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Flamingo
Annotations & Line by Line Analysis

[a] PROSE
I.

THE LAST LESSON


- Alphonse Daudet (1840 - 1897)
a nineteenth century, french novelist

Theme: Imperialism Defined as The creation and maintenance of an unequal economic,


cultural and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of empire,
based on subordination and domination.
Here Prussia is the imperialist nation which is establishing control and cultural hegemony
over French dristricts by imposing learning of German as a compulsory language instead of
French.
The text explores the effects of imperialism through the eyes and opinions of a young boy
named Franz.
Here language is an important motif. The significance of language is emphasised upon.
The native language (here French) defines a nation. It is the source of communication and
bonding. It is the means by which totally different people, can be united. Imposing German to
be taught in schools instead of French is a conscious effort of the imperialist country to break
this unity so as to establish their dominance and prepogate their culture.
Sub themes :
Effect of war on common man

Childs perspective

Patriotism
Respect for language

Teacher student relationship

Franco-Prussian war : France defeated by Prussia

Board Notes/English

Class XII

Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

Dread of scolding : M. Hamel will question the students on participles. Franz is aware that
he might be scolded since he is not prepared and therefore might not be able to answer the
questions. Thus, he is scared to go to school. He tries to find out reasons and escape routes
to avoid school.
Wanting to run away and spend the day outdoors.
Temptation :

Drilling : Literally implies : The training and routine procedures of the soldiers.
Metaphorically it signifies the Prussian invading the French districts thereby strengthening
their control.
A child like Franz does not identify with the grandiose or importance of such on event.
He is just fascinated by these soldiers. The real effect would soon be realised when he
gets to know that this would be his last French lesson.
Bulletin Board of Town Hall : Displays all bad news. Lost Battles, drafts and orders of
commanding officer A crowd infront of the bulletin board, implies that the citizens are
being notified of the defeat of France.

Incontrast, on that day, everything was quite as Sunday morning (no school on Sundays):
Silence, solitary, and serious atmosphere- Strange and Solemn
Franz was late to school. He was relying on the commotion to enter the class and escape
M. Hamels eye. But, since it was unusually quiet today, he was frightened, embarrased and
blushing.
Unusually, he receives a polite reply from M. Hamel, instead of being scolded.
{M- stands for Monsieur which means Mr in French}

Board Notes/English

Class XII

Flamingo

Vidyamandir Classes

M. Hamel wearing : Beautiful green coat frilled shirt black silk cap all embroidered. He
only used to wear these clothes on inspection and prize days.
M. Hamel was wearing his fine sunday clothes in honour of his last lesson. He was dressed
in his best because he wouldnt be teaching them anymore.
Last french lesson: Order from Berlin to teach only German in schools of Alsace and
Lorraine.
Thunderclap These were shocking words for Franz. The realisation dawns on him that
he wont be able to learn French anymore.
Sense of guilt : for seeking Birds eggs and going sliding on the Saar instead of learning his
lessons.
Sudden change in opinion :
Books that were a nuisance and so heavy to carry,
the grammer and
History of old saints
were now like old friends whom he didnt want to give up.
The thought that he will never see M. Hamel again made him forget all about M.
Hamels ruler. Franz also doesnt perceive M. Hamel as cranky anymore.
Classroom : Was quiet. The back seats that usually are empty, were occupied by the village
people, including the old Hauser, the former mayor and the former post master. The old
Hauser was carrying a primer.
(a) The effort of the village people to learn French which once they disregarded shows us
their guilt and the realisation of importance of their language.
(b) They felt sorry that they had not gone to school more.
(c) It was an honour and tribute to M. Hamel. Thanking him. Showing their respect to M.
Hamels forty years of faithful service.
(d) Show respect for their country that was not theirs anymore.
Franz is unable to recite the participles accurately.
M. Hamels speech :
General attitude of people to put off things.
Trouble with (citizens of) Alsace: She puts off learning till tommorrow

Board Notes/English

Class XII

Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

It is a matter of shame. We pretend to be Frenchmen. We put up with the facade of


being citizens of France but neither we know how to speak nor know how to write our
own language.
This is the fault of :
(a) The parents : Who put their children to work on farms or on mills to earn a little more
money.
(b) He, himself : (M. Hamel) :
He sent his students to water his flowers instead of learning lessons.
Given his students a holiday, when he wanted to go fishing.
French language :
(1) Most beautiful language in the world. The clearest and most logical.
(2) One must guard it and never forget it.
(3) Their mother tongue/native language is a key to their prison.
(4) Keeps people united and helps maintaining identity.
The Prussians can impose and imprison the French. But they can never imprison their
minds. Language as a mode of communication and unification will free these enslaved
French citizens.
An appeal by M. Hamel to the citizens to hold on to their language.
M. Hamel wanted to give all his knowledge to the children at one stroke
Franz is amazed to realise how well he understood the lessons now. This was because
now he listened carefully and made an actual effort of concentrating and learning it.
Everybody worked with sincerity and were not distracted.
Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons ? An innocent question by
Franz with an immense significance. Cooing for pigeons comes naturally. Similarly,
French is natural for the people of Alsace and Lorraine. It is a part of their
conditioning. Displacing them from what they have imbibed as their culture would
mean killing their spirit and identity. German would be the most unnatural and difficult
thing for them.
M. Hamel was proud to have taught French and proved his love for his nation for the
past 40 years. All these years nothing had changed except the desk were worn out, the
walnut trees were taller and the hopvine he had planted had reached the roof.
All these facts indicated a passage of time. But now, everything would change.
Board Notes/English

Class XII

Flamingo

Vidyamandir Classes

An emotional moment for everybody.


Church clock strikes 12. The prayer (Angelus). Trumpets of Prussians. Total taking
over and control over the districts.
Choked M. Hamel overcomed with emotions is unable to speak further but writes
on the board, what he, as a partriotic citizen believed in :
Vive La France ! (Long live France)
Vive also vif meaning lively ; great ; alive.
La The
A clarion call to all the villagers to preserve their nationality and their identity.
Reinstating the French spirit in everybodys hearts.
These french words remind the use of french language to define oneself and free
oneself and the entire nation from enslavement.


IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER
1. What was the implication of the blacksmiths remark ? How did Franz respond to his remark?
2. What was the thunderclap the narrator received as M. Hamel began the lesson?
3. Why had the villagers occupied the back benches of the class that day?
4. What did the narrator wish when he was asked to recite the rules of the participles by the teacher? How did
he recite on the contrary?
5. How was M. Hamels last class different from his previous classes?
6. How did Franzs feelings about M. Hamel and school change?
7. The story The Last Lesson is all about linguistic chauvinism. Comment?
8. Justify the title of the story The Last Lesson.
or
What was the order from Berlin? How did that order affect the people of Alsace, particularly M. Hamel
and his students?
9. What was the parting message of M. Hamel to his students and the village elders who had gathered in the
classroom?
10. How does M. Hamel prove to be an ideal teacher?
11. What thunderbolt did the narrator receive on reaching the school? How was he affected by it?

Board Notes/English

Class XII

Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

II. LOST SPRING


By Anees Jung (1944)
Indian woman author, journalist and columnist
Most noted work : Unveiling India (1987) : a detailed chronical of lives of women in India

Lost Spring : Stories of Stolen Childhood


Theme Child labour Exploitation of the poor Societal setup and living conditions
Apathy of politicians and the rich viscious circle, a web of poverty
Lost and Stolen imply the deprivation of something that an individual has the right to
posses. For these children, they deserve a happy merry carefree childhood but are robbed off
it. They are weighed down with responsibilities and have to struggle for survival.
Spring is a metaphorical term parallel to childhood. Spring is the most pleasant season
of the entire year. It represents happiness, joy youth, colour, ease, beauty, bloom, growth,
flourishing, vitality, energy. Similarly, the childhood should have the same attributes. But in
this story, this ideology is completely reversed.
[A] Saheb-e-Alam (Lord of the universe)
First person narrative.
Scourging for gold. Gold is used as an image for whatever sustainable item these
ragpickers find. It can range from food or money (a one rupee coin or a ten rupee note)
Social Condition :
Storms had swept away their fields and homes in Dhaka and therefore they reside in the
city.
Relocated to Seemapuri: a place on the periphery of delhi.
10,000 ragpickers living in houses made of mud, roofs of tin and tarpaulin, devoid of
sewage, drainage or running water.
Transit homes : They pitch their tents wherever they find food.
Survival in Seemapuri is by ragpicking. Garbage is gold to them
Survival more important than identity.
For more than 30 years they have lived without an identity, without permits.
They have ration cards that get their names on voters list and enable them to buy grain.

Board Notes/English

Class XII

Flamingo

Vidyamandir Classes

Garbage is equated to gold. But its perception varies:


For an elder it is a means of survival.
For a child it is wrapped in wonder. It is an adventure each day where one may
discover something extraordinary and new. You can find a rupee, or a ten rupee note
or a silver coin. There is mystery of what we might find next, There is hope of
finding more.
Name :
The name Saheb-e-Alam means Lord of the universe. This is ironical because Saheb is
a poor ragpicker who roams in the streets barefoot with his friends. He doesnt know
what his name means. He has simple desires: to go to school and own a pair of shoes.
The narrator had very casually said Go to school. But the intensity of the statement is
realised when Saheb explains that there are no schools in his area.
Though she jockingly asked whether he would come to school, if she started one, she
realises that she was taken seriously by Saheb. Her promise had been a vague and bleak
one. Sahebs innocent question Is your school ready ?, shows the intense desire of a
child to learn but are deprived of this opportunity.
Barefoot implies perpetual state of poverty. The basic dream of young boys is to
own a pair of shows. Anything higher than that is out of their reach
(i) It is a tradition to stay barefoot. (ii) They cant afford buying shoes.

Board Notes/English

Class XII

Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

[B] MUKESH :
Dream to be a motor mechanic.
Living in Firozabad : Centre of Indias glass blowing Industry. Famous for making bangles.
Most families in Firozabad work in this glass industry. They work around furnaces, welding
glass and make bangles.
Child Labour :
Even children work in these glass industry. None of the families know that it is illegal for
children to work in :
glass furnaces with high temperatures
dingy cells without air and light
20,000 children are working in the hot furnaces. Because they spend most of their daylight
hours in dark cells, they lose their eyesight (brightness of the eyes).
Homes :
Located in stinking lanes choked with garbage
Houses are hovels small miserable dwelling
Houses with crumbling walls wobbly doors no windows
crowded with families of humans and animals coexisting together
wobbly iron door
half built shack
Mukeshs family :
(a) Elder brothers wife : Position of women :
respected position as the bahu, daughter-in-law of the house
confined to domestic domain
incharge of taking care of 3 men : her husband, Mukesh and their father.
Sterotypical conventions and customs of patriarchal Indian family :
when an older man enters, she withdraws behind the walls.
she must veil her face before male elders as a mark of respect.
(b) Father :
Impoverished bangle maker
He worked hard as a tailor and then as a bangle maker and yet he failed to renovate
the house and send his sons to school. This implies the poverty is perpetual.
Board Notes/English

Class XII

Flamingo

Vidyamandir Classes
No matter how hard they try they are never able to rise up the social ladder. They are
suppressed and subjugated by the rich so that they could keep controlling and
dominating them.

(e) Grandmother :
She believes that it is his karam/destiny Innocent outlook of the people who are
unable to understand the policies around them.
Her husband had gone blind with the dust from polishing the glass of bangles.
Social Politics :
Years of continuous labouring mind-numbing toil has killed their ability to dream
and hope for the better. They have become like machines. Constantly working.
Any thought is beyond their limit of mind. They are unable to register anything else.
They have fallen into a vicious circle. Their entire generation is trapped by the
middlemen.
If they form an organisation, they are taken to the police, beaten up and dragged to
jail for doing something illegal.
There is no leader among them. Everyone is tired of rebelling. They do not have the
power to change their situation.
They are trapped in the apathy, greed and injustice of the sahukars, the middlemen,
the policemen, the bureaucrats, the keepers of the law (couort), and the politicians.
These people continuously supress and dominate the lower class. They justify
themselves by making them believe that they belong to the lower class because they
were born into this caste.
The families of Firozabad are burdened and caught in the web of poverty which they
are unable to escape.
Irony :
The irony lies in the fact that these children are conditioned to work for their families so
that they can earn their meal.
The example given, is of Savita, a young girl, soldering pieces of glass. She is deprived of
her childhood, burdened with responsibility, struggling for survival. She doesnt realise
what is stolen from her.
She is making bangles. At such a young age she is unaware what these bangles signify for
an Indian woman.

Board Notes/English

Class XII

Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

Bangles are sanctified.


It symbolises : an Indian womans suhaag
: auspiciousness in marriage.
The author imagines this little girl after some years would be
trapped in a red veil hands dyed red with heena
would be wearing these red bangles on her wrists
The old woman who is beside her still has bangles in her hands but she has lost her
eyesight. She still does not have the privilege to obtain one full meal in her entire
life time.
This is the same situation in all homes.
Mukesh in contrast to his family, believes that he still has a chance. He has the hope of
being a motor mechanic some day. But, at the same time, he is rational and practical about
his dreams. When asked if he dreams of flying a plane, he replies : No. He knows that
flying planes is way beyond his reach and therefore he is content with his dream of car.


IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER
1. Is Saheb happy working at the tea-stall? Explain.
2. How is Mukeshs attitude to his situation different from that of his family?
3. What reason does Sahebs mother cite to her son for leaving their homeland ? What name do we give to
such people ?
4. Why does the author describe children of slums as partners in survival ?
5. Saheb wanted to be a master of his own destiny. Comment.
6. Describe the atmosphere in glass furnaces. How can working there affect the young children ?
7. What has Mukeshs father achieved in life despite years of hard back-breaking labour ?
8. How has being born in the caste of bangle makers become both a destiny and a curse ?
9. How is Mukesh different from his peers ?
Or
Mukesh is a rebel. Do you agree. Give reasons in support of your answer.
10. Why is Mukeshs dreams of learning to drive a car likened to a mirage ?
11. Saheb and Mukesh are brothers in penury and suffering. Discuss.
12. Slums are the ugly underbelly of all big cities the world over. Describe the contrasting world of Haves and
Have-nots treading these two worlds.

Board Notes/English

10

Class XII

Flamingo

Vidyamandir Classes

III. DEEP WATER


-By William Douglas

Deep water is an excerpt from Of Men and Mountains


Autobiographical
Theme: Overcoming fear
Childhood Experience :
Age 10 or 11. Decided to learn swimming
Yakima river was treacherous (dangerous) as told to him by his mother

Past recollection :

-Around 3-4 years of age, William went to the beach with his father.
-He was knocked down and swept away by the waves

-The Father laughed as he knew that it was not dangerous and in his perspective it was not a
frightening experience.
-But William was terrorized by the overpowering force of the waves.
YMCA swimming pool revived unpleasant memories and stirred childihood fear.
Misadventure:
-William went to the pool. But it was quiet and isolated.
-Water was still and clean
-Waiting for the others, he sat at the side of the pool
A boy 18 years old, muscular, beautiful physique, tossed him to the deep end.
The Struggle and The Emotions experienced:
He was frightened out of his wits
Plan : On reaching the bottom, make a big jump to reach the surface, lie flat on it and
paddle to the edge of the pool.
Nine feet felt like ninety. It seemed a long way down.
When his feet hit the bottom, he collected all his strength and leaped upwards but
failed to rise up.
He imagined he would spring upwards like a cork.
He opened his eyes and saw nothing. Water now looked dirty yellow.
He grew panicky. He was trying to clutch the water in hope of grabbing a rope.
He struggled to come up to the surface.
He was suffocating. He swallowed water and was choking.
Board Notes/English

11

Class XII

Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

His legs felt heavy (dead weights), paralysed and rigid. He was pulled into the water by
a great force.
He screamed but no voice was heard. Fear and exhaustion dominated him.
It felt like a nightmare -He lost all breath -His lungs ached
-Head throbbed

-He was getting dizzy.

He still has a sense of optimism, presence of mind and determination. He plans again to
spring from the bottom of the pool and come to the surface.
Water was turning dark from yellow.
Terror seized him. He screamed but the streams in his throat were frozen. Only his heart
and the pounding in his head made him realize that he was still alive, because his entire
body was paralysed.
He shook and trembled with fright. He tried to call for help, to call for his mother.
He went into a trance :
-Blackness swept over his brain
-Emotions were fading: terror, panic and fear were wiped out.
-It was quite and peaceful.
-He was drowsy, tired and wanted to go to sleep.
-As he is drowning, he is hallucinated. He feels as if he is in the tender arms of his
mother.
He fell into oblivion : complete unconsciousness and he thought he was dead :
the curtain of life fell
He was rescued. He lay beside the pool vomiting. He went back home weak, trembling
and emotionally hurt. He cried in his bed. He couldnt eat. His fear haunted him.
Effect of this misadventure was that it caused hydrophobia. The author was traumatised
by the events of his past which deeply affected his future. He never went back to the
pool. He feared water. He avoided every such situation that made him encounter with
water.
He couldnt fish anymore. He was unable to go canoeing, boating and swimming.
Overcoming the fear :
The sense of overcoming a fear shows the ability of the author to face the difficulties in
life and be determined to achieve his goals.
Board Notes/English

12

Class XII

Flamingo

Vidyamandir Classes

He got an instructor and learned to swim.


He practiced 5 days a weak for an hour each day.
He had a rope attached to his belt, which, with the help of a pulley pulled him back and
forth across the pool.
Icy horror and terror grasped him, but he tried to overcome it and face his fears.
He soon learnt to exhale in water and inhale when he came up the surface.
Slowly he shed part of the panic. He gradually relaxed and finally he could command
his legs.
When his lessons were over, he decided to give the final try.
Self Test : Conquering the fear :
He went to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire.
He swam in the lake. He could perform the crawl, breast stroke, side stroke and back
stroke.
When he reached the middle of the lake, he saw nothing but bottomless water.
The old sensation returned. But this time, he had the courage to face and laugh at
terror and move on.
Later he was able to dive into the Warm Lake. He shouted with joy I had conquered my
fear
The Experience :
Roosevelt, to whom Douglas was an advisor and friend, said, All we have to fear is
fear itself.
The authors fear of death nearly killed him of actual death. Fear has more to do with
the mind. One must have the will power to face it and never give up.
If you overcome this fear, then and only then you will realise the value of life over
death.

