Indigo – English Notes – Class XII

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  • Raj Kumar Shukla- A poor sharecropper from Champaran wishing to meet Gandhiji.
  • Raj Kumar Shukla- an illiterate but resolute hence followed Gandhiji to Lucknow, Cawnpore, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Patna, Muzzafarpur & then  Champaran.
  • Servants at Rajendra Prasad’s residence thought Gandhiji to be untouchable.
  • Gandhiji considered as an untouchable because of simple living style and wearing(clothes), due to the company of Raj Kumar Shukla.
  • Decided to go to Muzzafarpur first to get detailed information about Champaran sharecropper.
  • Sent telegram to J B Kriplani &stayed in Prof Malkani home- a government servant.
  • Indians afraid to show sympathy to the supporters of home rule.
  • The news of Gandhiji’s arrival spread- sharecroppers gathered in large number to meet their champion.
  • Gandhiji chided the Muzzafarpur lawyer for taking high fee.
  • Champaran district was divided into estate owned by English people, Indians only tenant farmers.
  • Landlords compelled tenants to plant 15% of their land with indigo and surrender their entire harvest as rent.
  • In the meantime Germany had developed synthetic indigo –British landlords freed the Indian farmers from the 15% arrangement but asked them to pay compensation.
  • Many signed, some resisted engaged lawyers, landlords hired thugs.
  • Gandhiji reached Champaran- visited the secretary of the British landlord association to get the facts but denied as he was an outsider.
  • Gandhiji went to the British Official Commissioner who asked him to leave Trihut, Gandhiji disobeyed, went to Motihari the capital of Champaran where a vast multitude greeted him, continued his investigations.
  • Visited maltreated villagers, stopped by the police superintendent but disobeyed the order.
  • Motihari black with peasants spontaneous demonstrations, Gandhiji released without bail Civil Disobedience triumphed.
  • Gandhiji agreed to 25% refund by the landowners, it symbolized the surrender of the prestige.
  • Gandhiji worked hard towards social economic reforms, elevated their distress aided by his wife, Mahadev Desai, Narhari Parikh.
  • Gandhiji taught a lesson of self-reliance by not seeking the help of an English man Mr. Andrews.

The leadership shown by Mahatma Gandhi to secure justice for oppressed people through convincing argumentation and negotiation.

Contributions made by anonymous Indians to the freedom movement.


Q 1. Gandhi’s experience in Champaran and his success in improving a lot of the peasants establish him as a true leader. What values surface from this instance of Gandhi’s fight for the peasants?

Expected Answer

Belief in the cause



Integrity of character




Q2. ‘It was an extraordinary thing ‘in those days’, Gandhi commented for a government professor to harbour a man like me.’ Many ordinary people did extraordinary things to render our freedom struggle successfully. What do you think urged them to act in a way that most others did not?



Truth and honesty


Q3. Rajkumar Shukla, a poor, unassuming peasant became a catalyst for change by taking Gandhi to Champaran, an act which later culminated in the first successful instance of Civil Disobedience in India. What qualities do you think helped Shukla and Gandhi, respectively, to initiate one of the most powerful movements in the history of our national struggle?


Being resolute



Standing by truth and honesty


Q.1) Give a character sketch of Rajkumar Shukla.

Sharecropper, yeoman, poor, determined to take Gandhi with him, resolute and tenacious, comes to complain against landlords in spite of being illiterate.

Q.2) What was the ancient arrangement in Champaran?

The Champaran peasants were sharecroppers. Most of the arable land was divided into large estates owned by British and worked by Indian tenant farmers. The chief commercial crop was indigo. The landlords compelled the tenants to plant 15% of their land with indigo and surrender the entire harvest as rent.

Q.3) How did Gandhi break the deadlock? –

The British landlords expected Gandhi to demand repayment of the money in full which they had illegally taken from the farmers, but he asked for only 50% of it. They offered to refund 25% thinking that Gandhi and the farmers won’t accept this proposal and the court case won’t be solved. But Gandhi agreed to it and it was accepted unanimously by the commission and the deadlock was broken.

Q.4) What justification did Gandhi give for accepting 25% of the refund? How was his acceptance a lesson to both the landlords and peasants?-

Gandhi justified by saying that the amount was less important than the fact that the landlords had surrendered money and prestige in the court in front of the peasants and realized as a lesson that they were not lords above the law and their might which was unquestioned till now could be challenged by Indians. The farmers also learnt courage & that they had rights and defenders.

