NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 8 Mirror

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 8 Mirror are part of NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English. Here we have given NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 8 Mirror.

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 8 Poem Mirror – Line by line detailed explanation of the poem with meaning of difficult words and literary devices used in the poem.

plank CBSE
textbook N c E r T
Class class 10
Subject English literature
Chapter Chapter 8
Chapter Name mirror
Social class NCERT Solutions

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 8 Mirror

lesson practice
(page 97)

pre-reading work

Question 1.
Discuss the following questions in pairs:

(a) When do you usually use a mirror?

(b) Is mirror necessary for us?

(c) Below is a list of possible reasons why someone uses a mirror. Mark (✓) those you agree with:

  1. to check someone’s presence
  2. to look beautiful
  3. To ensure that the person is clean before going out.
  4. To check pimples or gray hair
  5. to put on makeup
  6. to make a phone call
  7. As a decorative item in the house.


(a) I use a mirror when I have to go out or to school or when I comb my hair. In fact, looking in the mirror when I go out has become a kind of habit. I do this because I feel that I should look proper, formal and attractive.

(b) It is not possible to work without mirrors. This is because the person should look neat and of course attractive. Being like this means that someone is civilized and civilized.

(c) (i) ✓ (ii) × (iii) ✓ (iv) × (v) ✓ (vi) × (vii) ×

Question 2.
The teacher will now play the recording of the poem, hurry up carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Class activity.

Question 3.
Answer the following questions by marking the correct option based on your understanding of the poem.

(a) When the mirror is being described as ‘unaffected by love or dislike’ we understand that the mirror is

  1. no fog
  2. not prejudiced
  3. there are four angles
  4. It is silver in colour.

(b) Another word for ‘contemplation’ is…

  1. contempt
  2. Attention
  3. Mediation
  4. thoughtful.

(c) When the mirror says ‘it has no presuppositions’ it means that:

  1. It objectively reflects an image
  2. It modifies an image as it reflects it
  3. It reflects an image and makes it beautiful
  4. It gives a biased view of a person/thing.

(d) The mirror has been called the ‘four cornered god’ because:

  1. It is square shaped
  2. Like God it sees you fair and impartial from all angles
  3. It reflects back whatever it sees
  4. It never stops reflecting.

(e) ‘spot’ means:

  1. a pink thing
  2. opposite wall with stains
  3. person with pink pimples
  4. Usually pink spots.

(f) The phrase ‘hand movement’ shows that the person is:

  1. very sick
  2. very upset
  3. Very angry
  4. very happy.

(g) By saying ‘Now I am a lake’ the narrator wants to show that

  1. Poetry is not only about outer beauty but also about the beauty inside the person
  2. Lake surfaces can also reflect
  3. The depth of the lake is important
  4. The lake does not show an exact image like a mirror.


(a) → (ii) Not prejudiced
(b) → (ii) attention
(c) → (i) It objectively reflects an image
(d) → (ii) Like God it sees you fair and impartial from all four angles
(e) → (iv) Normally pink spots
(f) → (ii) very upset
(g) → (i) Poetry is not only about external beauty but also about the beauty inside the person

Question 4.
Answer the following questions briefly
(a) What poetic device is used when the mirror says ‘I swallow’?

(b) How does the mirror usually spend its time? (v. imp)
According to the poet, how does the mirror spend its time? (CBSE 2015)

(c) What disturbs the reflection of the mirror on the opposite wall?

(d) Why does the mirror look like a lake in the second stanza? What aspect of the mirror do you think is being referred to here? (v. imp)

(e) What is the woman searching for in the depths of the lake? (CBSE 2014)

(f) How does the narrator express the fact that the woman looking at her reflection in the lake is extremely distressed? (CBSE 2015)

(g) For what reason does a woman start crying? (V.Imp) (CBSE 2015)
Why does a woman start crying? (CBSE 2014)

(h) What do you think the ‘terrible fish’ symbolizes in the last line? What poetic device has been used here? (v. imp)
What does the phrase “terrible fish” symbolize in the poem “Mirror”? (CBSE 2014)


(a) The poetic device used in it is ‘personification’. In the mirror a person is shown as a human being which he is not. ‘Swallow’ shows the use of ‘metaphor’ in it.

(b) It usually spends its time ‘meditating’, or ‘contemplating’.