Board Notes/English

13

Class XII

Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


1. Why did mother warn Douglas against River Yakima ?
2. In what way the Y.M.C.A. pool safe for those who wished to learn swimming ?
3. Why did Douglas father take the incident at California beach lightly when the child was buried in water?
4. How did the narrator struggle to come out of water?
5. Why did Douglas decide to engage an instructor? In what way did this decision help him ?
6. Describe the method adopted by the instructor to give a sense of security to the terror-stricken Douglas in
the pool ?
Or
How did the instructor built a swimmer out of Douglas ?
7. How did Douglas overcome his fear of water ?
8. What larger meaning does he draw from his experience of terror and his conquering of it ?

Board Notes/English

14

Class XII

Flamingo

Vidyamandir Classes

IV. THE RATTRAP


-Selma Lagerlof (1858 - 1940)
(Swedish Writer)

Theme : A belief that the essential goodness in a human being can be awakened through
understanding and love.
THE RATTRAP PEDDLER :
-Sells small rattraps of wire. He gets the material for making these rattraps by begging in
stores.
-The only way by which he was able to survive was by begging and petty thievery.
-Appearance

clothes were ragged cheeks were sunken hunger gleamed in his


eyes
long beard dirty had bunch of rattraps dangling on his chest

-He was a vagabond and led a sad and monotonous life.


PESSIMISTIC ATTITUDE :
-He believed that the whole world was a big rattrap. It only existed to set baits for people.
The riches and joys, food and shelter, heat and clothing that it offered was nothing but a
bait (cheese and pork). As soon as anyone was tempted and touched that bail, it would trap
him and everything would come up to an end. It drags a poor fellow into trouble.
It captures him in a dangerous snare.
The pedlar moved from one place to another just to find warmth and shelter.
THIS STAY AT THE OLD MANS HOUSE :
Old man:
Was without a wife or child
Was happy to get someone to talk to in his loneliness and therefore welcomed the
pedlar to stay at his place.
Gave him(the peddler) supper (porridge) and tobacco roll. He played cards with the
peddler till midnight.
He (the old man) had been a crofter at the Ramsj Ironworks.
Now that he couldnt do day labour, he was supported by his cow.

Board Notes/English

15

Class XII

Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

The cow provided milk for the creamery every day.


Last month he had received 30 Kronors in payment which he kept in a leather pouch
that he hung on a nail near the window.
The next morning, the old man/crofter left in a hurry to milk the cow. At that time,
the peddler steals the 30 Kronors from the pouch and goes away.
So as not to get caught, he avoids the highway and goes into the woods. In the woods
he is unable to find his way out. He feels guilty. He thinks he is being punished for
stealing those 30 Kronors.
He finds the Ramsj Ironworks. The furnace there was waiting for pig iron.
The mastersmith and the helper were working there. In order to find some warmth
and shelter, the Peddler enters the forge.
The iron master mistakes him for Nils Olof aka Captain Von Stahl, his old acquaintance
from the regiment.
The ironmaster invites him home to spend the Christmas with him and his daughter.
The peddler refuses the invite :
(a) Because they might realise their mistake that he was not Nils Olof
(b) He has guilt that they might recognize him as a thief. He thought of the 30 kronor
Since the refusal was persistent, the iron master leaves. Instead, he sends his daughter to
persuade him.
ELDA WILLMANSON :
Has Better powers of persuasion
Entered with a valet Carries a big fur coat, for this peddler. She is kind and
thoughtful.
She was not pretty at all, but was modest and shy Compassionate
The peddler was sleeping with one eye open. He was shocked, as he jumped abruptly. He
looked quite frightened.
This implies, that the rattrap peddler was always conscious and on guard. He lived a life of
insecurity and the fear of getting caught.
Therefore later when he stays at the iron masters place, he sleeps the whole day and
wakes up only for meals. He had not slept that peacefully, in comfort and security for
many years.
Board Notes/English

16

Class XII

Flamingo

Vidyamandir Classes

On witnessing such an abrupt reaction, Edla infers that :


Either he has stolen something or else He has escaped from jail.
This shows the insight that Edla has. She is rational, practical and intelligent. She has
a certain perceptiveness that enables her to understand human sentiments, actions
and reactions.
Thus sensing the peddlers discomfort on the invitation, she adds that, he can leave
just as freely like when he came in.
Her friendly, comforting and understanding nature builds in confidence and trust by the
peddler upon her.
The peddler has evil forebodings He feels he will get caught in the rattrap again.
He washes up and wears clean cloths lend by the ironmaster. The ironmaster now could
not mistake him with his old acquaintance. He realizes, he had made on error of
identification. He blames the peddler of dissimulation (deception).
In retaliation, the peddler justifies that he had refused the invitation but was insisted upon
to come. He was just a poor trader who wanted to spend the December night in the forge.
He says that the whole world is a rattrap. Before, the Ironmaster had promised to give him
food and shelter. But now, he will just hand him over to the sheriff.
Since its Christmas Eve, Mr. Ironmaster decides not to call the sheriff, but asks him to
leave.
Edla shuts the door and, asks the peddler to stay and spend Christmas at their place.
Reason :
(i) She was happy and felt home like and Christmassy, as she had got an opportunity to make
things for the poor hungry wretch. She could not get away with that idea.
(ii) She argues that He walks and walks for the whole year. There is not a single place in the
whole country where he is welcome and can feel at home. Wherever he turns, he is chased
away. He is afraid of being arrested and crossed examined. She says she would like him
to enjoy a day of peace with them, just at least this one day in the whole year.

Board Notes/English

17

Class XII

Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

(iii) It all had been a mistake, misunderstanding. One ought not chase away a human being to
whom one has asked to come over and promised a Christmas cheer.
-Edla is kind, gentle, comforting, and hopeful to bring about change. She is a rational and a
generous person.
He spends the Christmas Eve sleeping the whole day.
(1)

He had found comfort

(2)

He never had a resting place before

(3)

He never had the peace of mind because he was constantly in fear of being caught.

Edla tells him that her father wants him to keep that suit for himself as a Christmas present.
She assures him that at their home, he will find peace and no evil will befall him.
On the Christmas day, Edla and her father leave early morning for the Christmas services.
At the church she heard that an old man had been robbed. She feels sad and dejected and
they hurriedly return home.
The valet informs them that the stranger had left. He had not taken anything at all. In fact,
he had left behind a little package for Miss Willmanson.
The package contained a letter and a Christmas present. It was a rattrap, with three wrinkled
ten kronor notes inside it.
In the letter he thanks her for being nice towards him and treating him like a real captain.
He doesnt want her to be embarrassed by a thief on Christmas, and therefore asks her to
return these 30 kronors to the old man.
The rattrap is a present from a rat who would have been caught in this worlds rattrap if he
had not been raised to the level of a captain. She gave him the power to clear (redeem
and reform) himself. Since she raised him to the dignified level of captain, he wants to
return this kindness by not being a thief and sell rattraps but instead try to establish a
dignified life. He has got the opportunity and reason to change himself and be a better
man. He believes in what he says and seals his promise to her by singing off as Captain
Von Stahle.

Note :

This story has an element of fantasy and fairy tale pattern. It starts with Once upon a
time and concludes in a sudden and magical transformation of a mans personality from
a beggar and thief to a captain.

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IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


1. Why was the peddler amused by the idea of the world being a rattrap ?
2. Did the peddler expect the kind of hospitality that the received from the crofter ?
3. Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home ?
4. Why did the peddler decline ironmasters invitation ?
5. When did the ironmaster realize his mistake of confusing the peddlers identity with the captain ?
6. Why did Edla still entertain the peddler even after she knew the truth about him ?
7. How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the ironmaster
and his daughter ?
8. How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament ?
9. The story The Rattrap focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others. Comment.
10. What made the peddler think that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap ?

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V. INDIGO
-Louis Fischer (1896 1970)
Volunteer at the British Army (between 1918 to 1920)
Journalist. Wrote for : The New York Times and
The Saturday Review and for European and Asian publication
-his chapter is an excerpt from his book: The Life of Mahatma Gandhi

Theme : The leadership shown by Mahatma Gandhi to secure justice for oppressed people
through convincing argumentation and negotiation.
Year: 1942: Gandhi at his ashram in Sevagram, reciting the incident of 1917 to the narrator
when he urged the departure of the British.
December 1916: Gandhi had gone to the annual convention of the Indian National Congress
in Lucknow.
Rajkumar Shulka a peasant (farmer) from Champaran, came up to Gandhi and requested
him to visit his district.
Rajkumar looked poor and emaciated (thin from illness or starvation)
Gandhi had never heard of Champaran. It was at the foot hills of the Himalayas, near the
kingdom of Nepal.
The peasants at Champaran were sharecroppers.
Sharecropper : is a tenant farmer (one who borrows land to grow crops) who give a part of
each crop grown as rent to the landlord.
Rajkumar Shukla had come to Gandhi to complain about the injustice of the landlord system
in Bihar.
Gandhi told Shukla that he had appointments to go to other parts of India. Shukla
accompanied him everywhere. Impressed by the peasants determination (tenacity), Gandhi
agrees. He tells Shukla, that he has to go to Calcutta and Shukla can take him to Champaran
from there.
On the appointed day, Shukla met Gandhi at Calcutta. They boarded a train for the city of
Patna in Bihar. Shukla leads Gandhi to the house of a lawyer, Rajendra Prasad (who later
became President of Congress Party and of India).

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Incident at the house of Rajendra Prasad : Untouchables.


Rajendra Prasad was out of town.
The servant knew Shukla was a poor peasant who was pestering their master to help
indigo sharecroppers.
The servants thought Gandhi to be a peasant as well. This was because of Gandhis
simplicity. He was frail and dressed in a peasants attire.
They thought that since Gandhi was with Shukla, he was also an untouchable.
Thus they did not permit Gandhi to draw water from the well. They feared that if some
drops of water fell into the well from his bucket, then the entire well will become
polluted.

Gandhi was very meticulous. To attain complete information about the condition of
peasants of Champaran, he sends a telegram to his associates.
Gandhi stayed in Professor Malkanis home for 2 days. Prof. Malkani was a teacher
in a government school. It was an extraordinary thing to give shelter to a man who is
a revolutionist, working against the British.
Gandhi chided (scolded) the lawyers of Muzzafarpur for collecting big fee from the
sharecroppers.
The peasants were so crushed and fear stricken that law courts were useless for them.
They were afraid of the British.
The real relief for them is to be free from fear.
They must unite together and stand up for their rights.
Condition of the Peasants : Problems faced
Most of the arable land (land fit for cultivation) in the Champaran district was divided
into large estates and owned by Englishmen and worked by Indian tenants
The chief commercial crop was indigo (a plant from which dye can be extracted)
The landlords compelled all the tenants to plant 15% of their holdings (the land) with
Indigo and surrender the whole Indigo harvest as rent.
This was done by a long term contract so that the British can have the peasants under
their control.
Germany had developed synthetic indigo. Now, synthetic indigo would be imported
and natural indigo need not be cultivated anymore.
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Artificial indigo was less expensive and more affective, thus its demand would increase.
The illiterate peasants were cheated by the British. They released an agreement, where
they asked the sharecroppers to pay them a compensation, for being released from
the 15% arrangement.
The peasants who were so troubled by the arrangement signed the agreement.
Later the peasants got the information about synthetic indigo. They felt cheated,
and demanded their money back.
Those peasants who had resisted to sign the agreement were forced to sign by being
threatened by thugs hired by the landlords.
Gandhi reached Champaran, and visited the secretary of the British landlords association.
The secretary refused to give any information to an outsider. Gandhi answered, that he
was not an outsider.
The British tried their best to keep Gandhi out, since they knew he was a lawyer.
Gandhi went to the British official commissioner of Tirhut division. He was threatened to
be bullied and advised to leave Tirhut.
Gandhi did not leave. He proceeded to Motihari, where he received an official notice to quit
Champaran immediately. He signed the receipt of the notice and wrote on it that he would
disobey the order. He received a summon to appear in the court the next day.
In the morning, the town was filled with peasants in thousands. A huge mob was in front of
the court house to support Gandhi. This showed the unity of the peasants. This was the
beginning of liberation (freedom) from the fear of the British. This acted as a message to
the British that Indians will unite together and challenge the authority.
The government was baffled. Prosecutor requested the judge to postpone the trial.
Gandhi protested against the delay. The magistrate announced a two hour recess and asked
Gandhi to furnish bail for those 120 minutes, Gandhi refused. The judge released him without
bail. When court reconvened Gandhi read a statement pleading guilty. He said that he was
in a conflict of duties :
(1) On one hand he did not want to set a bed example as a law breaker. On the other hand,
he had to render humanitarian and national service
(2) He disregarded the order to leave not due to disrespect towards lawful authority but
because he had to obey the higher law of being i.e. the voice of conscience.

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The lawyers supported Gandhi. They thought that Gandhi who was a total stranger was
prepared to go to prison for the sake of the peasants.
If they, being the residents of the adjoining districts did not help the peasants, it would be
shameful desertion (abandoning).
Thus Gandhi and the lawyers made a voluntary surrender, and accepted court arrest.
Few days later, Gandhi was notified that the Lieutenant Governor has ordered the case to be
dropped. Civil disobedience had triumphed the 1st time in modern India.
Gandhi and the lawyers conducted inquiry of the grievances of the farmers. Documents
were collected.
Gandhi had 4 interviews with Lieutenant Governor. As a result, the Governor appointed an
official commission of inquiry into indigo sharecroppers situation. The commission
consisted of landlords, government officials, and Gandhi as the sole representative of the
peasants.
The official inquiry produced prominent evidence against the British. The British accepted
that they had illegally and deceitfully extracted money from the sharecroppers.
They asked Gandhi how much should they pay in return. Gandhi asked for 50%, but was
offered only 25%. But still he willingly accepted the 25%.
Gandhi later explained, the amount of refund was not as important as the fact that the
landlords obliged to surrender a part of the money along with their prestige.
Money was not the cause of the fight. The aim was that the British should accept that they
were wrong. It was the loss of the prestige of the British that was more important.
The peasants realized that they had rights and defenders to fight for their cause. They do
not have to follow or be afraid of the British.
They gained courage
In few years, British planters abandoned the estates. It was given back to the peasants.
Indigo share cropping disappeared.
SOCIAL MODIFICATIONS :
Gandhi saw cultural and social backwardness in Champaran villages. He wanted to do
something about it.
(1) He appealed for teachers. Primary schools were opened in 6 villages.
(2) Kasturbai (Mrs. Gandhi) taught ashram rules on personal cleanliness and
community sanitation.

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(3) Health conditions were miserable. Gandhi got a doctor to volunteer his services
for 6 months. 3 medicines were available:
(a) Castor oil : for anybody who had a coated tongue
(b) Quinine : for anybody who had malaria fever
(c) Sulphur Ointment : for anybody who had skin infections.
The Champaran episode was very significant and a turning point in Gandhis life. What he
did was ordinary but he declared that The British could not order me about in my own
country
Gandhi propogated and moulded a new free Indian who could stand on his feet and make
India free.
Gandhi taught self reliance. When the cause is just, you must rely upon yourselves and
win the battle.
Champaran did not begin as an act of defiance, it grew out of an attempt to alleviate the
distress of large number of poor peasants
Self-reliance, Indian Independence and help to share croppers were all bound together.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


1. Why could Gandhiji not accompany Shukla to Champaran immediately ? List the place that he visited
between the first meeting with Shukla and his arrival at Champaran.
2. What did the peasants pay the British landlors as rent ? What did the British planters now want instead
and why ? What would be the impact of synthetic indigo on the prices of natural indigo ?
Or
Why did the British landlords obtain agreements from the peasants to pay them compensation for being
released form 15% arrangement ?
3. Why did Gandhi agree to a settlement of 25% refund to the farmers ?
4. Why do you think Gandhiji considered the Champaran episode to be a turning-point in his life ?
5. Why did Gandhiji visit Muzzafarpur on his way to Champaran ? Who received him there ?
6. Give a brief account of what happened at Motihari.
7. Why did Gandhiji stay on in Champaran even after the sharecroppers problem was solved ?

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8. Why did Gandhiji oppose the idea of requesting the English pacifist, Charles Freer Andrews to stay on in
Champaran ?
9. What was the dispute between the landlords and the Champaran peasants ? What role did Gandhiji play
in resolving the dispute successfully ?
Or
Describe the exploitation of the indigo sharecroppers by english landlords in champaran. Did Gandhjii help
them to get an honourable settlement ?
10. What did Gandhiji do to remove the cultural and social backwardness in the Champaran village ?
11. Why and when did Gandhiji declare the battle of Champaran is won ?
12. Freedom from fear is more important than legal justice for the poor. Comment.

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VI. GOING PLACES


-A. R. BARTON

Theme :

Adolescent fantasising
Hero worship

For Sophie, there is an easy possibility for her desires to come true. Jansie constantly
reminds her that to achieve something it needs effort and one has to struggle and go
through hard circumstances to achieve our goals. She has practical desires and achievable
goals.
Sophie has extraordinary aspirations, which she may never be able to achieve.
Sophies fantasy is to own a boutique.
Jansie reminds her that one has to have money to open a boutique.
Sophie says shell find money. Till the time she does, shell be satisfied with the post of a
manager.
Jansie tells her that it takes lot of time to possess that much money; and nobody will make
her (Sophie) a manager straight off (that easily). Jansie knows that they both will end up
working in the biscuit factory. That is their destiny.
Sophie fantasy undergoes a sudden flux. She aspires of being an actress or a fashion
designer if she isnt able to own a boutique. She feels goals are easily attainable and
opportunities are abundant.
The social-economic condition of Sophie is low. We understand this when Jansie says,
If you ever come into money youll buy us a blessed decent house to live in (instead of
Sophies plan of buying a boutique). Their house consisted of small rooms and windows.
GEOFF :
-Sophies brother

-3years out of school

-worked as an apprentice mechanic

-Travelled to work each day to the far end of the city.


-He had a private life. He barely spoke to anyone. Sophie was jealous of his silence.