Q.5) Who were Prof. J. B. Kripalani & Prof. Malkani? What was an ‘extraordinary thing’ in those days & why?

Average Indians were afraid to show sympathy for advocates of Home Rule like Gandhi. So when Prof. Kripalani (of Arts College, Muzzafarpur) gave a welcome to Gandhi at the station at midnight & Prof. Malkani (Govt. school teacher) gave shelter to Gandhi at his house, Gandhi considers this as something extraordinary.

Q.6) When did Gandhi exclaim ‘The battle of Champaran is won?-

Rajendra Prasad recorded the consultations of lawyers like Brij Kishor Babu, Maulana Mazharul Huq & others. Gandhi asked them what they would do if he was arrested. They replied that they had come to advise & help him. If he went to jail there won’t be anyone to advise & so they would go home. When Gandhi wanted to know what would happen to the injustice on the sharecroppers in his absence, the lawyers consulted that Gandhi was prepared to go to jail for poor farmers in spite of being a stranger. If they having served the peasants, backed out, it would be a shameful desertion. So convinced by Gandhi’s words they decided to follow him into jail. Then Gandhi said ‘The battle—– won’ highlighting that his purpose was solved. He was successful in bringing about a change in people’s minds & gets them united & free from fear to protest against the injustice by the British.

Q.7) How did Gandhi keep a watch on his ashram in Sevagram?

He sent regular instructions by mail asking for financial accounts. He also wrote to residents to dig new latrine trenches & fill the old ones to avoid bad smell.

Q.8) ‘The Champaran episode was a turning point in Gandhi’s life’. Explain.

This was from where he first began his journey of fame & success as a ‘Mahatma’. He started urging the British to leave India & Civil Disobedience movement won for the first time. Gandhi & others realized its utility as a weapon against the British.

Q.9) What was the result of the 4 long interviews between Gandhi & Edward Gait?

As a result, an official enquiry commission was appointed to inquire into the situation of the indigo sharecroppers. It consisted of landlords, Govt. officials & Gandhi as the sole representative of the peasants.

Q.10) ‘The whole area throbbed with activity’. Comment. How did Gandhi remove the grievances of the farmers?

Gandhi conducted a far-flung inquiry into the grievances of the farmers. Depositions by about 10,000 peasants were written down & notes were made on other evidence against the British landlords to be presented in the court. The area of Motihari was also alive with the protests of landlords & so throbbed with activity.

Q.11) What was the typical Gandhi pattern of politics? ‘Gandhi’s politics were intertwined with the practical day-to-day problems of the millions’. Justify. –

a) His politics were intertwined with the practical day-to-day problems of the people. His loyalty was not to abstractions but to living human beings.
b) He never contended with large political & economic solutions but wanted to remove the social & cultural background of places like Champaran.
c) His efforts were not to bring about a change in the British govt. initially but to provide freedom to the farmers from the injustice of the landlords.
d) He tried to mould a new free Indian who could stand on his feet & make India free.
e) He didn’t seek a prop in a British (Charles Andrews) to win the battle against the British but taught a lesson in self-reliance.

Q.12) ‘The story teems with contributions from unsung heroes of the freedom struggle’. Comment.

Write about the contribution of Rajkumar Shukla (illiterate but dared to come to Lucknow to protest against the landlords), Prof. Kripalani & Malkani, Mahadev Desai, Narhari Parikh & their wives, Devadas, doctor who volunteered his services for 6 months & lawyers like Brij Kishor Babu, Maulana Mazharul Huq, etc.

Q.13) How according to Rajendra Prasad did Gandhi teach them self-reliance?

Gandhi’s friends thought to have Charles Andrews in Champaran but Gandhi told them not to seek a prop in an Englishman as it was a weakness of their heart. He said that their cause was just & they should rely on themselves to win the battle. Thus he taught them self-reliance by reading their minds & was against Andrews staying in Champaran.

Q.14) What was the ‘beginning of liberation from fear’? How did it come about? – When Gandhi didn’t obey the orders of the Police Superintendent to quit Champaran, he received summons to appear in court the next day. The peasants in & around Motihari didn’t know Gandhi’s records in S. Africa, but had heard that a Mahatma who wanted to help them, was in trouble with the authorities. Their spontaneous demonstration in thousands around the court was the beginning of their liberation from fear of the British. Due to this the govt. officials were baffled & postponed the trial & released Gandhi without bail. They had to take his help to regulate the angry crowd, which he politely did. He also proved to them that their might which was dreaded & unquestioned till now could be challenged by Indians any time.