(c) What bothers the mirror is the opposite wall which looks freckled and painted.

(d) The mirror in the second stanza appears to be a lake because like a lake it reflects images objectively and hides things. In this, the fair and objective reflecting capacity of the mirror has been mentioned.

(e) The woman is searching for the beauty of her face in the depths of the lake. Once upon a time she was beautiful. But now she has grown old and is not the same as before. Now she does not want to see her old and wrinkled face. So she searches for an old face from her younger days.

(f) The narrator states the fact that the woman sees her reflection in the lake. He is extremely distressed which can be seen in his agitated hands. Secondly, she cries and behaves like ‘a terrible fish’ upon losing her beauty.

(g) An old wrinkled face without beauty makes a woman cry. She always wanted her face to look young. But this is not the case now as she has grown old.

(h) The ‘terrible fish’ symbolizes the woman who is agitating over the loss of her youthful beauty. She is now old and has lost her youth and behaves like ‘a terrible fish’. The poetic device used here is ‘simile’.

Question 5.
Read the poem silently and answer the following questions:

(a) List the adjectives that have been used to describe mirrors. Add some more adjectives to the list.

(b) Why has the narrator used lake instead of mirror in the second stanza? What is he trying to focus on?


(a) The adjectives are: silver and precise, cruel, true, quadrangular, important. Adjectives from our side: impartial, immovable, reasonable, objective, impersonal, immovable.

(b) In the second stanza the narrator has replaced the mirror with a lake. Like a mirror the lake reflects things objectively. It also shows objects by objectifying or reflecting them like a mirror.

Now the narrator is trying to give a different meaning to the woman exploring the depths of her face in the mirror. The lake does the same when one looks at it. When a woman looks at her reflection a little closer, she gets excited. This is because she now sees her wrinkled face and not the youthful beauty it once had. So she agitates over the loss of her youthful face. She is trying to concentrate on the loss of her beauty.

Question 6.
Find different examples of personification used in this poem.

Various examples of personification:

  1. I am silver as a person
  2. I am the eye of a little god – like a god
  3. I’m ‘a part’ of the wall – now a wall
  4. ‘Now I am a lake’—as a lake.

Question 7.
Read the given lines and answer the questions by ticking the correct option:
A woman bends over me,
I’m looking for her for who she really is.
Then she turns to those lies, the candles or the moon.

(a) Which way is the woman leaning?

  1. mirror
  2. Lake
  3. opposite wall
  4. Moon and candles.

(b) Why are candles and the moon called ‘false’?

  1. because they make people beautiful
  2. They hide people’s faults with their dim light
  3. They hide blemishes and make people look beautiful with their soft glow
  4. They can’t talk.

(c) Why does she turn to him despite calling him a ‘liar’?

  1. Reality is too harsh for him to bear
  2. She is desperately looking for someone who can console her
  3. She wants to be told she’s still beautiful
  4. She can hide her signs of graying in their light.


(a) → (i) mirror
(B) → (ii) They hide blemishes and make people look beautiful in their soft glow
(c) → (iii) She wants to tell that she is still beautiful

Question 8.
Imagine that you are a mirror. Write a speech that you would like to give to the humans who come to see their reflection in you. You can start like this……

good morning dear humans

I am honored to have the opportunity to express my feelings and share my thoughts with you. As you know, my whole life is spent honestly reflecting everything that comes before my eyes…


…I reflect only what comes before me. I do not behave falsely. I am always truthful. I don’t help any man by talking romantically about him. I have grown old by watching many people grow old. Some spots have appeared on my outer part. These are like wrinkles on the bodies of young men and women. Many women have come before me also. He has behaved very strangely. He has tried to see on his face what he once had. Not finding her beautiful, he has shed tears many times with grief over this loss. I have deep sympathy for him. However, I always wanted them to be as truthful as I am. Time is powerful. At the physical level, changes occur in the human body with time. They must be aware of this change and come to terms with these physical changes. When they don’t compromise I feel pity for them. Then the truth will have to be accepted in every way. Moving away from it is always painful.

Question 9.
Here is another poem on mirror. The narrator calls the mirror a ‘fibre’. How is this poem different from Sylvia Plath’s poetry? Discuss the comparison in class in terms of topic, tone and language used.
NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 8 Mirror 1
For classroom activity.

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