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For Sophie, brother was a mystery. Since he wouldnt share anything with the family,
what he did was a secret for Sophie.
Sophie imagined him having an adventurous life. He would be out there in the world in
these places she had never been, like outlying districts of city, or places beyond in the
surrounding country.
He would have met interesting, exotic people, whom he never spoke about.
Sophie wanted to be a part of this adventure and mystery. She wanted to attain her brothers
affections so that he would take her with him someday.
She romanticises his life, she idealises him. For her, Geoff symbolises freedom,
and a glamorous world to which she hopes to gain access.
Sophies fantasy :
(1) To own a boutique
(2) She sees herself riding behind Geoff in his motorcycle. He wore new shining black
leathers, and she wore a yellow dress with a cape that flew out behind.
She imagined the sound of applause and the world rising up to greet them.
(3) So as to share a secret with her brother and become a part of his world, she creates the
fantastical incident of meeting Danny Casey.
Goeff is a huge admirer of the Irish footballer Danny Casey. Using this idea Sophie is
sure to capture Goeffs attention. It is meant to be something special just between
them.
Sophie knows that this is just a fantasy. She is scared; her father might scold her for
making up stories. She knows that even Jansie might recognize this as just an
imagination.
But Sophie, tries to live in these imaginations. She hopes that this fantasy becomes a
reality. She sits on the wooden bench near the canal and waits. She imagines he will
come. But as the time passes, She begins balancing against this idea that he is not
coming.
-She imagines herself standing outside Royces window, looking at the clothes. Someone
comes through the arcade and stands beside her.
-She asks if he was Danny Casey. He shyly replies in affirmative.
She watches him every week with her dad and her brother she asks for his autograph.
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She is completely smitten by his shimmering green gazelle like eyes, his innocence,
his shy smile and soft melodious voice.
-They both realise they dont have pen and paper, and so he asks for to meet him next
week so that he could give her the autograph.
She stands there alone in the arcade, hoping if this had been true. But the reality is
that she along with her father and brother are far away watching the football game and
Danny Caseys expertise. This is parallel to her dream which is far away from
possibility.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


1. Why did Sophie wriggle when Geoff told her father that she had met Danny Casey ?
2. How does Sophie include her borther Geoff in her fantasy of her future ?
3. Which was the only occasion when sophie got to see Danny Casey in person ?
4. How would you describe the character and temperament of Sophies father ?
5. How did Sophie family react when she announced that if she ever had money she would buy a boutique?
6. What does Sophie mean when she says words had to be prized out of him like stones out of the ground?
7. What did Sophie tell Geoff about her meeting with Danny Casey ? Why ?
8. What does Sophie mean when she says, this was a Geoff thing not a Jansie thing ?
9. Sophies dreams and disappointments are all in her mind. Discuss.
Or
The story Going Places draws a beautiful contrast between fact and fiction. Comment.
Or
Fantasising and hero-worship are essentially a part of the teenage. Comment on the basis of the story
Going places.
10. Sophie and Janise were class-mates and friends. What were the differences between them that show up in
the story ?
11. What socio-economic background did Sophie belong to ? What are the indicators of her familys financial
status ?
12. Resignation was no sudden thing. What is the implication of this remark in the context of Sophies
character ?

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[b] POETRY
I.

MY MOTHER AT SIXTY SIX


By Kamala Das (1934 - 2009)
(pseudonym : Madhavikutty)

Kamala Das was a Malayam author from Kerala. She is known for her short stories,
autobiography and poems. Her English works include : (i) Novel : Alphabet of Lust
(ii) Collection of short stories : Padmavati the Harlot and Other Stories
My Mother at Sixty Six

The poet is going back home from her parents place. She is on her way to the airport. Her
mother is sitting next to her.
Use of similes to show the contrast.
Mother: doze, open mouthed : sleeping
face ashen like that of a corpse : similie : her face is pale; it seems as if she is
about to die.
wan, pale : colourless
as a late winters moon : similie
winter symbolises old age, cold, dull
moon symbolises silence, pale, solitude.
Contrast with
Tree sprinting Literally : The trees appear to be in motion because of the movement
of the car.
Metaphorically : sprinting indicates passage of time
To spirnt : means to run with full speed. This indicates energy and
activity.
Personification (of trees).

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Merry children spilling : Symbolises youth, vitality, energy, happiness, vivacity of life.
Here the poet is making a contrast between her mother, and the world she sees outside. She
looks at her mother and outside the window. She realises the stark difference between the
two. Her mother is sleepy, old, dull, pale, wheras, the trees and the children outside represent
freshness, youth, vitality, life, colour, energy and happiness.
Realised with pairs, old familiar ache, my childhood fear indicates the fear and pain
she had since childhood about the thought of her mothers death. She realises that her
mother is old now and will die soon. She recollects her old childhood thoughts and emotions
when she looks at her mother, but she soon tries to distract herself, put that thought
away, by looking outside the car window.
Yet when she leaves her mother to go back home, she says : see you soon : an optimistic
thinking. The posibility that when she visites them next time, her mother would be still
alive.
All I did was smile : Smile is used as means to hide her pain. It is an optimistic reassurance
to her mother. Smile gives a feeling of warmth and a certainty to the other individual that
all will be good.
The poem is in a single sentence, punctuated with commas. It is a stream of continuous
thoughts interspersed (insterted here and there) with the world around and an individual,
the reality and the hope, nature and human.
The peom ends in . . . . . these are ellipses. They indicate continuity. This again reinstates
the poets hope that she will see her mother soon.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


STANZA - I :
Driving from my parents home to Cochin last Friday morning, I saw my mother, beside me, doze, open mouthed,
her face ashen like that of a corpse and realised with pain that she thought away . . . .
(a) Where was the poet coming from? Where was she going?
The poet had gone to her parents home to visit them. She was now going to Cochin from where she had to
board an aeroplane for her journey back home.
(b) Where was the poets mother ?
The poets mother was sitting beside her in the car. She was travelling with the poet to Cochin to see her
off at the airport.

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(c) How poet the poet describe her mother ?


The poet described her mother as old and pale. As she dozed off beside her, the mother looked almost like a
corpse, for her face was colourless and seemed to have lost the fervour of life.
(d) Who does she refer to in the last line ?
She here refers to the poets mother.
STANZA - II :
. . . . and looked but soon put that thought away, and looked out at young trees sprinting, the merry children spilling
out of their homes . . . . .
(a) What was the poet looking at ? What did she notice ?
The poet was looking at her mother. She noticed the mothers ashen and almost lifeless face distraught with
pain.
(b) What thought did she try to drive away ?
The poet must have been moved to tears to see her aged mother. A fear of separation from her mother and
a sense of guilt for having neglected her must have crossed the poets mind but the compulsions of her own
life made her drive that thought away form her mind.
(c) Why did the poet start looking out ? What does her gesture suggest ?
The poet started looking out of the window because she wanted to drive away the pain and agony she
experienced on seeing her aged mother. She wanted to drive away her helplessness in the wake of her
mothers ageing and approaching death.
(d) What did the poet see from the window of the car ?
The poet saw young trees running past her car and merry children sprinting out of their homes to play.
(e) What do the images of young trees and merry children symbolise ?
Trees and children symbolise the spring of life, its strength, vigour and happiness which contrasts with the
lifelessness and helplessness that sets in with age.
STANZA - III :
. . . . .but after the airports security check, standing a few yards away, I looked again at her, wan, pale as a late
winters moon . . . . .
(a) Where was the poet standing ?
The poet was at the Cochin airport waiting to board the plane after the security check.
(b) Who does her refer to here ? How did she look like ?
Her here refers to the poets mother. She was an aged lady and hence looked pale and colourless.

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(c) Why does the narrator look at her again ?


The narrator looked at her mother once again for the last time before she left to reassure herself about the
well being of her mother. She had tried to drive away the pain she had felt on seeing her weak and aged
mother. One last time she looked at her to wish her goodbye.
(d) Explain : wan, pale as a late winters moon.
In this simile, the poet compares the mothers pale and withered face with the winters moon. The moon
seems to lose its brightness in the winter season as it is veiled behind fog and mist. The mothers face also
seemed to have losts its radiance which was now misted by age. Winter symbolises death and the waning
moon symbolises decay.
STANZA - IV :
. . . . .and felt that old familiar ache, my childhoods fear, but all I said was, see you soon, Amma, all I did was
smile and smile and smile . . . . .
(a) What familiar ache did the poet feel ?
The familiar acherefers to the poets painful realization that she has not cared and cannot care for her
ageing mother. It is an ache of helplessness. It is also a fear of separation from the mother or the mothers
death.
(b) What could have been the poets childhood fears ?
I think the poets childhood fear was that she would lose her mother or be separated from her and that death
would consume her mother.
(c) Did the poet share her thoughts with her mother ?
The poet did not share her fears and agony with her mother. She only bid a formal adieu to her with the hope
of seeing her soon.
(d) Why do you think, the poet did not share her thoughts with her mother ?
I think the poet did not share her thoughts with her mother because they were caused by her fear of the
unknown. Sharing them with the mother would have worried the frail old woman to death.
(e) Why did the poet only smile ?
The poet only smiled to hide her guilt, anxiety and fear of the unknown. Also, she wanted to bid a cheerful
farewell to her mother before boarding the flight.

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II. AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSROOM IN A SLUM


-Stephen Spender (1909 - 1995)
20

th

Century English poet and essayist

His works include : Poems of Dedication, The Edge of Being,


The Creative Element, The Struggle of the Modern
Autobiography : World Within

An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum


Theme : Social injustice class inequalities discrepancy in economic conditions.
1.

Far far from : alliteration ; gusty - strong


Far away from the energy which is normally found in children.

2.

Like rootless weeds : similie unwanted and insecure


Hair torn round unkempt, not proper, messy hair
Pallor pale

3.

Weighed down weighed down by poverty, unhappiness, physical inability or by


responsibilities

4.

Paper seeming boy : metaphor very thing, malnourished


eyes like a rat stunted short height deprived of growth.

5.

Unlucky unlucky boy with weak bones. He has inherited (heir) the disease from his
father.

6.

Goes to a school which has lack of sunlight and hence it is dim.

7.

He is fantasizing a new world (dream)

8.

He would rather be in the lap of nature than be inside this classroom.

Stanza 1 : Physical description of slum children :


9.

Sour cream walls

dull musky;

donations Bad infrastructure.

The children do not know the existence of Shakespeare and his work.
10. Cloudless : A clear sky, proper buildings and sky scrapers, flowers and valleys : All
these are a contrast from their actual world.
11. They see maps with boundaries as created by man himself.
12. All these pictures and artworks are irrelevant for them for they have never seen them.
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13. not this the children never got a chance to see the world outside the slum. They dont
know the vastness of the world and are confined to their own experiences.
14. They will never get a chance to see the world because their future is uncertain, unclear
and bleak futures painted with fog.
15. Life is compared to a narrow street confined.
Lead sky sealed in darkness (life, future is in darkness)
16. Far far from : alliteration : Their life is far away from rivers, capes, stars and words.
All this beauty of the world are meaningless and ineffective to the children because they
have never experienced it.
Stanza 2 : Description of classroom.
Contrast between immediate environment and rosy picture of the world depicted
by pictures on the wall.
17. Shakespeare is referred to as wicked and the map a bad example, because they have
never read the beautiful works of Shakespeare or seen the wonderful places around the
world.
18. Ships refers to going beyond the boundary a voyage.
Sun radiating happiness.
The children are yearning to experience new things and go beyond the confines of the
slum.
19. Slyly secretly ; cramped holes small spaces
They are leading a miserable life in small decrepit houses.
20. metaphor ; from fog to endless night from bad to worse
Slag heap The children are unwanted. It is as if they are thrown like rags into the
debris.
21. The children are very weak and so thin that their bones are protruding out.
Spectacles of steel They look at the world in a distorted vision with broken glasses.
22.

23. They lead a misty life confined to the slum


24. Blot their maps tone of the poet is bitter ; As big as doom simile
Cover their maps with slums and unpleasantness.
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Stanza 3 : Relevance of Shakespeare and maps


Lives lived in cramped holes
25. He pleads to all the people : The governor, inspector, visitors
Unless unless you take some action
26. The map of the world will become their windows of life
27. That are now shut and are closed like catacombs (tombs).
28. It should be broken so that they can explore and reveal the world.
29. Let them experience and observe and feel happy about the green fields
30. The blue sky and the golden beaches.
31. Give them a chance. Give them the privilege to read the books they like.
Propagate their wish, will and interests. Let them go through the pages of the books.
32. Let them write their own history. Let them speak the language they know the best,
the language of nature (sun).
Stanza 4 : Hope. Appeal to the people to change their lives and make education more relevant
and meaningful.
The poet wants these children released from the narrow confines of their existence and
shown their real world. They must be given opportunities to explore the world and find
their place in the sun and be counted as individuals.
He appeals to the people to let them find out what they are good at. Let them move
towards the outside world and explore it so that they can establish themselves and create
their own identity.

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Class XII

Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


STANZA - I :
Far far from gusty waves these childrens faces. Like rootless weeds, the hair torn round their pallor: The tall girl
with her weighed-down head. The paper seeming boy, with rats eyes. . . . . .
(a) Which children are referred to here ? What is peculiar about their faces ?
The children of the slums are referred to here. The pale faces are deprived of the cheerfulness and enthusiasm
which mark the childhood days. Instead of bubbling with life they seem to be worn out and exhausted with its
burden.
(b) What does the expression Far far from gusty waves signify ?
The expression signifies that instead of enjoying their childhood in the lap of nature, frisking freely in the open
grounds or beaches, their childhood is confined to the dark and dingy walls of the slums.
(c) Explain : Like rootless weeds.
The expression is a simile. The comparison has been drawn with the weak-looking, under nourished faces of
the children. Their wornout faces are covered by their unkempt hair, scattered like rootless weeds.
Rootless suggests that these children lack proper nourishment.
(d) How is the tall girl affected by her poverty ?
Or
Explain : weighed-down head.
The tall girl is burdened by the load of poverty and the trials and tribulations of life. She is so subdued and
suppressed that her body and her head have been bowed down with the burden of misfortunes.
(e) What is the comparison drawn with rats eyes ?
The poet compares the eyes of the boy to those of a rat because the poor, undernourished child is deprived
of the basic amenities of life. His eyes are inquisitive and timid like the eyes of a rat are. He is always on the
look out for food and security.
STANZA - II :
. . . . . .The stunted, unlucky heir Of twisted bones, reciting a fathers gnarled disease, His lesson, from his desk.
At back of the dim class One unnoted, sweet and young. His eyes live in a dream, Of squirrels game, in tree
room, other than this. . . . . . .
(a) Who is being referred to in these lines ? Why is his growth stunted ?
A thin slum boy has been referred to here. His growth is stunted because of malnourishment which has
prevented him from blossoming fully.
(b) Why is he referred to as unlucky heir?
He is the unfortunate heir to his parents povert, disease and despair. His body is deformed and his bones
are twisted.

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Vidyamandir Classes

(c) Explain : reciting a fathers gnarled disease.


The slum children, like the paper-seeming boy inherit the disease and despair of their parents and thus
become carriers of their fathers disease and poverty. They appear to be as sick as their parents.
(d) Who sits at the back of the class, unnoticed ?
How is he different ?
A sweet, tender looking pupil sits at the back of the dimly lighted class. He is different from the others
because his eyes are gleaming with the dreams of his future.
(e) Explain : His eyes live in a dream.
Among the worn-out slum chldren there is one unsung her o who still dreams of a bright future for himself.
His eyes are lost in the world of his dreams and are not sad and morbid like the others.
(f) What is the comparison drawn with squirrels game ?
Just as a squirrel frisks and frolics around in its tree house, likewise the eyes of the dreamer frisk and frolic
with hopes for the future.
STANZA - III :
. . . . . On sour cream walls, donations. Shakespeares head, Cloudless at dawn, civilized dome riding all cities.
Belled, flowery, Tyrolese valley. Open-handed map Awarding the world its world. . . . . .
(a) Explain : On sour cream walls, donations.
The expression suggests the poor and ill-equipped environment of the slum school. The sour cream walls of
the school, which were probably painted with the help of donations, further add to the pale and sad ambience
of the poem.
(b) What does shakespeares head suggest ?
The expression is ironically used. In an elementary classroom in a slum, where the value of education is
minimal, reference to Shakespeare, or good literature may raise hopes and aspirations which will never be
fulfilled. Also, probably ther is a portrait of Shakespeare hanging on a wall.
(c) Why has the poet used images of cloudless dawn and civilized dome ?
These images stoically highlight the monotonous and dull life in an urban slum. The elementary school in a
slum is so squeezed and suppressed under the so called civilized high domes that the children are unaware of
the beauty of the sky at dawn. They are over-ridden by the concrete structures of the cities.
(d) Explain : Belled, flowery, Tyrolese valley.
The expression refers to natural beauty which the slum children are deprived of. The slum children pass
much of their life raking in garbage and slag and never get to enjoy the beauty of mountains and flowery
valleys.

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Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

(e) What does the reference to the map imply ?


The map of the world in the classroom is symbolic of hopes and aspirations, for a look as it motivates the
children to explore the world beyond, the world which has been awarded to us by God with all its bounties.
But the world for these children comprises the filthy slum. Their hopes for a better world may just never be
fulfilled.
STANZA - IV :
. . . . . .And yet, for these Children, these windows, not this map, their world, Where all their futures painted with
a fog, A narrow street sealed in with a lead sky Far far from rivers, capes and stars of words. . . . . .
(a) What comprises the world for these children ?
The world for these children is confined within the walls of their slum. They may get glimpses of the beautiful
world outside from the windows of these walls, but shall never be able to own this world.
(b) What future do these chilren have in store for themselves ?
The futures for these children is bleak and foggy. They may nurture hopes and aspirations of a better future,
but achieving these hopes is a vision, a dream for them.
(c) Where do these children spend their lives ?
The lives of these slum children are confined in the narrow streets of the slum where dirt and filth reign
supreme. These children lead a life of disease and despair within these narrow streets.
(d) What does lead sky symbolise ?
Lead sky is black or dull grey sky, symbolic of hoplessness and despair. The clear, blue sky makes hopes
mount high, whereas a leaden sky, polluted with toxics and smog, is symbolic of the monotony of life the slum
children remain confined to throughout their life.
(e) What bounties are these children deprived of ?
These children are deprived of all the bounties of nature. They spend their life confined in the filth and dirt
of the narrow streets of their slums. They never get an opportunity to bask in the glory of natural beauty
of the rivers, the snow-caped mountains and the stars.
STANZA - V :
. . . . . .Surely, Shakespeare is wicked, the map a bad example, With ships and sun and love tempting them to
steal For lives that slyly turn in their cramped holes From for to endless night? . . . . .
(a) Why is Shakespeare referred to as wicked ?
Shakespeare is an epitome of high literary excellence but in the slum school where hardly any learning
takes place and where children are troubled by disease and despair, literary training is a far-cry.
(b) How is map a bad example ?
A look at the map of the world makes one aware of the beautiful world provided to us by God. But the
world for these children is confined to the narrow streets of the slums. Map for them is a bad example
because it arouses in them hopes and aspirations which may never be fulfilled.