Q.15) Describe the social work Gandhi & his followers undertook to do in Champaran for its social & cultural upliftment. How did Gandhi & his family help in establishing schools & improving health conditions in Champaran?Education – Appealed for teachers. Mahadev Desai & Narhari Parikh volunteered with their wives. Many others joined from Bombay, Poona & other distant parts of the country. Gandhi’s wife Kasturbai & youngest son Devadas arrived from the ashram. Primary schools were opened in 6 villages.

Health & Hygiene – Kasturbai taught rules on personal cleanliness & community sanitation. Gandhi got a doctor to volunteer his services for 6 months. 3 medicines were available – Castor oil, Quinine & Sulphur ointment.

Q.16) Gandhi’s loyalty was not to abstractions; it was a loyalty to living human beings. Discuss with reference to the lesson ‘Indigo’.


– Champaran episode exemplifies Gandhi’s loyalty to human beings and not ideologies. His politics was entwined with practical day-to-day problems of the millions

-had gone there at the persistent plea of a peasant Rajkumar Shukla, not to defy the British but to alleviate the distress of indigo farming sharecroppers who were being cheated by them.

– he realized that courts could not bring justice to them as they were so crushed and fear-stricken.

-won them compensation – proved to them that they had rights and defenders, thus gave them the courage to stand up for their rights.

– was not content with a political and economic victory. He immediately set about addressing the social and cultural backwardness in Champaran.

-under his leadership, Mahadev Desai, Narhari Parikh, their wives and others including his son volunteered for work-  opened primary schools in six villages, and his wife Kasturbai taught personal cleanliness and community sanitation. A volunteer doctor dispensed basic medicines.

– His mission was to mould a new free Indian who could stand on his own feet and free India. He discouraged them from using Charles Freer- an Englishman as a prop for their cause. Self-reliance, Indian independence and help to sharecroppers were all bound together.


Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers – English Notes – Class XII

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Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers

Title– It refers to a tapestry made by aunt Jennifer which contains ferocious, fearless & prancing tigers. It suggests the tiger like terror that her husband was. She was in constant fear of him & felt suffocated in matrimony. Aunt Jennifer is a symbol of the oppressed & tigers are a symbol of the terror & oppression of women by the male dominated world.

Tigers also symbolize the freedom of spirit, fearlessness & confidence which the aunt dreams of but is unable to achieve.

Theme/Central Idea– Male chauvinism, gender conflicts, victimization of women by their male counterparts, lack of freedom & identity in matrimony. Women like the aunt feel the oppression even in the absence of the male & are never able to liberate themselves due to laws & customs. It highlights the desolating effects of patriarchy & the racial & religious injustice & oppression of a woman who can express her desire for freedom only in her art.


a)It shows the fears of the aunt in contrast with the tigers that prowl fearlessly whereas she lives in fear of her husband who is absent from the scene. It shows the freedom of spirit like tigers & males that she dreams of but is unable to achieve.

b) Tigers are called ‘denizens of a world of green’ because they are the natives of the forest which symbolizes the world of the evil & vicious, of male dominance & animal instincts.

c)‘Prancing tigers’ symbolize the spirit of freedom that the aunt has within her, but is subdued & symbolizes her fears of her male counterpart.

d) ‘They pace in sleek chivalric certainty’ shows stealthy, sure, majestic, confident movement of tigers which are sure of their purpose. They move ahead fearless of obstacles to their freedom & the aunt in contrast can’t show her desire for freedom openly.

e) ‘Bright topaz denizens’- Metaphor used to describe the yellow coloured beautiful animals.

f) Repetition of ‘Aunt Jennifer’ & ‘tiger’ creates a scary ambience of the oppressor, oppressed & oppression.

g) Theme of stanzaCriticism of male chauvinism, patriarchy, aunt’s fears & desires, she expresses through her work of art.

h) Qualities of tiger highlighted are fearlessness (don’t fear men under tree), ferocity (prance/prowl for prey), elegance, style (sleek), beauty (bright topaz), undeterred confidence (certainty), chivalry (pace in chivalric certainty).

i) Contrast b/w tigers & aunt- Tigers are fearless, ferocious, not afraid of men waiting to hunt them down, denizens of the wild forest. Aunt is timid, nervous, afraid of male counterpart.

