NCERT Textbook - Mirror Class 10 Notes | EduRev

Class 10 : NCERT Textbook - Mirror Class 10 Notes | EduRev

Created by: Vinay Thomas
 Page 1


8 8
UNIT UNIT
Poetry
P. 2    Mirror
by Sylvia Plath
97
CBSE
1. In pairs discuss the following questions:
(a) When do you generally use a mirror?
(b) Is a mirror essential for us?
(c) 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
2. The teacher will now play a recording of the poem. Listen carefully and answer 
the questions that follow:
I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful -
5 The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Page 2


8 8
UNIT UNIT
Poetry
P. 2    Mirror
by Sylvia Plath
97
CBSE
1. In pairs discuss the following questions:
(a) When do you generally use a mirror?
(b) Is a mirror essential for us?
(c) 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
2. The teacher will now play a recording of the poem. Listen carefully and answer 
the questions that follow:
I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful -
5 The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
CBSE
Poetry 
10 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.
15 I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day like a terrible fish.
About the Poet 
Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 - February 11, 1963) was an American poet, 
novelist and short story writer. Born in Massachusetts, she received acclaim as a 
professional poet and writer. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956 and they 
lived together first in the United States and then England, having two children 
together: Frieda and Nicholas. Following a long struggle with depression and a 
marital separation, Plath committed suicide in 1963. Plath is credited with 
advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two 
collections The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel. In 1982, she became the 
first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize posthumously for The Collected Poems. She also 
authored The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her 
death.
3. On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions 
by ticking the correct choice
(a) 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. is silver in colour
(b) The other word for 'contemplation' is………..
i. contempt
ii. meditation
iii. mediation
iv. thoughtful
98
Page 3


8 8
UNIT UNIT
Poetry
P. 2    Mirror
by Sylvia Plath
97
CBSE
1. In pairs discuss the following questions:
(a) When do you generally use a mirror?
(b) Is a mirror essential for us?
(c) 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
2. The teacher will now play a recording of the poem. Listen carefully and answer 
the questions that follow:
I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful -
5 The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
CBSE
Poetry 
10 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.
15 I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day like a terrible fish.
About the Poet 
Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 - February 11, 1963) was an American poet, 
novelist and short story writer. Born in Massachusetts, she received acclaim as a 
professional poet and writer. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956 and they 
lived together first in the United States and then England, having two children 
together: Frieda and Nicholas. Following a long struggle with depression and a 
marital separation, Plath committed suicide in 1963. Plath is credited with 
advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two 
collections The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel. In 1982, she became the 
first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize posthumously for The Collected Poems. She also 
authored The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her 
death.
3. On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions 
by ticking the correct choice
(a) 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. is silver in colour
(b) The other word for 'contemplation' is………..
i. contempt
ii. meditation
iii. mediation
iv. thoughtful
98
CBSE
Poetry
99
(c) 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
(d) 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
(e) 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
(f) The phrase 'agitation of the hand' suggests that the person is:
i. very ill
ii. very upset
iii. very angry
iv.  very happy
(g) 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
4. Answer the following questions briefly
(a) What is the poetic device used when the mirror says 'I swallow'?
(b) How does the mirror usually pass its time?
(c) What disturbs the mirror's contemplation of the opposite wall?
Page 4