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(c) What do ships, sun and love symbolise ?


The expressions are symbolic of the joy and brightness of life which these children are deprived of. In order
to reach out to the world beyond, these children are sometimes tempted to adopt wrong methods to get their
dreams fulfilled.
(d) Explain: From fog to endless night.
The expression describes the miserable and pathetic lives of the slum children. From foggy mornings till late
at nights these children make desperate attempts to live their life, sustaining it despite all odds. Their lot is full
of misery, hopelessness and suffering.
STANZA - VI :
. . . . . .On their slag heap, these children Wear skins peeped through by bones and spectacles of steel. With
mended glass, like bottle bits on stones. All of their time and space are foggy slum. So blot their maps with slums
as big as doom. . . . . .
(a) What does slag heap refer to ?
Slag heap refers to a large pile of waste material that remains after metal has been removed from rock.
This dirt and garbage is the world for the slum children who spend their life raking in these slag heaps.
(b) Explain : skins peeped through by bones.
The expression refers to the weak and worn-out looks of the slum children. These children, being undernourished
look more like skeletons, their bones literally peeping out of their thin skin cover.
(c) What is the comparison drawn with bottle bits on stones ?
The slum children are deprived of even the basic amenities of life. Their life is shattered and broken like bits
of bottle on a stone.
(d) What comprises the world for these children ?
The foggy slums comprise the world for these children. The slums are the only reality, the home for them
where they spend their life time.
(e) Why does the poet see slums as big as doom ?
The foggy filthy slums which comprise the world for the slum children are living nightmares. Life there is
worse than death. These slums are stalking the world just like death stalks its victims anytime anywhere.
STANZA - VII :
. . . . . .Unless, governor, inspector, visitor, This map becomes their window and these windows That shut upon
their lives like catacombs . . . . . .
(a) What is the ambience of an elementary school in a slum ?
An elementary school in a slum is ill-equipped. It is poor in infrastructure. No real teaching or learning is
usually possible.

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Flamingo

(b) What does the reference to the governor, inspector and visitor imply ?
The elementary school in the slums exist merely for the namesake. They are poor in infrastructure with
hardly any teaching or administrative staff to take care of them. These schools spring into life only when a
governor, an inspector or a visitor comes to visit the school.
(c) How does the map become their window ?
The map is symbolic of the world beyond. But the slum children are able to become a part of this beautiful
world and have their hopes and aspirations fulfilled.
(d) What does the word windows symbolise ?
The word windows is symbolic of the world beyond the slums. The slum children look expectantly at the
beautiful world be yond the confines of the slums, but these sights and glimpses are shut upon them as they
are deprived of opportunities and means.
(e) Explain : shut upon their lives like catacombs.
The slum children are denied the bounties of the world beyond their slums. Their lives are shut up in the
cemeteries of these slums where they slither and slog to make both ends meet.
STANZA - VIII :
. . . . . Break O break open till they break the town And show the children to green fields, and make their world.
Run azure on gold sands, and let their tongues Run naked into books the white and green leaves open History
theirs whose language is the sun. . . . . . .
(a) What hope does the poet see in these lines ?
The poet hopes that these children would one day break free from the chains of the slums. They will rise
above all atrocities and economic injustice and will create a beautiful world for themeselves.
(b) What kind of a world does the poet visualise for these children?
The poet visualises a world where these children will be free to bask in the freedom of the green fields and
frolic around on the sea beaches in a carefree manner. They would not be troubled by the injustice of life.
(c) What does green fields and gold sands symbolise ?
The expressions are symbolic of a carefree and happy life. It refers to a world where social and economic
injustice does not prevail and everyone enjoys the right to live a happy life.
(d) Explain : let their tongues run naked into books.
The poet strongly feels that the live of these children will be very miserable and unfulfilled unless they are
educated. Thus he wishes that these children be exposed to the world of books. They should be educated so
that they can break themselves free from the confines of the slums.
(e) What does the word sun in the last line suggest ?
Sun is symbolic of the grace and light of God. Here it refers to the light of education. The poet strongly feels
that it is the educated alone who can transform the world.

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Vidyamandir Classes

III. KEEPING QUIET


Pablo Neruda (pseudonym ) (1904 1973)

Real Name : Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto


Born in Chile
Won Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971
Keeping Quiet
Theme :

Quiet introspection
Creating a feeling of mutual understanding among human beings.

keep still : suspending all activities.


not speak in any language. Let us not express our self in a language created and
distinguished by men.
Language : a device created by man as a means to communicate with the other.
Different regions have different languages. The Earth is thus divided into different areas on
the basis of culture and language used in the particular regions.
Lets stop : Let us not get involved in any activities that harm others. Suspend all such
activities.
It : This silence surrendering of activity. No commotion. The calmness.
exotic : unusual
without rush : People are calm. Forget the hectic life.
Without engines Stop the mechanical routine
No sound of the engines but instead there is a soothing silence
Together : Sense of unity. Coming together as one.
cold sea : Transferred epithet.
The fishermen are cold hearted and merciless indulging in killing of catches. Neruda is asking
them to stop this hunt. Cause no environmental disturbance. Do not harm the nature.
(i)

Green wars

: Environmental warfare

(ii)

Wars with gas : Chemical/Nuclear warfare

(iii) Wars with fire : Conventional warfare with arms and weapons and ballistics.

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Victory : You may win the war, but it will be futile because there will be no survivors
Those who participate in this war want their minds and souls to be cleansed. They realize that
the war was unnecessary. They repent this violence and hatred. By doing nothing and walking
with their brothers they want to amend their relations and be peaceful.
When I (the poet) say suspend all activities, it doesnt mean total inactivity that is total
indifference and ignorance.
I am not associating with death. By stillness I do not mean physical and spiritual death,
to show indifference to what is happening or to be a non-believer of god.
Single minded : We are so preoccupied with our lives. We work like machines instead
of living each moment of our lives.
Instead of this, if we stop, do nothing, and introspect ourselves, the huge silence of
self realization will interrupt, that is, alleviate the sadness.
Sadness : of not understanding ourselves and the world around; threatening ourselves of
self destruction.
Sadness can be removed by avoiding constant mindless activity. In the poets opinion,
silence is productive and leads to something good.
Earth : The poet involves the symbol of mother earth to reinforce his idea that there is
wisdom in tranquility and peace.
The earth is calm and soothing. Things appear to be dormant but actually are constantly
active.
The poet states that we must try to understand what life means in terms of activities,
that is, which actions are worthy of being done, and which are not. What are the
consequences of our actions and with what aim in life do we perform them.
I will go, Neruda ends on conviction that he was able to influence his readers. He is
convinced he is successful in delivering his message and tells his readers that now it is
their turn to introspect their life.

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Class XII

Flamingo

Vidyamandir Classes

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


STANZA - I :
Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. For once on the face of the Earth lets not speak in any
lagnuage, lets stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. . . . . . .
(a) What does count to twelve imply ?
The poet through this expression commences the session of introspection and meditation. When stressed out
or in dilemma, the best exercise is to keep quiet, calm the mind and begin counting. Also the needle of the
clock covers 12 digits in one complete round.
(b) What advantage does the poet see in keeping quiet ?
The poet feels that if for once we will keep quiet and still, it will provide us an opportunity to introspect on our
follies. Moreover, for those moments we will forget our differences and enter into the world of peace.
(c) How would humanity benefit if people did not speak in any language ?
Language breeds discriminations and linguistic chauvinism breeds domination. If for some time, no one spoke
on the face of the earth all these discriminations will wither away in the depths of silence.
(d) Why does the poet ask men to stop all movement ?
Man is a victim of his own doing. Much of the unrest on the face of the earth is a result of mans so called
progressive and forward nature. If for some time mens activities can come to a standstill and man stops
moving his arms too much, peace and tranquility can prevail in the world.
(e) Why does the poet want men on earth to keep quiet ?
The poet wants to promote peace and brotherhood in the world. As the harbinger of world peace he feels
that as along as men were always up and doing, difference and unrest will prevail in the world. Only when
men keep quiet and spend time in introspection, will they be able to make amends!
STANZA - II :
. . . . . .It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines, we would all be together in a sudden
strangeness. . . . . . .
(a) What would be an exotic moment for the poet ?
It would be a moment of immense world peace, universal brotherhood and love created through introspections
and silence.
(b) Explain : without rush, without engines.
The expressions are symbolic of the hubbub of the modern life. In the modern competitive world of
advancement, there is a rat-race to outshine others. Life can be peaceful only if this thoughtless advancement
can be stopped.
(c) How, accroding to the poet, can men be brought together ?
Men according to the poet, can be brought together in that exotic moment of tranquility when all discriminations
of man by man can be wiped away from the world and unrest caused by war can come to an end.
(d) Explain : sudden strangeness.
The exotic moment of introspection will build a sudden and strange feeling of universal brotherhood.
This feeling of brotherhood and togetherness is new and inexplicable.

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(e) How can man experience this exotic moment ?


When man indulges in introspection and sheds away his differences and feels one with the soul of his
fellow beings, he then feels that exotic moment of silence which can be a blesssing for mankind.
STANZA - III :
. . . . . .Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt
hands. . . . . . .
(a) What would happen in this moment of silence ?
In this exotic moment of silence and introspection men will become conscious of the harm they are causing
to others and to their ownselves. In that moment of inactivity all such evil will come to an end.
(b) What are Fishermen symbolic of ?
The fishermen symbolise mans indiscriminate exploitation of nature for his vested interests.
(c) What would happen when fishermen do not harm whales ?
When fishermen do not harm the whales, they will no longer be on the verge of extinction.
(d) What message does the poet convey in these lines ?
The poet wants to convey that mans habit of being up and doing and working towards advancement has
resulted in more harm than good. In this mad race he has lost care and concern for his own brethren.
(e) What image does the poet create in the last lines ?
The poet creates the image of mans incessant suffering. In his efforts to add comforts to his life he has paid
no heed to the pain he has been causing to himself. Men, who gather salt, have no time to reflect on the pain
they are causing to their hands.
STANZA - IV :
. . . . .Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victory with no survivors, would put on clean
clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing. . . . . .
(a) Whom does Those refer to here ?
Those refers to the politicians, the statemen and the scientists who are involved in initiating and aggravating
wars.
(b) Explain : green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire.
The expression refers to the chemical wars which Man is waging against Man and against Nature.
Mans activities are polluting the Nature and the chemical and nuclear weapons created by him have brought
mankind to its dead end.
(c) What does the poet mean by victory with no survivors ?
Mans activities are indeed heading him towards his doom. The war which man is waging against nature will
one day convert this living planet into a dead one and human beings will become an extinct species.
The war may be a victory of mans scientific knowledge, but there would be no survivors to celebrate this
victory.

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(d) What would happen when men put on clean clothes ?


When men put on clean clothes and for some time do not involve themselves in any activity they would
reflect inwardly and thus halt their destructive activities.
(e) What lesson will man learn when he just walks about with his brothers doing nothing ?
Man will realise the strength of humanity and become consious of universal brotherhood. His destructive
activities would come to a standstill. This can provide a healing touch to mankind.
STANZA - V :
. . . .What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with
death. . . . .
(a) What does the poet want ?
The poet wishes that man should stop his destructive activities and involve himself in moments of silence and
introspection.
(b) What does total inactivity imply ?
Total inactivity implies a phase of complete stagnation when no activity is taking place on the face of earth.
(c) Why does the poet say that he does not want his wish to be confused with total inactivity ?
The poet wishes that man should, for sometime, stop his destructive activities and involve himself in moments
of silence and introspection. He, however does not want him to become inactive and bring life to a standstill.
He wants him to continue with his positive and constructive activities for the good of mankind.
(d) What is life all about ?
Life is an on-going process and thus is all about being up and doing. Life cannot come to a standstill under
any circumstances.
(e) Explain : I want no truck with death.
The poet does not believe in inactivity. Life is an on-going process and so he does not want to associate it
with death, or bring it to a dead-end.
STANZA - VI :
. . If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge
silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. .
(a) Who does we refer to here ?
We here refers to mankind at large.
(b) What is man single-minded about ?
Man has targetted himself single-mindedly towards scientific progress and advancement. He has so
focussed himself that he pays no heed to the pros and cons of reckless progress and moves ahead without
reflecting on the consequences.
(c) Explain : keeping our lives moving.
The expression is a comment on the modern mens mechanised and busy life. Life, no doubt is an on-going
process, but in the name of progress man is treading the path of destruction. He is trapped in a rat race of
mad competition. He knows no rest, no peace.

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Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

(d) How would man benefit if he did nothing and kept quiet ?
If man keeps quiet and does not involve himself in doing anything he will introspect. In these moments of
silence he will realise the harm he has caused to mankind and the need of strengthening his relationships.
(e) What is the sadness of never understanding ourselves ?
Man, in his race towards materialism has sacrificed the fulfilment of his emotional needs. He does not
understand the needs of his emotional self and has thus become sad and isolated.
(f ) How has man threatend himself with death ?
The increasing arms race and mans rapid advancement towards progress at the cost of nature has brought
him on the verge of extinction.
STANZA - VII :
. . . .Perhaps the Earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive. Now Ill count
up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go. . . . .
(a) What can Earth teach us ?
The Earth can teach us the lesson of preserving life. Earth teaches us how new life emerges from the ashes
of the dead remains.
(b) What does everthing seems dead imply ?
The expression is symbolic of the doomsday when all life on earth will come to an end. Also it is symbolic
of winters when everything appears to be dead.
(c) How will it later prove to be alive ?
Life is an eternal and ongoing process. Man is caught in the cycle of birth and death. New life is believed to
rise from the dead remains. After the dead winter, we experience the lively springs season.
(d) Why does the speaker count upto twelve ?
The counting is part of an exercise in meditation. When the leader counts up to twelve the meditator reaches
a point of ecstasy there all distraction and digressions wither away and man is lost in that esctatic moment.
Thus, the speaker counts upto twelve to make the meditators to experience ecstasy. Also there are 12 digits
on the clock.
(e) Explain : you keep quiet and I will go.
The poet asks men to keep quiet and experience the esctatic moments of silence which create a rejuvenation
of thoughts and a transition of mindset. He himself quietly departs leaving the meditor in this exotic
moment.

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Vidyamandir Classes

IV. A THING OF BEAUTY


-John Keats : British Romantic Poet (1795 - 1821)

This poem is an excerpt from Endymion ; A Poetic Romance based on Greek


legend.

A Thing of Beauty
Rhyme Scheme : aabb
A thing of beauty is a joy forever : Beauty is not ephemeral but eternal. Beauty
never fades. The poet equates beauty to happiness.
never/ Pass into nothingness : with the passage of time, beauty will not diminish.
bower : a shady retreat. It will be like a place covered with foliage, where one can
go and relax.
It will give us sweet dreams, health and peace of mind.

We all experience negativity in life: Despondence- loss of hope/low spirits,


Inhuman dearth : scarcity of noble nature.
Gloomy days, Unhealthy, Over darkened ways : malicious ways.
We all search for a respite from the negative attributes of the world. The answer to
this is beauty. Beauty gives us a new optimistic attitude, brightness in nature, and a
happy and peaceful attitude.
Beauty moves away-shoves off/removes,
Pall : cloth that covers the coffin
The pall of dark spirits that has captured us/that has endowed upon us is removed by
beauty.
All the negativity, gloominess, depression, pessimism that encompasses you, is removed
by beauty. You now feel happy, alive, energetic, and optimistic.

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Vidyamandir Classes

Flamingo

BEAUTY OF NATURE :
By Beauty Keats means :
-the sun,

-moon

-old and young trees that give shade to a sheep -daffodils


-clear streams

-musk roses

-fern (brake)

As a poet belonging to the Romantic period, he equates Beauty with Nature :


green world
The green world (shade by the trees) and Clear rills (streams): they all secretly
(covert) keep the air cool against the summer (hot season)
Musk rose : The large white rose has a musky fragrance.
{Musk : is a reddish brown substance secreted from gland of musk deer used in
perfumes}
grandeur of the dooms : splendor of the dead.
lovely tales : draw, inspiration from the tales.
Heroic tales and legends like the epics, are associated with great deeds. They inspire
us. They give us pleasure. Their divine influence is like the eternal fountain that is
bestowed on us from heaven.
immortal : These tragic stories of heroes who have lost their lives in epic battles
have become immortalised. These stories are like the immortal drink that pours on
us like blessings from heaven.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


STANZA - I :
A thing of beauty is a joy forever Its lovliness increases, it will, never Pass into nothingness; but will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. . . . . .
(a) What kind of joy does a beautiful thing provide ?
A thing of beauty provides eternal and everlasting joy to us because it leaves an indelible imprint in our mind
and we relive the joyful exprience whenever we think about it.
(b) Explain : Its loveliness increases.
Joy multiplies with every beautiful thought. Likewise the loveliness of a beautiful thing increases manifold
each time we visualise it on our mind screen.

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Vidyamandir Classes

(c) What does the poet mean by saying it will never pass into nothingness ?
The joy a beautiful thing provides is eternal. The imprint it leaves on our mind is indelible. Thus its loveliness
can never fade away or die out.
(d) According to Keats, what treasures does a beautiful thing store for us ?
The poet feels that a thing of beauty can never fade into nothingness, but will store for us, a quiet bower, a
sleep full of sweet dreams, and a healthy, quiet breathing.
(e) Explain : sleep full of sweet dreams.
The joy Beauty gives us is akin to the joy of a blissful sleep full of pleasant dreams.
(f ) What does quiet breathing imply ?
The reference implies to the sense of peace and serenity that one experience on seeing beautiful things.
Beautiful sights act like nutrition for a healthy mind and thus refresh and relax us by driving away aggression
and restlessness.
STANZA - II :
. . . . .Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing A flowery band to bind us to the earth, Spite of despondence,
of the inhuman dearth Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, Of all the unhealthy and oer-darkened ways Made
for our searching. . . . . .
(a) What, according to the poet do we try doing every morning ?
Life on earth would be a pain without the beauty around us, so the poet feels that every morning we weave
a wreath of flowers which bind us to the earth and make us live our life.
(b) Explain : wreathing a flowery band to bind us to the earth.
Keats, as a worshipper of beauty, felt that life on earth would not be worth living without its treat of beauty.
In this expression he expresses a similar feeling as he feels that every morning we weave a beautiful string
of flowers or memories which help us to live our life here, which would otherwise have been a pain.
(c) What does the expression spite of despondence imply ?
The poet sees life as a struggle where man often suffers pain and loss of hope. The expression refers to the
suffering and hopelessness of man which he experiences at various junctures in life.
(d) Why is there an inhuman dearth of noble natures ?
Man is selfish and self-centred by nature. There are only a few who enjoy such nobility of character as to
rise above their petty differences and show magnanimity and generosity. On this earth, there is surely a
dearth or shortage of such noble souls.
(e) What makes our days gloomy ?
Life is a struggle for success. Our path towards success gets obstructed by the deceit and selfishness of our
colleagues. We suffer the pangs of defeat and loss of hope which makes our life sad and disdainful.