j) What do denizens & chivalric tell about the Tigers’ attitude? – Denizen means animal that lives in a particular place & doesn’t run away fearing others. Chivalric means dignity, honour, confidence. Tigers like males live in the wild, evil forest fearlessly & move around with chivalry.


a) Aunt Jennifer’s fingers are moving about in an agitated & aimless manner through the wool. She is finding even the ivory needle hard to pull.

b) ‘Find even—— pull’- Her struggling with ivory needles suggests the loss of her individual identity & terrorized state of mind under the weight of uncle’s domination.

c) ‘Fingers—- wool’- is an image to highlight the oppression on women. The aunt is so oppressed that her frail fingers are unable to carry the weight of wool.

d) ‘Uncle’s wedding band’ is a symbol of the suppression of women in matrimony by custom, law, male authority. It is symbolic of the male authority & power. Matrimony has bound her physically & mentally. Feelings of implied slavery are brought out along with her physical and psychological terror of her husband even in his absence & loss of freedom & identity which all sum up for the theme of the stanza. Aunt feels the burden of the weight of the wedding band on her hand which is not a source of happiness for her but reminds her of her husband in spite of his absence from the scene. It shows the victimization of women like the aunt.


a) When the aunt is dead, her terrified hands still aren’t free from the ring showing that she is still in the grip of hard & difficult experiences in matrimony which suppressed her. The theme of the stanza is her ordeals in matrimony & the attitude of the society.

b) Even death failed to release her from the chains of her struggle which dominated her lifetime. Her fear outlasts her body & life & her spirit remains scared of her husband. The aunt’s death is symbolic of her complete surrender to her suppression.

c) ‘Ringed with ordeals’ is an image to express the injustice, oppression & struggle that aunt goes through but never complains. No one knows the trauma she had to undergo.

d) ‘Terrified hands’ show that aunt has allowed herself to be imprisoned by her ego & family ideology. Her hands were terrified even after death as the chains of fear & slavery couldn’t be broken by death also.

e) ‘The tigers———unafraid’ shows that since the society is male dominated, it shows no concern for the aunt’s sufferings even after her death. The loss of her freedom is her individual loss. The society is not affected by it. It is symbolic of the dispassionate & unconcerned attitude of the males towards the desire for freedom among women. The tigers representing the male authority remain undeterred. Indifferent to the suppression of women, men like tigers go on prancing fearlessly. The aunt’s art will survive long after her death but the society will remain unaffected, arrogant & ferocious.

f) It is ironical that the aunt dreams of escape in art but produces the very image of her suppression.

Key Points & Questions:

a) The poem is a satire on male chauvinism & victimization of women & dominance of patriarchy.

b) It is a feminist poem which criticizes the male world for terrifying & oppressing women like the aunt & forcing her to create an alternate world of freedom which she inhibits only in her imagination.

c) It is an imaginary world of art to escape from the oppression of married life, male chauvinism & gender inequalities.

d) The poem is written in quatrains (four- lined stanzas) or couplets.

The rhyme scheme is aabbcc.

Q.1) How is the poem a tragedy?

We don’t know what terrors the aunt had to live with. Terrorized by the male dominated world, she recoils & escapes into her embroidery art (tapestry). She dies and we can’t find a solution to her problem.

Q.2) Where does aunt seek refuge from being victimized by the male world? How does she create an alternate world for herself? Does she find freedom? –

She escapes into the imaginary world of solace and comfort by making a tapestry in which she escapes from harsh realities. She fails to escape from the terrifying power of her husband as she remembers him even in her world of imagination. The tigers go on prancing, proud and unafraid even after her death.

Q.3) What is the aunt terrified of in the poem?

She is terrified of her husband who is feeling less, domineering, harsh and callous. She is also terrified of the bondage that her marriage has turned out to be.

Q.4) How is the aunt both a victim and an oppressor?

Victim – She is confined to the prison of her ego and family bondage.

Oppressor – She quietly accepts her slavery and finds outlet in her work of art.

Q.5) Bring out the significance of the word ‘ringed’.

Pun is used. It refers to the wedding ring which binds husband and wife into matrimony forever, but it has suffocated her like a band. In the third stanza along with ‘mastered by’. It shows the image of a circus ring where it stands for marriage, uncle as the ringmaster and aunt as the tame animal who is beaten up. She has lost her identity and freedom.

