LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
Q1. In what way is the mirror different from the people who view it? How does it affect the people?
Ans : The mirror is truthful, unbiased. It reflects the reality as it sees. It is cruel, blunt and frank whereas the people who view the mirror are hypocrites who cannot accept the reality. They are not truthful, are biased, have preconceived notions. Women and men who view the mirror, have double standards and they lead artificial lives. They seek to escape from reality, they prefer to hide their flaws in dim light. If a person has flaws, the mirror reflects it without hesitation. The human beings are most reluctant to state the reality or accept it.
Q2. Discuss the obsessive relationship between the mirror and the woman.
The poem ‘Mirror’ shows the problems of an ageing woman. Elaborate in 100-125 words.
Ans : Age is the most cruel factor for any woman, especially for those women who lay great store on physical beauty. Physical beauty is temporary and one cannot escape the ravages of age. Most women are afraid to confront the reality of their ugliness or wrinkles. So they prefer to present themselves in dim light. Such women forget that the ultimate aim of life should be salvation and spiritual upliftment, rather than the trap of youth or beauty. One needs to transcend such physical barriers and see the beauty of the soul. So women should protect themselves from being obsessed by the charms of youth. Any woman should hanker after permanent pleasures of life like one’s spiritual elevation.
Q3. “In me she has drowned a young girl.” Explain the significance of ‘drowned.’ What does it refer to?
Ans : ‘Drowned’ means “swallowed”. Apparently this refers to the Greek prince Narcissus, who was very handsome. He kept gazing at his reflection in the lake for so long that he drowned. So the poem is about a woman who is torn between the true picture of herself and the distorted image that others see of her. ‘Drowning’ also 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 the old woman has replaced her. Basically the woman is obsessed of her looks and when she gazes in the mirror or in a lake, she feels cheated. So the woman gets upset that the lake has swallowed the image of the young girl.
Q4. “The world of illusion and flights of fancy give happiness. The stark world of reality is too depressing and ugly. The only way out is escapism.” Why/Why not?
Ans : The world of imagination and fancy is always so glorious and bright. But one cannot dwell in it for long. Anything that takes one away from reality should not be accepted. Women and men many times take recourse to flights of fancy to escape reality. But for how long? Life has to be lived not on temporary basis but on the hard ground of reality even if it is ugly or harsh. The ultimate aim of life is to face the realities bravely and find new challenges. Illusions and escapism are the diversions of the weak-willed or the hypocrites. So one must grow and groom oneself into the real world and take on life in its true spirit or colour. Then only life will prove to be worthwhile.