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Flamingo

(f ) Explain : unhealthy and oer-darkened ways.


To be able to enjoy the light at the dark end of the tunnel, one has to cross and transcend the darkness. The
unhealthy and over-darkened ways refer to the trials and tribulations one encounters in this journey of life.
STANZA - III :
. . . . .yes, in spite of all, Some shape of beauty moves away the pall From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the
moon, Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon For simple sheep; and such are daffodils with the green
world they live in . . . . . .
(a) What does in spite of all refer to ?
The expression refers to all the pessimistic and negative thoughts that obstruct our way to happiness. In spite
of the sense of hopelessness and gloom that overshadow and darken our ways, we are able to find our
happiness in the beautiful objects of nature.
(b) What, according to the poet, drives away the sadness from our life ?
Beauty, in any shape or form, helps in driving away the sadness and despair from the dark recesses of our
spirit.
(c) What images of beauty has the poet referred to here ?
The poet sees beauty at its best, through the various objects of nature. He appreciates this simple and serene
beauty through the image of the sun, the moon, the trees, the sheep, the daffodils and the green pastures and
rivers.
(d) How does the poet celebratethe beauty of a tree ?
The poet sees the tree, whether young or old, a symbol of protection. Nature, through the trees showers on
us the blessing of shade. protecting us from heat, intensive light of the sun and also from rain.
(e) What does the reference simple sheep symbolize ?
Lambs and sheep are envisioned as the embodiments of innocent and serene beauty Jesus Christ, as an
apostle of peace, was a shepherd and was seen surrounded by his flock of sheep, his followers. The poet has
made specific reference to the sheep as symbols of divine beauty.
(f ) Explain : With the green world they live in.
Natures beauty is at its best in the lushgreen surroundings of meadows and pastures which provide the life
support to all plants and animals. No living creature can be happy away from nature, and it is in this green
world that they find the true joy and happiness of life.
STANZA - IV :
. . . . .and clear rills That for themselves a cooling covert make Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake, Rich
with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms; And such too is the grandeur of the dooms . . . . .
(a) What does clear rills refer to ?
Clear rills refers to the rivers and streams which are the natural source of water, the elixir of life.

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(b) How are they beneficial to mankind ?


Streams are rivers, the elixir of human life. Their beautiful sight provides cooling effect which provides
respite in the hot season.
(c) Explain : the mid forest brake.
Nature is beautiful in all its aspects. The poet enjoys natures beauty in the thick forest undergrowth which is
brimming with the growth of musk-rose flowers.
(d) What does grandeur of the dooms imply ?
Growth and decay march hand in hand in nature and thus are the two vital aspects of life. The poet sees
beauty in the magnificent decay and death of these beautiful creations of nature.
(e) What contrasting aspects of life has the poet referred here ?
Life is a blend of warmth and coolness; growth and decay. Every season, every aspect of life contrasts with
the other and has its own charm and beauty. The lines beautifully bring to light these contrasting aspects
of life.
STANZA - V :
. . . . .We have imagined for the mighty dead; All lovely tales that we have heard or read; An endless fountain of
immortal drink, Pouring unto us from the heavens brink . . . . .
(a) Who are the mightly dead ?
The mighty dead refers to those great men and warriors who glorified death by embracing it most gracefully
and magnificently.
(b) Why does the poet make this reference ?
The poet refers to the mighty dead because beauty can be seen not only in birth and growth, but also in a
magnificent death.
(c) What lovely tales have we heard or read ?
A glorified and magnificent death gets recorded in the leaves of history, leaving an indelible imprint on it.
It remains an everlasting source of motivation to all those who read or hear about such great men who
achieved glory in death.
(d) What is referred to as an endless fountain of immortal drink ?
Beauty, in all respects, whether in growth or in decay, is a perennial source of motivation. It is an endless
fountain from where we can drink the immortal elixir of life.
(e) Explain : Pouring unto us from the heavens brink.
Beauty is the greatest gift of God to man which has been showered upon us from the heavens above.
This beauty is eternal and everlasting, in whose glory men on earth bask and derive their perennial of joy
and happiness.

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V.

Flamingo

AUNT JENNIFERS TIGERS


By Andrienne Rich (May 16, 1929 - March 27, 2012)

American poet, essayist and feminist


Her works includes collection of poetry A World of Change
Aunt Jennifers Tigers
Feminist poem :
1.

Rhyme Scheme : aabb

Tigers: Symbolise- masculine, male authority, male dominance, power


Tigers are magnificent, elegant, majestic, dignified creatures, representing male
panache and chivalry.
prance: move: springing/jumping : an act associated with the male. They have the
freedom to move around as opposed to the restricted environment and
confinement of a women.
screen : The cloth on which Aunt Jennifer is making these tigers.

Aunt Jennifer is doing weaving/needle work, which is a feminine activity.


This contrasts with the image of the tigers she is creating, which is masculine
and presents freedom from dominance.

2. topaz : Yellow : The colour of the tigers.


green : the background : the forest

The tigers are visible and stand out in the green surroundings. They have an
identity and are not lost in the world of green. (Whereas Aunt Jennifer loses
both her identity and presence after her death).

3. do not fear the men : A feminist message to women. Be fearless, confident, stand up
for your rights. Establish your identify. Assert yourself.
4.

1-4:

Aunt Jennifer through her creativity expresses her desire to be like these tigers. This is
the only way she could assert herself. Andrienne Ceicle Rich takes a feminist stand and
equates the tigers, which usually are male symbols, to women. There is a state of equality.
It is a message to the womenkind to be confident, take pride in themselves and stand up for
their rights in this patriarchal society.

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5.

Vidyamandir Classes

finger fluttering : alliteration :


Fluttering : has 2 interpretations :
(a) Her fingers are moving quickly. This implies she is skilled at the art of weaving. She is
constantly exposed to doing household chores and feminine activity and therefore has
become expertised in this field.
(b) Fluttering signifies nervousness. She is therefore, perhaps afraid of her husband and
physically weak as well.
wool : Act of weaving : Associated with female work.

6. hard to pull :
This implies that the second interpretation of fluttering might be more close to the real
interpretation. Women are considered to be weak creatures who requires male assistance
in everything. It is difficult for Aunt Jennifer to even pull the needle. She is confined and
deprived of any opportunity.
7. massive weight :
It is difficult for the Aunt to weave because she is burdened by the heaviness of her
marriage ring (Literal meaning).
Marriage to her is a restriction to express herself. It is a confinement. A huge burden.
The absence of freedom. She is unable to do what she desires because of the patriarchal
norm of subverting and suppressing women by dominating over them.
band :The wedding ring
8. Sits heavily :
She is weighed down by family responsibility.
She is feeling oppressed and suffocated. The restrictions of marrige life.
9. Aunt :
It is to be noted that the poet has for the first time not written Aunt Jennifer but instead
Aunt. This indicates the loss of Aunt Jennifers identity when she is dead. She will lose
her individuality.

This stanza predicts the future of Aunt Jennifer.

terrified hands : The fear of her husband still remains even after her death.
10. ringed : The ring still remains in her hand. She is still constrained and restricted by
marriage even after her death. She is still, not free.
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Flamingo

ordeals : Hardships faced in marriage. Every moment is a test, an ordeal to pass.


mastered : The act of mastery. The relationship between the Aunt and her husband is
same as a slave-master equation. The husband is her lord, her master, the authority. She is
succumbed to a partiarchal society.
11-12. Even if she dies, what will remain of her forever is the tigers she has made. Through her
identity is lost, she will still be known through her artwork. Prancing, proud and unafraid
express her desire to establish her individuality and break from all restraints. After her
death Aunt Jennifer will still be known through her tigers.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


STANZA - I :
Aunt Jennifers tigers prance across a screen, Bright topaz denizens of a world of green. They do not fear the
men beneath the tree; They pace in sleek chivalric certainty. . . . . .
(a) What does the expression Aunt Jennifers tigers imply ?
Aunt Jennifer was knitting a panel of prancing tigers. The poet refers to them as Aunt Jennifers
tigers because they are her creation, her work of art.
(b) What does prancing tigers symbolize ?
Prancing tigers are a symbol of the spirit of freedom within Aunt Jennifer which remains subdued. They also
symbolise her fear of her male counterpart.
(c) Why are they referred to as denizens of a world of green ?
The tiger which symbolically refer to the male counterpart, are the natives of the jungle or the green world.
Besides the general meaning of the wild the world of green can symbolise the male animal instinct. It can
also symbolise the evil and viciousness of the male dominance and jealousy.
(d) What qualities of the tigers are highlighted here ?
Fearlessness and ferocity of the tigers is highlighted here. Aunt Jennifers nervousness and timidity are in
sharp contrast to wild ferocity of the tigers who are not afraid of hunting men. Unlike Aunt Jeniifer, the tigers
fear nothing.
(e) Explain : They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.
The movement of the tigers is sleek, stealty, sure, majestic and elegant. They are sure of their purpose.
Gallant and confident, they move ahead undettered by any obstacles or hindrancces.
STANZA - II :
. . . . . . Aunt Jennifers fingers fluttering through her wool Find even the ivory needle hard to pull. The massive
weight of Uncles wedding band Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifers hand. . . . . . .

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Answers to Important Questions Based on the Chapter/Flamingo


Chapter-1
1.

The blacksmiths remark implied that Franz would have plenty of time to reach the school.
The blacksmith knew of the orders being displayed on the bulletin board to discontinue the practice of
teaching French language in the districts of Alsace and Lorraine. He knew that Franz would be able to
attend his last lesson in French language Franz, on the other hand, didnt know about the orders and
thought the Blacksmith was making fun of him.

2.

Before beginning the lesson, M. Hamel told the students that this was going to be their last lesson in
French language. The orders had come from Berlin that only German was to be taught in the schools of
Alsace and Lorraine. These words were a thunderclap to the narrator.

3.

The villagers had occupied the back benches of the class that day because they were sorry that they had
not gone to school more. They were showing their gratitude to M Hamel who had been teaching French
for forty years faithfully. The villagers were showing respect for the country that was not theirs
anymore.

4.

The narrator wished that he would be able to recite the dreadful rule for the participle all through, very
loud and clear, without any mistake. But on the contrary, he got mixed up on the first words and stood
there; holding on to his desk, fearing that he would be scolded.

5.

M. Hamels last class was different from his previous classes as all the students and the old villagers
attended the class to show their gratitude towards M. Hamel. All of them paid attention to his words,
no body spoke unnecessarily. M. Hamel glorified the French language by pointing out that it was the
clearest, most logical language in the world and the citizens should hold fast to it. It seemed almost as
if the poor man wanted to give students all he knew before going away, and to put it all into their heads
at one stroke.

6.

Franzs feelings about M. Hamel and school changed when he got to know that it would be the last
lesson in French. His books, which had seemed such a nuisance a while ago, so heavy to carry, his
grammar and history of the saints were old friends now that he couldnt give up. The idea that M.
Hamel was going away, that Franz would never see him again made him forget all about his ruler and
how cranky he seemed to Franz.

7.

The story The Last Lesson is all about linguistic chauvinism. It is a story about the transition from
the French language to German language and the impact that this transition has on the people of the
districts of Alsace and Lorraine. These districts were under the control of Prussians. The native people
were forced to give up on the study of French language and study German language instead. This was
done to hamper the unity of the people of Alsace and Lorraine. By doing this, the ruling body ensured
that they wont face opposition from the people as they were taking away the only thing that bound
them together, the ability to speak French language. Once they would stop speaking French, they
wouldnt be able to organise themselves and revolt.

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8.

Flamingo

In the chapter, The Last Lesson, the writer has tried to demonstrate the impact of the transition (from
French to German language) through the eyes of a young boy Franz. The writer has portrayed the
emotional upheaval in the minds of people of Alsace. Though, linguistic chauvinism forms the main
theme of the chapter, the chapter also focuses on the attitude of the teacher and students to teaching and
learning respectively. Orders had come from Berlin and that day M. Hamels French lesson was
supposed to be the very last that the students would attend. The students and the villagers were feeling
guilty for not having learnt the language. The teacher M. Hamel who had been there for forty years
couldnt take the thought of leaving that place after having done his duties faithfully. In this last lesson,
he tried to impart all his knowledge to the people of Alsace. He asked them to hold on to the language
which united them as one. It was not only the last lesson in French language, but also the one that the
people of Alsace must learn, to stand against the ruling body; the one that will always keep them united.

9.

At the close of the lesson, everyone is roused to emotions. M. Hamel was so pained and overwhelmed
with emotions that he could not speak further. He turned to the blackboard and with all his might,
wrote, Vive La France. He encouraged the students and the village elders who had gathered to stay
united against the Prussians. He asked them to never let go off their language, which, according to him
is the key to prison

Chapter - 2
1.

Saheb is not happy working at the tea-stall. Even though he is paid more and given his meals but he is
no longer his own master. The plastic bag was his own property, he was not accountable to anybody
but now he is bound by the rules of his master at the tea stall.

2.

Sahebs mother told him that there were many storms that swept away their fields and homes. Such
people who move from one city to another in search for a living are called migrants.

3.

Mukesh, in contrast to his family, believes that he still has a chance. He has the hope of being a motor
mechanic some day. But, at the same time, he is rational and practical about his dreams.

4.

The author described children of slums as partners in survival as they support their family by ragpacking, doing labour or other jobs. They help their parents to arrange for meals and to survive one
more day.

5.

Saheb indeed wanted to be a master of his own destiny. He was happier during his days of rag-picking.
His eyes would light up if he found a coin or a note in the garbage. He wasnt accountable to anyone
else. While working at the tea stall, he was paid, even given his meals but he was not happy. He was
bound by the rules of the tea-stall owner. He was no longer his own master but obeyed someone elses
orders.

6.

It is illegal for small children to work in the glass furnaces with high temperature. There is no air and no
light inside the dingy cells. The children often lose the brightness of their eyes because they spend all
their days inside, near the hot furnaces.

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Vidyamandir Classes

Despite long years of hard labour, first as a tailor, then a bangle maker, he has failed to renovate his own
house or send his two sons to school. All he has managed to do is teach them what he knows - the art
of making bangles.

8.

Being born in the cast of bangle makers has become both a destiny and a curse because the people refuse
to look for the other options. They think of it as a God-given lineage and dare not break it, thus, living
in perpetual poverty for generations.

9.

Mukesh, in contrast to his family, believes that he still has a chance. He has the hope of being a motor
mechanic some day. But, at the same time, he is rational and practical about his dreams. Mukesh
desperately wants to be a motor mechanic and would do anything, even go to a distant workshop. With
him, there is hope of breaking out of the mould and the traditions of being in the same line for
generations. Mukesh dares to think differently. He thinks of realising his dreams rather than giving up
to the traditions.

10.

Mukeshs dreams are likened to a mirage because only Mukesh can see the possibility of such a thing
to happen. No one else has given him any chance. Every one else thinks that he would carry on the
tradition of working as a labour. His dreams are just an illusion to others around him.

11.

Saheb and Mukesh are brothers in penury and suffering. Both of them were forced by the circumstances
to start their struggle for survival at a tender age. The innocence of their childhood is lost as theyre
forced to live in perpetual poverty and misery. They are deprived of the basic needs that the other
children, who are born in more affluent families, enjoy. Their lives are full of squalor. They have to do
labour to support their families but they havent lost their hopes. They have their own dreams and are
willing to fulfill them even though they dont have any resources.

Chapter-3
1.

The Yakima River was treacherous and many people had drowned in the river. Therefore the mother
kept warning Douglas against River Yakima.

2.

The Y.M.C.A. pool was safe as the depth of the pool dropped gradually from two to three feel deep at
the shallow and to nine feet deep at the other end.

3.

Douglass father took the incident at California beach lightly when the child was buried in water as he
knew it was not dangerous and in his perspective it was not dangerous and in his perspective it was not
a frightening experience.

4.

The narrator fought his terror while struggling to come out of water. He planned to make a big jump, as
soon as he hit the bottom, come to the surface, like a cork, lie flat on it and paddle to the edge of the
pool. Even though he was frightened, but not completely petrified.

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5.

Flamingo

Douglas was traumatised by the events of his past which deeply affected his future. He feared water.
He couldnt fish anymore. He was unable to go canoeing, boating and swimming. He decided to engage
an instructor and learn to swim. It helped him in overcoming his fear of water.

6.

Douglas engaged an instructor to learn to swim. The instructor put a belt around Douglas. A rope
attached to the belt went through a pulley that ran on an overhead cable. He held on to the end of the
rope, and went back and forth across the pool. After three months, the tension of the narrator began to
slack. Then the instructor taught Douglas how to breathe under water. Thus, piece by piece, he built a
swimmer.

7.

Douglas overcame his fear of water by engaging an instructor at first to learn swimming. He would
practice 5 days a weak for an hour each day. The instructor would attach a rope to his belt and with the
help of a pulley pulled him back and forth. Fear would return each time the instructor relaxed his hold
on rope and Douglas went under water. After the tension began to slack he learnt to breathe under water.
Slowly he shed part of the panic and gradually relaxed. Finally he could command his legs and soon he
could swim the length of pool on his own. Whenever he got an opportunity, he would go to places like
Lake Wentworth and Warm Lake and swam alone. He was finally able to conquer his fear.

8.

The experience had a deep meaning for Douglas. It taught him that in death there is peace, there is terror
only in the fear of death. It taught him that fear has more to do with the mind. One must have the will
power to face it and never give up.

Chapter-4
1.

The peddler was amused by the idea of the world being a rat trap because he had a hard time living in
the world. He had to resort to both begging and petty thievery to keep body and soul together.
His clothes were in rags too.

3.

The ironmaster had mistaken him for Captain Von Stahle, his old acquaintance from the regiment and
invited him home.

4.