An Elementary School Classroom in a slum – English Notes – Class XII

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An Elementary School Classroom in a slum

Stanza –1 ‘Far —– this’. –

a) The children of a slum school present a pathetic & miserable picture. Sitting in their classroom in a slum area they are far away from the strong blowing waves which are a symbol of a world full of freedom & natural beauty. They have pale lifeless faces (pallor) & not the bubbly childhood freshness on their faces. They are like rootless, wild plants (uprooted, unwanted weeds). They have no permanent homes/shelter or security like rootless plants. Waves are strong – It shows that the waves are full of freedom & beauty.

b)‘The tall —– head’ – The girl sitting there is depressed & distressed due to the burden of poverty, misfortunes & so keeps her head down.

c)‘The paper—–bones’–The boy is very thin with bulging eyes, inquisitive & timid like a rat searching for food, contentment & security. His growth is blocked & the body remains undeveloped due to malnutrition. He is called an ‘unlucky heir’ as he has inherited from his father not money & property but twisted bones & diseases. He is under-nourished & deprived of the basic amenities of life. ‘Reciting —desk’–The thin boy is reciting a lesson from his desk as if describing in detail his father’s gnarled disease.

d)‘At back —–this’ – The class is called dim as the atmosphere is dull, dreary, full of despair, in a pathetic condition. An unnoticed sweet young boy sits at the back of this class. He also loves to dream of outdoor games, to move out into the open, to visit places, other than their dull, drab classroom (‘other than this’). ‘This’ also refers to the dull & monotonous routine of his class which doesn’t interest him. He dreams of being free, enjoying the beauty of nature like squirrels in tree rooms. The boy may be surviving in a sad situation but doesn’t stop hoping for future. Metaphor is used in ‘squirrel’s game’ to show that he wants to play like squirrels. Metaphor is used in “His eyes…dream” & the boy represents both- a glimmer of a wary hope & a shiver of mental depression.

Stanza 2 ‘On sour…words’-

a) The colour of sour cream is off-white. The walls symbolize the pathetic condition of the children highlighting the decaying aspect.

b)The gifts given as donations including the picture of Shakespeare are hung on these walls but his literature & works don’t hold any interest for them.

c)In the early morning time the sky is cloudless & the domes of institutions of the civilized world shine in every city in a picture. There is also a picture of the beautiful Tyrol valley (full of fragrant flowers) in the classroom & the children here can never experience its fragrance & beauty since they are condemned to live in the slum. Contrast has been used here also to show that the entire atmosphere of the school is one of inactivity which contrasts with the cloudless sky at dawn & concrete domes which override the cities. The elementary school in a slum is so squeezed & suppressed under the domes of the civilized valley that the children are unaware of the beauty of the sky at dawn.

d)The map of the world is being shaped & reshaped according to the free will of dictators & powerful people like Hitler and this world is being imposed on others. ‘Awarding the world’- imposing on us & others. ‘Its world’- the world as shaped by dictators. The map of the world in the classroom is symbolic of hopes & aspirations as it motivates the children to explore the world beyond the world which has been awarded to them by God. For these children this map is meaningless. Their own dirty & unpleasant surroundings (these windows) form their world. Their dirty & stinking world is far away from the spacious world of rivers, capes & stars (which are a symbol of hopes). The map of the world doesn’t include their narrow lanes & cramped holes in it. Rivers are a symbol of freedom.

e)They live in a world where the fog of uncertainty dominates their future (‘where…fog’). Metaphor is used in ‘future… fog’. Just as fog blurs one’s views in winters, the slum children’s future is blurred by hopelessness & lack of empathy. ‘words’- description of natural beauty in literature has no meaning for them as they can’t enjoy living there & getting freedom from their own poor living conditions. Metaphor is used in ‘lead sky’. Lead colour suggests dull & dark sky showing that there is no hope for the slum children.

Stanza -3 ‘Surely…doom’-

a)They don’t take interest in Shakespeare’s work. [‘Shakespeare…wicked’]. The world described in the map is also bad for them as they can’t enjoy its beauty with its ships (luxury, development), sun (natural beauty) & love (feelings of humanity, pity) & it raises their hopes & aspirations which may never be fulfilled.

b) ‘Tempting—-night’–In order to get their dreams fulfilled, such children are even tempted to adopt wrong ways. The lives full of miseries secretly enter into their cramped holes (showing that they live without any identity) & remain from their birth (where life is like fog of uncertainty) to death (where life is like an endless night).

c)‘On —– stones’– On heaps of waste (metaphor to describe their lives) these children wander around with their bones peeping out of their skins (symbol of poverty). Their spectacles with mended glasses look like broken bottles on stones. ‘Broken bottles on stones’ symbolize shattered hopes on rocks of life. Metaphor is used in ‘spectacles of steel’.

d)‘All…doom’- Their time is spent in the foggy (uncertain future) slum. The slums are like living hells which are blots on the maps of the civilized world reminding that their development is futile.

