a part of the life of the mirror.

Q7. It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long...............

Explanation ...

The opposite wall is of pink colour with patches of discoloration. This also implies the young girl whose fresh glow of youth has given way to the freckles, and other visible signs of old age on her face.

Q8. Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me.............

Explanation ...

The mirror and a lake are similar. The lake also gives a crystal clear image like a mirror. Just as mirror does not hide age and reality, similarly a lake also depicts true reality. ‘Lake’ is used because even away from the mirror, the woman is forced to see the reality through nature.

Q9. Searching my reaches for what she really is..........

Explanation ...

This refers to the extent of the lake’s reach. The woman who bends to see her reflection in the lake explores the depth of time, goes into the depth of her past and bemoans the loss of her youth.

Q10. Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon..........

Explanation ...

Candles and moonlight are associated with romance. Now with age, there is no romance left. The candles and the moonlight are dim and they help in hiding one’s flaws. So these are called ‘liars’ for they offer illusions to women about their beauty or youth. The candles and moon only reveal shadows and not the true picture. These are just distractions to avoid the essential self.

Q11. She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands..........

Explanation ...

The mirror is unsympathetic. It reveals the ugly reality, so the only reward it gets is tears and agitation over the loss of youth. The mirror reinforces the belief that reality is bitter to accept.

Q12. I am important to her. She comes and goes.............

Explanation ...

It is an accepted fact that a mirror is a woman’s companion and is indispensable to her. A woman needs a mirror all the time and she cannot do without it.

Q13. In me an old woman rises towards her day after day............

Explanation ...

No matter how much the woman wants, the mirror only reveals her old face. Every morning, the woman looks in the mirror, full of hope, but she only gets to see her old wrinkled and lustreless appearance.

Q14. In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman....................

Explanation ...

This refers to the myth of the Greek prince Narcissus, who kept looking at his handsome appearance in the lake for so long that he drowned into the lake. The poetess regrets the loss of youth which is associated with drowning’. ‘Drowning’ indicates the consequences of vanity. The poet uses this metaphor to show that the little girl that used to look in the mirror has drowned and an old woman has replaced her.

Q15. Rises toward her day after day like a terrible fish................

Explanation ...

This is reminiscent of Sylvia Plath’s repeated viewing of her own reflection which leads to self-loathing as she sees less and less of the young girl and more of the old woman. The fish epitomises a creature’s inability to escape from the sea of time.

It is interesting that Plath chose a fish instead of any other animal. When she used a lake in place of a mirror, she may have needed a creature that lived in the lake to compare her feeling of living in the mirror. She is trying to make a point that a fish depends on water, the same way, a woman depends on the mirror.

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