The peddler declined Ironmasters invitation because he thought that he might realise his mistake that
he was not a Captain. Also he feared that he might get to know that the peddler had stolen 30 kronors
from the old crofter and then he would hand him over to the police.

5.

After the valet had bathed the peddler, cut his hair and shaved him, he was given good-looking suit of
clothes which belonged to the Ironmaster. The Peddler looked much like a Gentleman in his new
appearance. Only then the Ironmaster realized that he had mistaken the peddler for his friend, Nils
Olof.

6.

Edla entertained the peddler even after she got to know the truth about him because she had felt happy
when she thought how homelike and Christmassy she was going to make things for the poor hungry
wretch. She thought that they must not deny him the Christmas cheer that he was promised. Also, she
was happy that they had company for this Christmas; she used to live alone with her father.

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The peddler interpreted the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the ironmaster and
his daughter as the bait that the life offered him to fall into the rattrap that this world is.
He thought that the life lured him with these things so that he gets caught in the big rattrap. It was in the
end that he actually valued these acts of kindness.

8.

The metaphor of the rattrap serves to highlight the human predicament. Man seems to be caught in this
big rattrap that the world is. Man is lured by the baits that the life offers. The whole world with its
lands and seas, its cities and villages is nothing but a big rattrap. It seems that it exists only for setting
baits for the people. It offers riches and joys, shelter and food, heat and clothing and when anyone lets
himself be tempted to touch the bait, it closes in on him and then everything comes to an and.

9.

The story The Rattrap focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others. The peddler,
the protagonist of the story, used to roam around the world being mistreated everywhere. Life had not
been nice to him. When he met the old crofter, he was surprised to be treated so well. The old crofter
lived alone and was happy to get some company. He provided the peddler with food, tobacco and even
played cards with him. The old man even shared his confidential secrets with the peddler which
highlights how the old man craved for a company, having trusted a stranger like him. Later, in the story
we get to know how the Ironmaster and her daughter crave for a companion on the Christmas Eve. They
live all alone and thus, wanted to take the peddler with them, thinking him to be an old acquaintance of
the ironmaster. Even after getting to know the truth about the peddler, Edla insisted on keeping the
peddler and not handing him over to the police. She wanted him to accompany them for Christmas.
This proved the fact that man is a social being and he cant live in isolation. He needs to bond with
others so as to live happily in this world full of sorrows.

10.

While riding up to the manor house, the peddler had evil forebodings. He was feeling guilty having
stolen the old crofters money. He thought that the life had lured him with 30 kronors as bait and he had
fallen for it and now he was trapped in the rat trap.

Chapter-5
1.

Gandhiji told Shukla he had an appointment in Cawnpore (Kanpur) and was also committed to go to
other parts of India. Gandhiji visited Kanpur, Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Calcutta before his arrival in
Champaran.

2.

Most of the cultivable land in the Champaran district was divided into large estates owned by Englishmen
and worked by Indian tenants. The chief commercial crop was Indigo. The landlords compelled all
tenants to plant 15 per cent of their holdings with indigo and surrender the entire indigo harvest as rent.
This was done by long-term contract. Later, the landlords learned that Germany had developed synthetic
indigo. British planters obtained agreements from the sharecroppers to pay them compensation for
being released from the 15% arrangement. The sharecropping arrangement was irksome to the peasants,
and many signed willingly. When the information about synthetic indigo, which was cheaper than the
naturally grown indigo, reached the illiterate peasants who had signed, they wanted their money back.

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3.

Flamingo

Gandhiji agreed to a settlement of 25% refund to the farmers because according to him the amount of the
refund was less important than the fact that the landlords had been obliged to surrender part of the
money and with it, part of their prestige.

4.

Gandhiji considered the Champaran episode to be a turning point of his life because he openly declared
that the British could not order him about in his own country.

5.

Gandhiji visited Muzzafarpur on his way to Champaran to obtain more complete information about
conditions than Shukla was capable of imparting. J.B. Kripalani, professor at the Arts College received
him along with a large body of students.

6.

During his investigations about the sharecroppers case, Gandhiji visited Motihari, the capital of
Champaran along with several lawyers. At the railway station, a vast multitude greeted Gandhiji. He
went to a house, and using it as headquarters continued his investigations.

7.

Gandhiji stayed on in Champaran even after the sharecroppers problem was solved as he saw the
cultural and social backwardness in the Champaran villages and wanted to do something about it
immediately.

8.

Gandhiji opposed the idea of requesting the English pacifist, Charles Freer Andrews to stay on in
Champaran because according to him the cause of the struggle was just and the Indians must rely on
themselves to win the battle and not seek a prop in Mr. Andrews because he happens to be an
Englishman. He thought it to be a weakness to think that it would be helpful to have an Englishman on
their side.

9.

Gandhiji helped the sharecroppers to get an honorable settlement in Champaran. Through his peaceful
protests and civil disobedience Gandhiji compelled the Governor to appoint an official commission of
inquiry into indigo sharecroppers situation. Gandhiji was the sole representative of the peasants in the
commission. The official inquiry produced prominent evidence against the British. The British accepted
that they had illegally and deceitfully extracted money from the sharecroppers. They asked Gandhiji
how much should they pay in return. Gandhiji asked for 50%, but was offered only 25%. But still he
willingly accepted the 25%. In few years, British planters abandoned the estates. It was given back to
the peasants. Indigo share cropping disappeared.

10.

To remove the cultural and social backwardness in the Champaran village.


(i)

Gandhiji appealed for teacher to educate the people in the villages. Primary schools were opened
in six villages.

(ii)

Kasturbai taught the ashram rules on personal cleanliness and community sanitation.

(iii)

Health conditions were miserable. Gandhiji got a doctor to volunteer his services for 6 months.
Three medicines were available:
(a) Castor Oil: For anybody who had a coated tongue.
(b) Quinine: For anybody who had malaria fever.
(c) Sulphur Ointment: For anybody who had skin infections.

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Vidyamandir Classes

When the lawyers decided that they would follow Gandhiji if he was arrested and they would continue
their fight against the Britishers for the cause of the poor farmers, it was than that Gandhiji exclaimed
that the Battle of Champaran is won.

Chapter-6
1.

Sophie wriggled when Geoff told their father that she had met Danny Casey because she knew her
father would get angry and would dismiss it as one of her wild stories.

2.

Sophie imagined herself riding behind her brother Geoff. He wore new, shining black leathers and she,
a yellow dress with a kind of cape that flew out behind. There was the sound of applause as the world
rose to greet them.

3.

The only occasion when Sophie got to see Danny Casey in person was during the football matches that
were held every week.

4.

Sophies father always had a stern look on his plump face. He used to work all day. He didnt believe
in her stories and even scolded her for making up such wild stories. He is very much realistic and knows
about his limitations.

5.

Sophies family asked her to buy them a decent house to live in if she ever had money. They wanted her
to have more realistic dreams.

6.

Sophie meant that Geoff was a very reserved person and he hardly spoke about anything to her,
voluntarily. It made her suspicious about the areas of his life that she didnt know about.

7.

Sophie confided in her elder brother Geoff. So she told him how she had met Danny Casey in the arcade
and the conversation that she had had with him, and that he asked her out.

8.

Sophie wasnt happy that Jansie got to know about her meeting with Danny Casey. She thought that
the entire neighbourhood would come to know about it. She trusted Geoff but not Jansie, with her
secrets.

9.

Sophie lives in a fantasy world. She dares to dream big and escape reality. For her, there is an easy
possibility for her desires to come true. She has extraordinary aspirations which she may never be able
to achieve she creates a fantastical incident of meeting the Irish footballer Danny Casey to become a
part of her brothers world who is a great fan of Danny Casey. She tries to live in these imaginations. She
hopes that this fantasy becomes a reality. She sits on the wooden bench near the canal and waits for
Danny Casey to come. She imagines him coming but the truth is different from her fantasies. The reality
is that she is watching the football game along with her father and brother. This is parallel to the
fictitious world that she dreams about living in. All her dreams and disappointments are in her mind and
too far from reality.

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10.

Flamingo

Sophie lives in a fantasy world, she dreams big and tries to escape reality whereas Jansie is practical in
life and reality whereas Jansie is practical in life and rooted to reality. Jansie was aware of the limitation
of resources at her end and hence she was quite clear in her mind that after school, she would work in
a biscuit factory to supplement her familys income. She was wise enough to advise her friend Sophie
not to indulge in dreams which were not feasible for them. On the other hand, Sophie was dreamy in
nature and was unable to accept the harsh reality of her life, that they were poor. She wasnt ready to
accept the limitation of resources at her end and was constantly aspiring for goals which seemed quite
inaccessible. Her mind was constantly flickering which was very much different from that of her friend,
Jansie.

11.

Sophie does not belong to a very affluent family. They do not even have a decent house to live in.
Their house consisted of small rooms and windows and the condition of the furniture wasnt good
either.

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I.

THE TIGER KING


-Kalki

Story has elements of comic irony.


Maharaja of Pratibandhapuram;

Name of the King : Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur

Also known as the Tiger King


The story has an unusual start by stating that the Tiger King is dead. It then later unfolds
the life of the King and the cause of his death.
PREDICTION :
When the (Tiger King) prince was born, astrologers predicted that he would grow up to
be great king, a champion of champions, hero of heroes and warrior of warriors,
but one day he will have to die as he is born under a specific star.
Jung Jung Bahadur, who was just 10 days old, miraculously said These who are born,
will one day have to die. One doesnt need predictions to prove that. But it would be
of some use if the astrologers would tell the manner of death.
The astrologers were astonished to see 10 day old child speaking and moreover, raising
intelligent questions.
The astrologers stated that the prince was born under the hour of the bull. The bull and
the tiger are enemies. Therefore death will be caused by a tiger.
On hearing this the brave prince warned the tigers : Let tigers beware
CHILDHOOD DAYS :
Crown prince Jung Jung Bahadur grew tall and strong :

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The state had been under the Court of Wards. Since the prince was a minor, the state was
ruled by the guardians.
When the prince turned 20, he was handed over with the kingdom.
The King, justified himself that he would kill the tigers in self defence. According to the
astrologers, the King will be killed by the 100th tiger.
SATIRISING the Astrologer :
The Tiger King challenged the astrologer. The astrologer viewed, that if he went wrong, he
would
tear all astrology books and set them on fire He would cut his tuft,
Crop his hair short and become an insurance agent.
The State banned tiger hunting for everyone except the Maharaja. If anyone defied this
law, his wealth and property would be confiscated. The Maharajas ambition was to kill
100 tigers. He did not take any responsibility of the provinces affairs and the functioning
of the kingdom.
When a British officer wanted to hunt tigers and be photographed with them, the Maharaja
denied permission. This led to a danger for the Maharaja to lose his throne. He thus spent
3 lakh rupees on rings for the British officers wife, as compensation in order to retain
his kingdom.
This shows that, for personal trivialities, the Tiger King was ready to put his kingdom at
stake. Moreover, he used the kingdoms resources for private benefits rather than for
State development or aiding his subjects (citizens of State).
He killed over 70 tigers within 10 years. When the tigers in his province became extinct
he decided he would marry so as to obtain a new province where he could kill tigers.
The irresponsibility and selfishness of the king is observed here. Firstly, he is not marrying
for love or to obey his dharma. Secondly, it is important for a King to marry and produce
an heir for the throne. For the King, this is the least of his concerns.
He killed 99 tigers and now searched for the 100th tiger.
Unable to locate the tiger, he got angry. In his outrage,
He

(1) Increased the taxes (doubled the land tax)


(2) Rusticated jobs of many officers.

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Ideally, a King is supposed to be patient and perseverant. Here the King has an uncontrollable
anger. He is impatient, irrational and unable to take practical decisions. According to the
Dewan, increase in taxes would make the people of the state unhappy.
As a result the state would fall under the rule of Indian National Congress which was under
the British.
The Dewan, at the risk of job, took the tiger which had been brought from the Peoples Park
in Madras and leaves it where the King was hunting.
The tiger surrenders to the King. The tiger here becomes symbolic as it represents the
people of the kingdom.
The King believes he killed the tiger, but in fact the bullet had missed the tiger. It had just
fainted from the shock of the bullet whizzing past it.
In fear of losing their job, the King was kept under the belief by the hunters that he had
killed the 100th tiger and conquered his fate by escaping death.
On his sons 3rd birthday, the King buys him a wooden tiger.
The actual cost of the toy is 2 annas and a quarter. The shopkeeper sells it to the king
for Rs.300. This shows the corruption and dishonesty in the kingdom. The shopkeeper
was scared to present a cheap price for an object that the king preferred.
The wooden tiger was carved by an unskilled carpenter thus its finishing was not refined.
A sliver protruding out of the tiger, pierces the Kings right hand.
This leads to infection and a sore all over the arm.
Surgeons are brought all over from Madras, but they are unable to save the King.
The King dies from the 100th Tiger.
CHARACTER of the King : He is selfish; impulsive (takes decisions without thinking) ;
adamant ; corrupt, dishonest ; short tempered); likes sycophants/flatterers ; is not a good
administrator ; irrational ; superstitious ; determined.
IRONY :
(1) The King is surrounded by foolish people like the astrologers and the dewan who are
selfish sycophants.
(2) A brave, courageous, strong and determined king, who killed 99 tigers, meets his death
with an inanimate toy wooden tiger.

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IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


1. What is the significance of childs utterance Let tigers beware! ? Do you find some oddity here ?
2. Was there any justificaiton in the killing of so many tigers by the Maharaja ? What should he have done ?
3. What is the underlying idea behind the authors detailed description of the bringing up of the Tiger King ?
4. What did the State astrologer say he would do if the hundredth tiger were also killed ?
5. Why did the Maharaja and the dewan of the State decide to send gifts of expensive diamond rings to the
duraisani ?
Or
How did the Maharaja manage to save his throne ?
6. Why did the Maharajas tiger killing mission come to a sudden standstill ?
Or
What happened when the Tiger King had killed seventy tigers ?
7. How did the Maharaja feel on killing the hundredth tiger ? How did he decide to celebrate it ?
Or
Why was the Maharaj overcome with elation when he thought he had killed the hundredth tiger ?
8. Why did the king go to a shopping centre in Pratibandapuram ? What did he buy there ?
Or
What did the Maharaja buy as birthday gift for his son ?
9. How did the Tiger King meet his end ? What is ironical about his death ?
10. How did the Maharaja kill the hundredth tiger ?
11. The title of the Maharaja reflected grandeur but his death was an anticlimax. Justify.

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II. THE ENEMY


-Pearl S. Buck

Theme : The dilemma of duties : as a doctor/humanitarian and as a patriot at the time of world
war.
: The dilemma/ambiguity between heart and mind, emotions and reason, right and wrong
and justice and injustice.
Dr. Sadao Hoki Japanese citizen surgeon and scientist
He was perfecting a discovery which could render wounds entirely clean. Therefore he was
not sent abroad with the troops (for war)
Also because the General might need an operation for which he was being medically treated.
He only trusted Sadao to perform his operation.
PAST :
1. Sadaos father : education was the chief concern. So he sent Sadao to America to learn
surgery and medicine.
2.

In America, Sadao met Hana (American) Professor Harleys house.

3.

Before falling in love with her, he had to make sure, she was a Japanese. Sadaos father was
conservative and an orthodox, because he believed in the purity of race.
Sadao and Hana waited till they returned from America, and got married in a traditional
Japanese way.

THE ENEMY : During the World War, America and Japan were enemies to each other.
The man who entered their vicinity was:
1.

A prisoner of war from the U.S Navy who had escaped.

2.

He was wounded. He had been shot in the back, but had not been tended. His wound was
bleeding profusely.

3.

He was young. The scars on his body indicated that he was tortured.

4.

He had yellow hair and yellow beard.

5.

He was pale, thin (half starved for a long time), inert/lifeless, tortured and unconscious.

THE DILEMMA: As a Japanese citizen, it was Dr. Sadaos duty to handover the enemy to the
police or put him back to the sea to die. But as a surgeon and his doctors oath, it was also his
duty to save an injured man.
Here both Dr. Sadao and Hana are caught in the conflict between their mind and heart.

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Their servants are definitive and certain that the enemy should be handed over to the police or
be left to die. Helping that man implied treachery to the nation. But, for Dr. Sadao and Hana,
it is the ideals of humanity that dominate over their political and nationalist belief.
Therefore despite the chance of getting arrested on the charge of harbouring the enemy,
he brings the enemy in, and conducts the surgery to save his life.
Following his medical ethics, he saves the mans life and takes care of him. But he refuses
to interact with the enemy. Sadao only wants their relationship to be of a doctor and
patient, absolutely professional. He does not want an intimate relation with him.
The servants like the old Gardner, the cook, and Yumi are superstitious, hypocritical and
contemptuous. Eg : When the cook cuts the neck of a fowl, the gardner does not allow
him to waste its blood. The blood is precious because it is the best of fertilizers and is
used by the gardner for the roots of wistaria vine.
On the contrary, human blood of an enemy is trivial and waste for them. The enemy must
be defeated at all costs even if it meant going against morals and principles. Human life
of an enemy is worthless and insignificant.
Though these servants claim themselves to be loyal and working since Sadaos father was
incharge of the house, they withdraw their help, support and affiliation from Sadaos family
till the time the enemy stayed.
Despite his decision to aid Tom (the enemy) through his recovery, there is a constant fear
and insecurity of being arrested. Harbouring a prisoner of war at home would endanger
his children and Hana.
Therefore when he goes to the General for his medical examination, he reveals to him about
the enemy. The general assures Sadao, that he will send private assassins to his house and
execute the prisoner of war when he is asleep.
Sadao waits for the assassins to execute the plan. But the Generals promise is never
fulfilled. Finally, feeling the terror of having assassins at home, he goes to check the
enemy. He informs Tom, that he has arranged a boat along with food and clothing, and he
must go to the nearby island, where he must wait for a Korean boat, get on it and escape.
When he meets the general the following day, the general says that he had forgotten about
the promise. He justifies himself that it was not lack of patriotism or dereliction of duty.
It was just that his health was more important focus at that time. Sadao realizes that the
General was under his control. He was relieved from the fear of being arrested.

