Literary Analysis

The  Happy Mirror

A Japanese Folktale


Many years ago, there was a small family in Japan. There lived a father, mother and their little daughter. They took their daughter to the temple when she was only thirty days old wearing a long kimono like all Japanese babies do. The parents gave the baby a set of beautiful dolls on her first doll festival, and when their daughter turned three, she was no longer a baby but a little girl fast growing up. She was loved by her parents very much. One day, a messenger came and brought news that the father is needed by the Emperor to Tokyo. They haven’t had a horse so the father will need to walk the long way. The mother and the little daughter bid farewell to the father and promised him that they will take care of each other and will wait for him. After many days, the father came back and brought the mother and daughter presents. The little girl received a doll and she was very glad while the mother was amazed by the present. It was a thing which she saw a beautiful face of a woman.  The husband laughed and told her it was a mirror and she only saw her own reflection. He told her that if she brings a smile to the mirror, she will see a smiling face and if she didn’t it will reflect the mirror. The wife thanked her husband and promised that she will always bring a smiling face to the mirror. She often looked at the mirror and does what she had promised. She would always see a happy face in it. Many years passed and she grew tired of looking at it. She decided to give the precious gift to her daughter who grew into a woman exactly like her mother. One day, she called the daughter and gave a beautiful box and the daughter was surprised of what she saw. It was the image of her mother inside the round shiny thing. It was the image of her mother she used to look at when she was a little girl. The mother told her to smile every time she will look at her inside the mirror and assured her that she will smile back. For that day on, the daughter kept the box near her. Once each year, she opened it and proved that her mother’s words was always true. Always she saw her mother’s smiling face when she smiles at her. The daughter always remembers to bring smiles to the thing inside the little box, and always the smiles come back at her.

The Narrative Element:


The story happened in Japan many years ago. The little house of the little family was home full of love and affection to each other.


  • Father – a loving husband and father. He value and appreciates his wife and daughter very much.
  • Mother – a good and loving wife. She was a perfect example to their daughter.
  • Daughter – a good daughter to her parents. She was exactly like her mother.


The plot of the story The Happy Mirror is in organic form. Unlike the episodic, it is not divided into separate related parts. It only revolves n a single theme and there is unity in the ideas of the short story.


Man Vs. Himself

Point of view:

The story is in the third person point of view because the story is not told by a character but by an “invisible author,” using the third person pronoun (he, she, or it) to tell the story.


Everything we do reflect to what kind of person we are.

Literary movement:

This story may be classified under Realism because it aimed to depict ordinary life of a Japanese family. Although it happened a long time ago, it still falls in this literary movement because of the ordinary language used and it gives an honest portrayal of the characters.


Prepared by: Shastine Dharyll P. Robles