Stanza -4‘Unless…sun’-

a) Unless powerful people like governors & visitors break these windows & bring the children out of dirt, nothing can happen. The world of the civilized should open up for these children like windows & not shut upon them like graves. A simile is used to show that the windows of the slum dingy rooms where these children study, look like lids of catacombs or cemeteries.

b) Let them come out of their narrow & dirty slums & see the green fields which symbolize hope. Their world also should extend to the sky blue waves rising over the golden sand which portrays golden hopes & world.

c)‘This map becomes their world’ – Let the map include their little school. The map is symbolic of the world which they never get & yet aspire for.

d)‘Let their tongues—sun’–Let books containing pages of age old wisdom be open to them & their tongues be able to express freely & fearlessly. Only such people create history whose language has the warmth & strength of the sun. Let them have freedom of expression & learning. Sun here refers to the light of education as the educated alone can change the world.


Q1)Describe the images of distress, pain & disease.

– Faces like rootless weeds, hair torn round pallor, paper seeming boy, stunted unlucky heir, twisted bones, gnarled disease, future painted with fog, skin peeped through by bones, slum as big as doom, lives like catacombs.

Q2)The poem has been written against the background of the 2nd world war. Why doesn’t the poet describe the heroes & generals instead of slum children?

-The poet is both a pacifist & a socialist. So he hates wars & is concerned about social injustice, class inequalities & talks of 2 worlds & the gap between them & how it can be bridged.

Q3)The poem begins with a pessimistic note but ends optimistically.


Poem begins with a detailed description of distress, pain, diseases but ends with a note of hope that the gap between the 2 worlds can be bridged.

Q4)Whom does he give a clarion call & Why?

– To people of the civilized world to bridge the gap & bring the children out of slums & provide education.

Q5)Crushed under poverty, diseases & miseries, do the children have dreams & hopes? What & how?

– Refer to squirrels games.

A Thing of Beauty – English Notes – Class XII

Stanza – -1) ‘A thing————- breathing’-

1) A beautiful object gives joy forever. Its charm increases with the passage of time. It will never go waste or unnoticed. Rather it leaves an everlasting imprint on our minds. We re-live the joyful experience whenever we think about it.

2) The impression of beauty keeps lurking in our mind & it makes life beautiful, fragrant & secure like a bower.

3) ‘sleep——- dreams’- The joy beauty gives is similar to the joy of a blissful sleep full of pleasant dreams. Beauty also relieves our mind from tensions, giving it a soothing effect & ultimately provides a relaxed state of sleep with sweet dreams.

4) ‘quiet breathing’- Sense of peace & serenity that one experiences on seeing beautiful things. Beautiful sights act like nutrition for a healthy mind & refreshes & relaxes us by driving away aggression & restlessness.

Stanza – -2) ‘Therefore——- our searching’

1) So every morning / passing day we prepare a wreath of flowers to bind / attach us to this earth or strengthen our earthly life. The above mentioned things of beauty produce beautiful thoughts & memories which bind us to the earth & without them life would be painful. In spite of difficulties in life, beauty triumphs over all & makes life worth living.

2) ‘spite of despondence’- sufferings & hopelessness of man which he experiences in life due to anger, hatred & greed. The poet sees life as a struggle where man often suffers pain & loss of hope.

3) ‘of inhuman—– natures’- inhuman shortage of good qualities in people. Man is selfish & self-centred by nature. There are very few who rise above petty differences & show generosity.

4) ‘gloomy days’- We suffer from the pain of defeat & hopelessness which makes life sad & hateful. Life is a struggle for success & our path towards it gets obstructed by the selfishness & deceit of our colleagues.

5) ‘unhealthy—— searching’-The trials & tribulations one encounters in his journey of life used to get success may be evil. Life is a long dark tunnel with a light at the end & to reach the light & cross the darkness we search for ways & means which may be evil.