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This signifies the triviality of war and the selfish concerns of the General. He has sent army
troops to defend his nation, but he is coward and is only concerned about his own health.
Sadao as a human being is kind and considerate. He had stayed in America for a long time,
and thus knows and understands that they are humans equal to them. But the society
forces him to think them as enemies and thus he is caught up in the internal conflict. War
forces the best of men to think irrationally and forget the ideals of humanity.
As a doctor, he is extremely skilled, excellent and true to his work.
The General says that since Sadao has used all his skills to save an enemy, it makes him a
more dependable and best doctor available.
While operating on the prisoner of war, Sadao was completely absorbed in his work.
He used his concentration and skills to the best level so as to save his patient.
It was his habit to murmur to the patient when he sincerely worked on the operation.
He always called his patients My friend. He did the same as he operated on Tom, forgetting
that this was not his friend, but his enemy.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


1.

Sadao had waited to fall in love with her (Hana), until he was sure she was Japanese.Why did he do so?
Or
Why did Sadao and Hana not marry heedlessly in America ?

2.

Who was the misty figure that had been washed ashore in front of Dr Sadaos each house ? How did the
doctor and his wife establish his identify ?

3.

Why did blood starts flowing out of the wounded man as soon as Sadao touched the wound with his
fingers?

4.

How and why did Dr Sadao stop the bleeding of the injured man on the beach ? What dilemma did Dr Sadao
and his wife have to face soon after ?

5.

Why do you think Hana believes that the man (the American P.O.W.) is menace, living or dead ?

6.

What were the reactions of the servants when Sadao decided to operate on the American? (Views of the
three servants)
Or
Why do the domestic servants of the Sadaos strongly react to the Americans presence in the house ?

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7. Why does the General not want to be treated by a doctor trained in Germany ?
8. After the Generals assurance of getting the American prisoner slain, the doctor should have felt relieved,
but he spends sleepless nights. How do you account for his behaviour ?
Or
Describe the mental state of Dr Sadao during the three nights when he was waiting for the private assassins
of the General. Do you approve of his restlessness during the period ?
9. Why did Sadao feel that the General was in the palm of his hand ?
10. What are your views about the indifferent attitude of the General towards the presence of the American
prisoner of war in the doctors house ?
Or
What explains the attitude of the General in the matter of the enemy soldier ? Was it human considration,
lack of national lolyalty, derelication of duty or simply self-absroption ?
11. While hatred against a member of the enemy race is justifiable, especially during wartme, what makes a
human being rise above narrow prejudices ?
12. How did Dr Sadao help the American prisoner to escape ? What precautions did the want the man to take?
Or
What precautions did Dr. Sadao ask the American to take in order to make an escape ?
13. What were the two things that happened on the seventh day after the last stitches had been pulled out?

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III. SHOULD WIZARD HIT MOMMY ?


-John Updike

Jack tells his daughter Jo, a story before she takes her evening nap.
The plot of the story usually remains the same; only the main character (protagonist)
changes. The protagonist is a creature named Roger, which is either a fish or squirrel or a
chipmunk.
This time, Jo suggested it to be Roger Skunk.
A skunk is an American animal, like a weasel that defends itself by emitting a foul
smelling fluid. It is black in colour with white stripe.
Plot of the story : is derived from Jacks childhood experience.
Roger skunk smells terrible. Therefore, none of the woodland creatures played with him.
He is sad. He goes to the old wise owl for advice. The owl tells Roger to go to the wizard.
The wizard is a tiny old man with a white beard and a blue hat. He casts a magic spell and
makes Roger smell like roses. In return, he asks for 7 pennies. Roger starts crying because
he only has 4 pennies. The wizard tells him that he would find 3 pennies in a well.
Roger goes to the well, gives the pennies to the wizard and returns to the woods.
Now since he smells like roses, all the other woodland creatures play with him.
Twist in the Tale : Roger Skunks mommy thinks he smells awful. When explained by Roger
Skunk that the other creatures werent playing with him before, she replied that she didnt
care. According to her, Roger had smelled just the way little skunks should smell. She takes
him back to the wizard. She hits the wizard on his head and asks him to give Roger back his
smell. The wizard agrees and Roger smelled bad again. Roger Skunk and his mommy return
home. His daddy returns home from Boston and the entire Skunk family have their supper
together. When Roger Skunk went, to bed, his mommy hugs him and tells him that he
smelled like her little baby Skunk again and tells him, that she loves him very much.
When the first part of the story ends, Jo thinks that the story is over. She becomes distracted
and starts fidgeting. Like a stereotypical patriarchal figure, Jack doesnt like women when
they took anything for granted. He liked them apprehensive and hanging on his words.
Therefore he adds a twist in the tale.
Jo is highly unsatisfied with the twist. She wants Roger skunk to be accepted by his friends.
She finds his mommy doing wrong and wants the wizard to hit mommy instead of vice
versa.
For a little child of age four, it is very important for Jo to be with friends and have someone
to play with.

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She doesnt understand what her father wants to teach her through the story. He wants to
teach her that having ones own individuality is very important. One must not change
ones own personality so as to appeal more and be accepted by others. The little skunk
loved his mommy more than he loved his friends. He learnt that his mother knew what was
right for him.
When Jo tries to escape from bed, despite her fathers instructions to sleep, Jacks calls out
to her that he will spank her. Jack being a parent uses his ultimate weapon, his parental
authority. This authority is superior to a childs wishes.
Through the story he wants to teach Jo that :
(a)

There exists discrimination in this world.

(b)

Never question the authority of an adult.

The author advocates the unquestioning obedience of children.


Jos constant questioning and her refusal to accept Jacks ending of the story seems to be
a threat to his authority. He believes that an adult knows best. When he senses that she is
restless, after he comes downstairs, he uses the ultimate weapon of adult authority by
warning her that he will spank her.
Being a child Jo is innocent. According to a childs perspective, moral issues are not their
concern. They do what they feel is right. The most important factor for them is to be
happy.
In the concluding part of this chapter, we see Jack helping his wife Clare. He feels himself
being trapped in a cage.
In the 1960s and 1970s, gender dominance was questioned. Feminist movements
were resurged during this period.
The male chauvinistic attitude is reflected here. Jack didnt like women, when they took
anything for granted. He feels weary being bound by responsibilities of his family and
is not given importance either by Jo or his wife.
This story is written during the transition period where the perspective of mens position
as dominant has changed. Now they are equally involved in being bound to
responsibility.

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IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


1.

Why was story telling especially fatiguing for Jack on Saturdays ?

2.

What was Roger Skunks problem ? How did he get rid of it ?

3.

Why did the woodland creatures avoid Roger Skunk How did their behaviour affect Roger ?

4.

How did Jack enact the part of the wizard ?

5.

Why in your opinion is the smell of roses obnoxious for the Skunk mother ?
Or
How did Skunks mother react to his new smell ?

6.

Why did Jo not approve of Skunks mother scolding him for his new smell ?

7.

why does mother Skunkm hug and part her son as he prepares to sleep ?
Or
How did Skunks mother feel when he had got his skunk smell back ?

8.

Why does Jo call Skunks mother a stupid Mommy ? What did she want the mother to be punished for?

9.

Why was Jack worried about his wife Clare ?

10. Why does Jack insist that it was the wizard that was hit and not the mother ?
11. What makes Jack feel caught in an ugly middle position ?

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IV. ON THE FACE OF IT


-Susan Hill

On the face of it is an idiom. It is used when describing the way a situation appears,
while allowing for possibility that things may be different.
That is, by surface appearance Derry is defined as a boy who has an acid burn on his
face, and Mr. Lamb having a tin leg. But what is important is how they are as a person
and the positive outlook they must have in their lives.
This play emphasises on the fact that what we think of ourselves and how we improve our
perception is more important than an outsiders judgment of us.
Derry is looked down upon people as an ugly child. That is what he feels people think him
to be. He believes that people were either afraid of him or sympathize with him, because
when they talk to him, they avoid looking at his burned face.
Derrys mother is overly protective towards him. She doesnt allow him to go out much.
She is scared for his future because of the scar. Instead of giving him confidence, she
constantly reminds him of his unfortunate image. Thus Derry, has turned out to be a
pessimistic, easily irritable and introvert boy.
He says that he hates people. He has a pessimistic attitude towards life. He gets easily
angry and irritated. He finds every conversation as negative and threatening and as a
comment on his appearance.
Age of Derry : 14 years
Characteristics of Derry before he meets Mr. Lamb: He is:
1.

Introvert

2. Defiant (aggressive)

3.

Scared

4. Defensive

5.

Indulges in self pity

6. Bitter

7.

Suspects affection (even of his mother)

8. Pessimistic

9.

Escapist

He believes that nobody loves him and will never become his friend. He feels that his
mother loves him and kisses him because she pities her son.
He has a negative outlook towards the world around him. For him the difficulties in life are
burdens. The weeds at the wall of the garden are rubbish for him. On the other hand, Mr.
Lamb equates these weeds to fruits and flowers since they both are living
things/ growing plants. He grows them as a weed grain.
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Mr. Lamb: Also known as Lamey Lamb by the kids of the neighbourhood.
His leg got blown up during war. Therefore he has a tin leg (artificial metal attachment).
Characteristics of Mr. Lamb: He is :
1.

Open minded

2. Courageous

3. Calm

4.

Confident

5.

6. Loves people

7.

Very welcoming 8. Optimistic

Celebrates life

9. Positive

He is the owner of the garden. He always keeps the gates open so that people can enter
the garden anytime they want.
He lives in a house with no curtains. He doesnt like shutting things up. He likes the
light and the darkness. He also keeps the windows open so that he could hear the
wind.
He is fond of his crab apples and bees. He is close to nature and enjoys tending his
garden.
He likes to watch, think and listen, observe the world around him.
He has a positive outlook towards life. He says, that when people say bees buzz,
for him, the bees sing. Despite the physical deformity, he has a lively spirit. With this
conversation, he is able to influence Derry to think optimistically. It is not important
how you appear physically. What is essential is the way you think, react, and how you
are from the inside.
He gives him courage to make his own choice and speak up to his mother. Derry becomes
more independent and breaks away from being over protected.
Mr. Lamb gives a new definition of friendship. He says everybody is your friend.
Their name is an insignificant detail. It is not necessary to know that persons details to be
his friend.
Though he has always tried to be hopeful, he knows, that people who promise him that
theyll come back, never do. Therefore he doesnt expect Derry to return back.
Derry for the first time had the strength to tell his mother, that people should not be judged
by their appearance, there is a lot more to them. Defying his mothers instruction, he goes
back to the garden, only to find Mr. Lamb fallen from the ladder, on the ground.
By the end of the play, we find Derry completely reformed. He is now :

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1.

Optimistic : He believes he can lead his life better and change himself

2.

Confident

3.

Stand up to his mother

4.

He wants to conquer the world

5.

He has love for things outside his world :


He wants to interact with Mr. Lamb.
He wants his own house to lack curtains and have a beautiful garden.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


1. Why does Derek want to go back home as soon as he comes face to face with Mr Lamb ?
2. Mention some incidences that highlight the positive outlook of Mr. Lamb towards life.
3. Why hasnt Mr Lamb put curtains on his windows?
4. Why is one green, growing plant called a weed and another flower ? What does Mr Lamb mean by this
statement ?
5. Why does Mr Lamb narrate the story of a man who locked himself in a room because he was afraid ?
6. What does Mr Lamb do in his free time.
7. What condition does Derek put on his friendship with Mr Lamb ? What doubt does he have about this
friendship ? How does Mr Lamb dispel this doubt ?
8. What is Mr Lambs fear about Dereks going back home ? What light does this throw on Mr Lambs life and
character ?
9. Why does Derek, at one point of the story, think that Mr Lamb is crazy ?
10. How does Mr Lambs conversation transform Derek ?
11. Why do you think Mr Lamb keeps the gates of the house and garden open ?
12. Do you find any wisdom in the statement, blind people only ought to be with other blind people ?
13. What concept of the world does Mr Lamb propound when Derek asks him if his old garden is a world ?
14. What makes Derek observe that, ... if I dont go back there, Ill never go anywhere in this world again ?

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V. EVANS TRIES AN O-LEVEL


-Colin Dexter

The prisoner : James Roderick Evans : a congenital kleptomaniac (constant tendency


to steal)
known as Evans the Break. He is called so by the prison officers because to has
escaped the prison thrice.
Interested in giving the O-level German examination
Wearing grubby string vest, trousers and, red and white bobble hat.
Evans was not a real burden but just a persistent nagging presence. He had no record of
violence.
Evans attains a thrill figuring out ways and means to escape from prison. For him its like
a game where one out does the other using his wits. Evans sharpens his wits and skills by
constantly challenging the prison authorities.
Prison officers : Jackson : Senior prison officer D wing
Stephens : recently recruited : falls into Evans trap
Incharge: Governor
Invigilator Reverend S Mc Leery : a parson from St. Marry Mags
THE ESCAPE PLAN :
Mc Leery : carrying his glasses and a suitcase
suitcase consisted of : an envelope, The Church Times, Holy Writ, and a semi inflated
rubber ring.
The semi inflated rubber ring was explained by Mc Leery that it was used for his
haemorrhoids/piles. Whereas, the rubber ring actually used to store blood.
Blood Composition : The blood used was Pigs blood. But for the blood to not clot,
human blood must be mixed with the pigs blood.
And 3.8 percent trisodium titrate must be mixed with one tenth of its volume.
Mc Leery who was invigilating was helping Evans escape. He was disguised as
Mc Leery. The real Reverend Stuart Mc Leery was securely bound and gagged in his
study in Broad Street.
The aliased Mc Leery was wearing 2 black fronts and 2 collars.
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Evans :

He pretends giving the exam.

He feels cold and asks for a blanket.

Using the blanket as a cover, he disguises himself as Mc. Leery.

When the exam gets ever, Mc Leery is escorted out of the prison.
Evans, disguised as Mc Leery is inside the exam cell, where he pretends to be attacked
and hurt.

The inspectors believe that the Mc Leery, whom they escorted out, was actually Evans
in disguise. Thinking that this wounded Reverend is the actual Mc Leery, they send
him through an ambulance to the hospital.
Evans escapes and goes to the Golden Lion hotel where he finds the Governor waiting
for him.
Governor : Deciphers Evans actual location, while everyone thought he ran off to Newbury
During the Examination there is a correction in the spelling of Golden Lion which is
actually the name of the hotel.
The index number column is to be filled as 313 and centre number as 271. According
to the Ordnance Survey map of Oxfordshire, 313/271 will take you to Chipping
Norton.
To execute this plan Evans had help from the man pretending to be his German teacher,
aliased Mc Leery, the person pretending to be Governor on the phone. That is, the escape
was a well planned strategy.
As Evans entered his room at the Golden Lion, he saw the Governor waiting for him with a
police back up and a van. He questioned Evans to gain knowledge of how the escape was
planned and executed. This had been a challenge to his investigative thinking. Evans was
proud of making this intellectual strategy.
He was taken to the prison van where he was handcuffed by a prison officer.
In the end we are shown Evans settling himself comfortably. The prison officer unlock his
handcuffs, and instead of going to the prison the driver asks Evans, where they should go.
Evans suggests Newbury.
The ending is an unexpected twist. Evans outwits the Governor. The prison officer and the
driver of the van were his partners.

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IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


1.

Why was Evans know as Evans the Break by the prison officers ?

2.

Why do you think Evans does not become conversant with German is spite of having been taught for more
than six months ?

3.

Who were the two visitors Evans received in the morning of the day of his examination ?

4.

What makes Evans comment that his bobble hat is a kind of lucky charm for him ?
Or
Why did Evans not take off his hat when Jackson had ordered him to do so ?

5.

Why do you think Jackson asks Evans to remove the pin-ups from the cell ?

6.

Why do you think Jackson tells Evans, Nobody in his senses would take any chance with you ?

7.

Escape from the Recreational Block would have been much easier. Why did Evans not try to escape from
there ?

8.

Who do you think made a call regarding a correction in the question paper ? What did it really want to
convey?

9.

Why did Evans drape a blanket round is shoulders ? What did Stephens think about it ?

10. Who is Carter ? What does the Governor want him to do and why ?
11. Is the Governor justified in considering Jackson as a stupid person ?
12. How did the Governor manage to reach Evans in the hotel ?
13. Who do you think is the driver of the van who eventually takes Evans to freedom ?
14. Give an account of the blunders commited by the prison authorities which resulted in making Evans
escape-plan a success.

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VI. MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD


[PART:A] The Cutting of my Long Hair
- Zitkala Sa (pen name) Actual name : Gertrude Simmons Bonnin
Native American (American Indian) a marginalised community
Prejudice and oppression towards Native American culture and women
Autobiographical account
An episode in which she is sent to school where each day is a struggle for her since she
belonged to a marginalised community.
My spirit tore itself in struggling for its lost freedom, all was useless
Being in the school, though she received education, she had lost her freedom. Her spirit
was constrained by rules and regulations. She felt hopeless there; the struggle was useless.
The school followed a strict mechanical routine:
A bell rang to indicate the time for breakfast.
The girls and the boys walked towards the table.
The girls were wearing tight fitted clothes, sleeved aprons and had shingled (cut) hair
in the snowy cold weather. The authors moccasins (slippers make of deer skin or
soft leather, used by Native Americans) were taken away she was made to wear shoes.
A small bell was tapped. The pupils drew a chair from under the table.
A second bell instructed them to sit.
Then as per ritual they all hung their heads over the plates and prayed.
The third bell allowed them to start with their food.
This was so new and mechanical for the author so she started crying. For a child, it is
usually expected to live a life that is free and without constraints and responsibilities.
But here in the school, the children were bound to follow a set regime, follow a
schedule, and obey instructions. They were deprived of the carefree innocence.
According to what Judewin overheard, the paleface woman incharge was talking about
cutting their hair.
In the Native American culture :
1.

Only unskilled warriors who were captured by the enemy had their hair shingled.

2.

Short hair was worn by mourners (i.e. upon somebodys death) and shingled hair
was worn by cowards.

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Vistas

The cutting of ones hair was matter of shame. This insulted their norms of culture and
belief. This is what the children were conditioned and taught by their mothers.
Judewin says that they will have to submit to the school authorities, because they are
strong.
The author whereas, pledged to rebel. She was determined, not to submit. I will struggle
first.
The author hid under the bed, but she was soon found. She was dragged out despite
her kicking and scratching.
With the loss of her hair, she lost her spirit.
She was in anguish (extreme physical and mental pain)
At the school she was all alone, deprived of her mothers care and protection.
She had become as insignificant as one of the animals driven by a herder. She had
become like a wooden puppet played by the strings of the school authorities. She had
lost her individuality and pride of her tradition. She was shingled like a coward is.