8 8
UNIT UNIT
Poetry
P. 2    Mirror
by Sylvia Plath
97
CBSE
1. In pairs discuss the following questions:
(a) When do you generally use a mirror?
(b) Is a mirror essential for us?
(c) 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
2. The teacher will now play a recording of the poem. Listen carefully and answer 
the questions that follow:
I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful -
5 The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
CBSE
Poetry 
10 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.
15 I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day like a terrible fish.
About the Poet 
Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 - February 11, 1963) was an American poet, 
novelist and short story writer. Born in Massachusetts, she received acclaim as a 
professional poet and writer. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956 and they 
lived together first in the United States and then England, having two children 
together: Frieda and Nicholas. Following a long struggle with depression and a 
marital separation, Plath committed suicide in 1963. Plath is credited with 
advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two 
collections The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel. In 1982, she became the 
first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize posthumously for The Collected Poems. She also 
authored The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her 
death.
3. On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions 
by ticking the correct choice
(a) 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. is silver in colour
(b) The other word for 'contemplation' is………..
i. contempt
ii. meditation
iii. mediation
iv. thoughtful
98
CBSE
Poetry
99
(c) 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
(d) 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
(e) 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
(f) The phrase 'agitation of the hand' suggests that the person is:
i. very ill
ii. very upset
iii. very angry
iv.  very happy
(g) 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
4. Answer the following questions briefly
(a) What is the poetic device used when the mirror says 'I swallow'?
(b) How does the mirror usually pass its time?
(c) What disturbs the mirror's contemplation of the opposite wall?
CBSE
Poetry 
100
(d) 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?
(e) What is the woman searching for in the depths of the lake?
(f) How does the narrator convey the fact that the woman looking at her reflection in 
the lake is deeply distressed?
(g) What makes the woman start crying?
(h) What do you think the 'terrible fish' in the last line symbolizes? What is the poetic 
device used here?
6. Find the various instances of personification used in this poem.              
7. Read the given lines and answer the questions that follow by ticking the correct 
choice:              
A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
a. What is the woman bending over?
i. the mirror
ii. the lake
iii. the opposite wall
iv. the moon and the candles
b. 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
c. 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
5. Read the poem silently and answer the following questions:
(a) List out the adjectives that have been used to describe the mirror. Add a few more 
adjectives to the list.
(b) In the second stanza why has the narrator replaced the mirror with a lake? What is 
he/she trying to focus on? 
Page 5


8 8
UNIT UNIT
Poetry
P. 2    Mirror
by Sylvia Plath
97
CBSE
1. In pairs discuss the following questions:
(a) When do you generally use a mirror?
(b) Is a mirror essential for us?
(c) 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
2. The teacher will now play a recording of the poem. Listen carefully and answer 
the questions that follow:
I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful -
5 The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
CBSE
Poetry 
10 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.
15 I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day like a terrible fish.
About the Poet 
Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 - February 11, 1963) was an American poet, 
novelist and short story writer. Born in Massachusetts, she received acclaim as a 
professional poet and writer. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956 and they 
lived together first in the United States and then England, having two children 
together: Frieda and Nicholas. Following a long struggle with depression and a 
marital separation, Plath committed suicide in 1963. Plath is credited with 
advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two 
collections The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel. In 1982, she became the 
first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize posthumously for The Collected Poems. She also 
authored The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her 
death.
3. On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions 
by ticking the correct choice
(a) 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. is silver in colour
(b) The other word for 'contemplation' is………..
i. contempt
ii. meditation
iii. mediation
iv. thoughtful
98
CBSE
Poetry
99
(c) 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
(d) 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
(e) 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
(f) The phrase 'agitation of the hand' suggests that the person is:
i. very ill
ii. very upset
iii. very angry
iv.  very happy
(g) 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
4. Answer the following questions briefly
(a) What is the poetic device used when the mirror says 'I swallow'?
(b) How does the mirror usually pass its time?
(c) What disturbs the mirror's contemplation of the opposite wall?
CBSE
Poetry 
100
(d) 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?
(e) What is the woman searching for in the depths of the lake?
(f) How does the narrator convey the fact that the woman looking at her reflection in 
the lake is deeply distressed?
(g) What makes the woman start crying?
(h) What do you think the 'terrible fish' in the last line symbolizes? What is the poetic 
device used here?
6. Find the various instances of personification used in this poem.              
7. Read the given lines and answer the questions that follow by ticking the correct 
choice:              
A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
a. What is the woman bending over?
i. the mirror
ii. the lake
iii. the opposite wall
iv. the moon and the candles
b. 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
c. 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
5. Read the poem silently and answer the following questions:
(a) List out the adjectives that have been used to describe the mirror. Add a few more 
adjectives to the list.
(b) In the second stanza why has the narrator replaced the mirror with a lake? What is 
he/she trying to focus on? 
CBSE
Poetry
101
 iii. she wants to be told that she is still beautiful
 iv. she can hide her signs of graying in their light
8. 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…..
9. 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.  
MIRROR
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, 
Can't you show me tall and slim? 
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, 
Must I look so bloody grim? 
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, 
You're distorting my poor waist! 
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, 
And why the heck am I defaced? 
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, 
Why have I a double chin? 
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, 
And what's the stupid, goofy grin? 
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, 
Pointless asking 'Who's the fairest-? 
More bloody likely, 'Who's the queerest? '
Now look, I paid a big bucks for thee, 
So why can't you be nice to me? 
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, 
Who's the fairest of them all? 
Me, you say? Ah, that's better - 
Mirror, mirror, bloody fibber! 
Copyright Mark R Slaughter 2009
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