[PART:B]

We too are Human Beings


-Bama (1958)

Pen name for Faustina Mary Fatima Rani

Tamil Dalit woman from a Roman Catholic family


-The extract is from her autobiography Karukku (1992)

Theme:

Caste Discrimination of Dalit Community

Narrative from the outlook of a small girl studying in third class. She hasnt heard people
speak of untouchability openly, but she had already seen, felt and experienced it.
She had been humiliated by this.
While returning home from school, she enjoys the journey of a long walk by observing her
surroundings.
The Dalit community were considered untouchables and of low caste. They were made to
do all the hard work and they were ordered by the landlords.
One day, she sees an elderly man of their street coming from the direction of the bazaar.
He was carrying a small packet by its strings. Seeing such a big man carrying such a small
packet in that manner made the author laugh.

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The packet consisted of vadai, and he was very careful not to touch the packet even if the
vadais would fall.
He handed it over to the landlord who opened the packet and started eating the vadais.
For an innocent child this was just a funny incident which she narrated to her brother
Annan.
Annan explained her, the truth about the situation. Landlords believed that they were of the
upper caste; therefore they must not touch the Dalits.
Touching the Dalits meant they would become polluted. This is the reason why the elder
had to carry the package by its string.
The author felt disgusted, terribly sad and rebellious. She was furious on how they were
treated. An important elder of their community had to reverently bow and shrink before
the landlords.
Similarly, when Annan who studied at a university was coming home from the library,
he was interrogated by a man who asked his name. He then asked which street Annan lived
in so that he could know what Annans caste was.
Because they are born into this community, they are never given any honour or dignity or
respect. They are treated as inferiors. The so called upper caste, dominate and rule over
them and treat them as slaves. Being termed as untouchables, they are deprived of human
rights and independent individuality.
The only way to throw away these indignities is to study and progress, and work hard.
Annan advised the author to learn as much as she could, be ahead in her lessons. This way,
people will come to them and respect them.

In both extracts, the authors faced discrimination: Zitkala-sa for being a Native American
and hence considered to be savage and Bama for being a Dalit and hence considered as an
untouchable.
Both authors experienced oppression in their childhood. This instigated their rebellion
against it and a declaration for their equal rights which is expressed by them through their
writings.

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Vistas

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS BASED ON THE CHAPTER


1.

How did the writer struggle hard to resist the cutting of her hair?

2.

Why did the author begin to cry in the dining hall ?

3.

What idea do you form about the authors friend Judewin from her comment about hair cutting We have
to submit, because they are strong ?

4.

How do you account for Bamas statement I hadnt yet heard people speak openly of untouchability ?

5.

What did the mother of the narrator teach her about short and shingled hair?

6.

Who was Annan ? How did he justify the strange behaviour of the elder ?

7.

What advice did Annan give to Bama ? How did his words of advice affect her life ?

8.

Why would it take Bama half an hour or more to reach home even when it was possible to walk the
distance from her school to home in 10 minutes?

9.

What impressions do you form about the entire situation from the strange and humiliating manner in which
the man was walking and carrying the eatables ?

10. Had Bama not been guided properly by her elder brother regarding unsociability, she would have grown
up into a complex - torn woman. Do you agree ? Support you answer.
11. It is better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. How would you relate this observation to
the author of the episode The Cutting of My Long Hair ?
12. The authorities of Carlisle Indian School believed in imposing their will on the children. So you think this
is the correct way of dealing with small children removed from the shelter of their homes ?

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Answers to Important Questions Based on the Chapter/ Vistas


Chapter-1
1.

The astrologers warned that the child will die one day and the death would come from the tiger as tiger
and bull are enemies and the child was born in the hour of the Bull. The child was not afraid listening
about the tiger. Rather, he uttered the words, Let Tigers beware!.

2.

It was not a feasible idea to kill so many tigers neglecting the other duties that the King had. Instead he
could have focused his energy on his own kingdom as he was accountable to the people he ruled. If the
death really had to come from the hundredth tiger, he should have waited for it rather than fastening up
the process by hunting down tigers one after another.

3.

The underlying idea behind the authors detailed description of the bringing up of the Tiger King is that
India was colonized by the British at that time. An aspect of this is represented by the fact that, an
Indian Prince was brought up more naturally like a British citizen. This is ironic because a Kings duty
is to protect his country and its culture and traditions.

4.

The Tiger King challenged the astrologer. The astrologer viewed, that if he went wrong,
he would tear all astrology books and set them on fire. He would cut his tuft, crop his hair short and
become an insurance agent.

5.

Maharaja prevented a British officer from fulfilling his desire and thus, he stood in danger of losing his
kingdom itself. The Maharaja and the dewan of the State decided to send expensive diamond rings as
gifts to the duraisani. The Maharaja was happy that though he had last 3 lakh of rupees he had managed
to retain his kingdom.

6.

The Maharaja managed to kill seventy tigers in ten years but the tiger population became extinct in the
forests of Pratibandapuram. This brought Maharajas tiger killing mission to a sudden standstill.

7.

Maharaja was overcome with elation. He ordered the tiger to be brought to the capital in grand
procession and then left for the kingdom in his car proud of the fact that he had fulfilled his vow.

8.

The King went to the shopping center in Pratibandapuram to buy a special gift for his sons third
birthday. He bought a wooden tiger from a toyshop and gifted it to his son.

9.

The wooden tiger that had been a gift from the Maharaja was carved by an unskilled carpenter. Tiny
slivers of wood stood up like quills all over it. One of those slivers pierced the Maharajas right hand
and later he died due to the infection. The King who had killed so many live tigers, in the end was killed
by a wooden tiger.

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10.

Vistas

On the orders of the Maharaja, the Dewan had brought a tiger which was kept hidden in his house. The
tiger came and stood in front of the Maharaja. It seemed as if he had surrendered himself to the
Maharaja. The Maharaja took careful aim at the beast and shot him dead. But later, after the Maharaja
left, it was realized that the bullet had missed the target.

Chapter-2
1.

Sadaos father was conservative and on orthodox. He believed in the purity of race. Dr. Sadao was an
obedient son. So, before falling in love with Hana, he had to make sure that she was Japanese. Sadao and
Hana waited till they returned from America and got married in traditional way.

2.

The misty figure had been a prisoner of war from the US Navy who had escaped. Dr. Sadao came to
know about him through his battered cap. He was a sailor from an American warship.

3.

Blood flowed freshly at the touch of Dr. Sadaos hand because the man had been shot and had not been
tended. The man might have fallen on a rock and it would have struck his wound.

4.

Dr. Sadao, with his trained hands, unconsciously packed the wound with the sea moss that strewed the
beach. Dr. Sadao and his wife were in a dilemma whether to turn him over to police as he was their
enemy or to save him because it was the duty of a doctor to save a life if it is possible.

5.

Hana believed that the man was a menace, living or dead because if he lives it would be difficult for Dr.
Sadao to hide him and if he dies it would be a moral burden on his conscience.

6.

The domestic servants were unhappy with their masters decision to keep the prisoner of war in their
house. They hated the soldier and were very repulsive towards him. Yumi refused to touch the US
soldier when she was asked to wash him. She was of the opinion that the future of the children would
be very bleak if their father is condemned as a traitor. The Gardener felt that Sadao should have allowed
the soldier to bleed to death. He believed that the Sea and the Gun would seek revenge if Sadao saved
the soldier. The Cook said that Dr. Sadao was so proud of his skills, that he would save any life.
According to him, Dr. Sadao was using his skills irresponsibly.

7.

The General did not want to be treated by a doctor trained in Germany because the doctor would
consider the operation as successful even if the General died.

8.

The General promised Dr. Sadao that he would get the American soldier killed by his assassins. Dr.
Sadao went home thinking about the plan and decided he wouldnt tell Hana about it.
On the first might, Sadao slept badly. Time and again he woke up because of the thought of assassins
entering the house and taking the soldier away. But the next morning, the soldier was till there. On the
second night too, he couldnt sleep well. There rose a wind that night and he listened to the strange
sounds of bending boughs and whistling partitions. But the next morning the soldier was still there. On

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the third might, it was raining outside. Sadao slept a little better but he woke at the sound of a crash and
leaped to his feet. Hana volunteered to go and check but he stopped her from doing so. Still, he found
the American soldier there, in his room the next morning. Dr. Sadao could not sleep peacefully for three
nights and still the soldier was there in the house.
9.

Dr. Sadao felt that the General was in the palm of his hand because the General had confessed himself
that he had forgotten his promise due to his illness. Till the time, the General was ill; Dr. Sadao was safe
because the General wouldnt let anything happen to him.

10.

The General was a selfish person. He thought of nothing but himself. He forgot about the promise that
he had made to Dr. Sadao. He didnt care what Dr. Sadao and Hana went through. He only thought about
his health and his illness. He tried to justify himself by saying that it was not lack of patriotism or
dereliction of duty but simply self-adsorption.

11.

Hatred against a member of enemy race is justifiable but what makes a human being rise above narrow
mindedness is his ability to understand that humanity is above all the races and religions. One must
never forget the ideals of humanity. It is true that compassion is a natural instinct but he must be able
to make out that political enemies are not personal enemies. One must not neglect reason and logic while
dealing with a situation. It is easy to get carried away by emotions but one must be just and considerate
in his actions not allowing the mind to overpower oneself. The person who can control his mind and
take his own decisions in difficult times; rises above others.

12.

Dr. Sadao decided to help the prisoner escape. He instructed him to use his own boat and escape to an
island not far from the coast from where he could catch a Korean fishing boat. He gave him his own
flashlight and instructed him to flash it two times if he runs out of food before catching a boat at the
same instant the run drops over the horizon. He warned him not to signal in dark as it could be spotted
by someone else. He advised him to eat raw fish because a fire would be seen. He asked him to signal
once if everything was alright. He gave the soldier Japanese clothes and a black cloth to cover his blonde
head.

13.

On the seventh day, two things happened


(i)

In the morning the servants left together, their belongings tied in large square cotton kerchiefs.

(ii)

In the afternoon, Hana, working hard on unaccustomed labour, saw a messenger come to the door
in official uniform.

Chapter-3
1.

Story telling was especially fatiguing for Jack on Saturdays because Jo would never fell asleep in naps
any more and knowing this made the rite seem futile.

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2.

Vistas

Roger Skunk smelled so had that none of the other little woodland creatures would play with him.
He consulted the wise old owl who directed him to a wizard. The wizard magically gave Roger Skunk
the smell of roses.

3.

The creatures of woodland would run away at the sight of Roger Skunk. Roger Skunk would stand there
all alone, with tears falling from his eyes.

4.

Jack enacted the part of the wizard by scrunching up his face and somehow whining through his eyes,
which felt for the interval rheumy.

5.

Skunks mother didnt like the smell of roses. She found it obnoxious and awful. She took Roger Skunk
with her to the wizard to change back how he smelled.

6.

Jo did not approve of Skunks mother scolding him for his new smell because for a small child it does
not matter much if the skunk loses his identity. Smell of roses fascinates everyone especially small
children and Jo wants Roger Skunk to have the smell of roses forever.

7.

The Skunks mother felt happy when he got his smell back. When Roger Skunk was in bed, she came up
and hugged him as he smelled like her little baby again. She loved him the way he was.

8.

Jo is highly unsatisfied with the twist. She wants Roger skunk to be accepted by his friends. She finds
his mommy doing wrong and wants the wizard to hit mommy instead of vice versa. For a little child of
age four, it is very important for Jo to be with friends and have someone to play with. Being a child Jo
is innocent. According to a childs perspective, moral issues are not their concern. They do what they
feel is right. The most important factor for them is to be happy.

9.

Jack was worried about his wife Clare because she was six months pregnant with their third child and
she shouldnt move heavy things or furniture during pregnancy.

10.

He wants to teach her that having ones own individuality is very important. One must not change ones
own personality so as to appeal more and be accepted by others. The little skunk loved his mommy
more than he loved his friends.

11.

In the concluding part of this chapter, we see Jack helping his wife Clare. He feels himself being trapped
in a cage.

In the 1960s and 1970s, gender dominance was questioned. Feminist movements were resurged
during this period.
The male chauvinistic attitude is reflected here. Jack didnt like women, when they took anything
for granted. He feels weary being bound by responsibilities of his family and is not given
importance either by Jo or his wife.

This story is written during the transition period where the perspective of mens position as
dominant has changed. Now they are equally involved in being bound to responsibility.

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Chapter-4
1.

Derek wants to go back home as soon as he comes face to face with Mr. Lamb because he doesnt like
to be with people. He has this mindset that others would pity him for his burnt face.

2.

Incidences that highlight the positive outlook of Mr. lamb towards life:
(i)

He treats both weeds and flowers as equals. According to him, both of them are green growing
plants, and theres no difference between the two.

(ii)

He believes its not what you look like; its what you are inside. Handsome is as handsome does.

(iii)

According to him the bees human which means they ring. Rest of the world thinks that the bees
buzz but according to him they sing.

3.

Mr. Lamb hasnt put curtains on his windows because he is bold enough to face life as it comes. He is
brave enough to face darkness and welcomes it just as he welcomes sunshine.

4.

Mr. Lamb meant that the difference is in the perspective. While one green growing plant is called a
weed, the other is called a flower. Life doesnt treat the two as unequals. It is the human race which
has classified them in two categories. One is loved by the people while no one pays any heed to the
other. It is all about how you look at life and the things around you.

5.

Mr. Lamb narrated the story of a man who locked himself in a room because he was afraid because he
knew Derek was afraid of people too. He wanted Derek to realize that it was of no use locking up
oneself.

6.

Mr. Lamb prepares jelly from crab apples and candy from honey that he collects from his
bee-hive.

7.

Derek thought that Mr. Lamb didnt know his name so how could he be his friend. Also he doubted if
they would ever meet again but Mr. Lamb told him that he need not know his name or meet him
regularly to be his friend.

8.

Mr. Lamb feared that if Derek went back to home, he would never come back. This reflects that nobody
ever came back to meet him again. He lives there all alone, disappointed that he had no company for
him, no one to talk to.

9.

Derek thought that Mr. Lamb was crazy because he told him strange things. He was very different from
the other people he had met till now. It didnt matter to him if they knew names of each other, as long
as they could be friends.

10.

Mr. Lambs conversation transformed Derek into an optimistic and self-confident person. Earlier, he
was an introvert, defiant and a bitter person. Mr. Lamb encouraged him to love the world around him,
to be a more out-going person, to be able to stand up to his mother. He no longer pitied himself for his
burnt face.

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11.

Vistas

Mr. Lamb kept the gates of the house and garden open because he liked to welcome the changes in
weather. He liked to talk to other people. Anybody was welcomed in his house, to come and enjoy the
beauty of the garden.

Chapter-5
1.

Evans was known as Evans the Break among the prison officers because he had escaped the prison
thrice.

2.

Evens did not become conversant with German in spite of having been taught for more than six months
because he had no interest in learning German. All this while, he was planning how to escape from the
jail.

3.

Prison Officers Jackson and Stephens were the two visitors Evans received in the morning of the day
of his examination.

4.

Evans did not take off his hat when Jackson had ordered him to do so because if he had done so,
everyone would have come to know that he had clipped his hair short and that wouldve alerted
everyone.

5.

So that they couldnt be used anyhow in escaping the prison or holding the examiner hostage.

6.

Jackson told Evans, Nobody in his senses would take any chance with you because Evans had
escaped the prison thrice.

7.

Escape from the Recreational Block would have been much easier, still Evans did not try to escape from
there because Evans attains a thrill figuring out ways and means to escape from prison. For him its like
a game where one outdoes the other using his wits. Evans sharpens his wits and skills by constantly
challenging the prison authorities.

8.

One of the friends of Evans made a call regarding a correction in the question paper. The real purpose
of the call was to know exactly when the exam started.

9.

Evans draped a blanket round his shoulders to disguise himself as McLeery. Stephens thought there
was never any sun on that side of the prison even in summer months, and it could get quite chilly in
some of the cells.

10.

Carter is Detective Superintendent in the police force. The Government asked him to take McLeery
with him because he was the only one who seemed to know what was happened.

11.

The Governor is justified in considering Jackson as a stupid person because it was Jackson who had
spent two hours in Evanss cell the previous evening and had confidently reported that there was
nothing hidden away there. Also it was Jackson who mistook a strangers voice on phone to be the
Governors.

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12.

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The Governor deciphered Evans actual location, while everyone thought he ran off to Newbury. During
the Examination there is a correction in the spelling of Golden Lion which is actually the name of the
Hotel where Evans had decided to hide. The index number column is to be filled as 313 and center
number as 271. According to the Ordnance Survey Map of Oxfordshire, 313/271 will take you to
Chipping Norton.

13.

The driver of the van who eventually took Evans to freedom was his friend who pretended to be his
German teacher and McLeery.

Chapter-6
1.

The writer crept up the stairs, passed along a hall and then entered a room with three white beds in it.
She hid herself under the bed which was farthest from the door. But later she was dragged out. She
resisted by kicking and scratching wildly but she was carried downstairs and tied in a chair.

2.

The author began to cry in the dining hall because she was not accustomed to such rigid discipline.

3.

Judewin was not a rebellious child. She had surrendered herself to the authorities very easily. So, she
asked the author to bow down before the school authorities.

4.

Bamas statement reflects on the mindset of the people at that time. Untouchability was considered to
be a taboo subject and no one ever discussed it openly. The people were ashamed of discussing about
it even with their children.

5.

The narrators mother had taught her that only unskilled warriors who were captured had their hair
shingled by the enemy. Among them short hair was worn by mourners, and shingled hair by cowards.

6.

Annan was Bamas elder brother. He told her about the caste system that was prevalent. He told her
how the landlords considered themselves to be superior to others, thus justifying the strange behaviour
of the elder.

7.

Annan advised Bama to study hard and make progress so that they could throw away all the indignities
related to Untouchability. He said if she remained ahead in her lessons, people would come to her on
their own accord and attach themselves to her. He told her to work hard and keep learning. These words
made a very deep impression on her and she stood first in her class and made many friends.

8.

It would take Bama at least thirty minutes to reach home because she would move slowly through the
market watching all the fun and games that were going on, all the entertaining novelties and oddities in
the streets.

9.

The man was walking in a strange and humiliating manner, carrying vadai. He was holding out the
packet by its string, without touching it. This shows that discrimination amongst different caste was
prevalent at that time. The landlords believed that they were upper caste and therefore the people of
the caste of that man must not touch them or their food. If they did, the people of upper castes would
be polluted.

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