Stanza – -3) ‘Yes, inspite——- live in’

1) In spite of all these sad things, some beautiful objects remove the cover of sad feelings from our hearts.

2) ‘all’ refers to all the negative thoughts & objects that obstruct our path to happiness. Beauty in any form drives away the sadness from the dark recesses of our spirit.

3) ‘such—— live in’- The poet here refers to the images of beauty on earth like the sun, moon, old & young trees, sheep, green pastures, daffodils, streams, musk rose flowers scattered in mid forest thick growth of fern. He sees beauty at its best through various objects in nature & appreciates their simple & serene beauty. He tells us that beauty doesn’t exist only in grand objects like sun or moon but also in simple natural things like daffodils.

4) ‘Trees—– boon’- The poet celebrates the beauty of nature i.e. trees by calling them as a boon for humanity & symbol of protection as they give us shade & protection from heat & light of sun & rain.

5) ‘simple sheep’- symbolize innocent beauty. Jesus Christ is considered a shepherd surrounded by his flock of sheep, his followers. The shepherd & sheep imagery from the Bible has been used where sheep symbolize divine beauty & innocence like mankind for whom the objects of nature are a boon.

6) ‘with the green—– live in’- Man finds true happiness in the lap of nature whose beauty is at its best in lush green meadows & pastures providing life support to plants & animals. Beautiful objects cast an everlasting spell & the beauty of daffodils growing in pastures gives a cooling experience in contrast to the warmth of the hot season.

Stanza – -4) ‘and clear rills—— mighty dead’

1) Small streams with transparent water make a cool shelter of bushes to protect themselves from the hot season & also give us a cool & pleasant experience.

2) ‘the mid—– blooms’- The poet enjoys the magic spell of nature’s beauty in the musk-rose flowers in the thick forest undergrowth.

3) ‘grandeur—–dooms’- The poet sees beauty in the growth & decay of creations of nature & hence are two vital aspects of life which march hand in hand. Beauty is experienced in the deaths of people who sacrificed their lives for others’ happiness & will attain more greatness on doomsday. Contrasting aspects of life i.e. beauty in life & death are presented in the stanza. Life is a contrasting blend of warmth & coolness, growth & decay, birth & death & each has its own charm.

Stanza – -5) ‘All lovely—– brink’

1) The tales of such grand deaths which we have heard or read are like the endless fountain of immortal drink elixir for us as they get recorded in the pages of history leaving a lasting imprint on us. They serve as an everlasting source of motivation to those who read or hear about such great men who achieved glory in death.

2)‘endless—– drink’-Beauty whether in growth or death remains an endless source of inspiration like an elixir.

3)‘pouring—– brink’-Beauty is the greatest gift of God to man which has been showered upon man from heaven. Beauty is eternal & everlasting in whose glory men on earth derive an endless source of happiness.

4) The poet thus proves that he is a worshipper of beauty which he considers as the moving spirit of life & art. Love of beauty is the dominant theme of this poem. He believes that beauty stays with a person to get him through hard times.

Important Question & Key Points

1) Rhyme scheme- aabbcc, consistent rhyme. Shepherd & sheep imagery from Bible used.

2) A metaphor used to compare tales of the mighty dead to elixir.

3) How does the poem highlight the poet’s yearning for ideal beauty & immense faith in the divine? Mention the philosophy of life, message / central idea of the poem.

A) Love of ideal beauty is dominant in the poem. The poet is a worshipper of beauty & considers it as the moving spirit of life & art. Beauty plays a larger role as it stays with a person to get him through difficult times making life worth living. It can be seen in birth & death, growth & decay & is the greatest gift of God to man. Beauty is eternal & everlasting in whose glory man derives an endless source of happiness like an elixir from heaven. It is a gift like the trees which are a boon for us.

4) What image does the poet use to describe the beautiful bounty of the earth?

A) Beautiful bounty is described through the beautiful images of beauty on the earth like the beauty of the sun, moon, old & young trees, daffodils, green meadows, clear rills passing through bushy covers, musk roses scattered in a thick mass of fern in forests & the beauty of the mighty dead which is like the never ending fountain from heaven.

5) What makes the poet believe that a thing of beauty can never pass into nothingness?

A) Beauty can’t pass into nothingness as it leaves an impression on the mind forever in the form of relaxation in gloomy days, sleep with sweet dreams, feelings of security & serenity, positive breathing with the relaxation of a turbulent mind & a good health.

6) List the things that cause pain & sufferings. What makes a man love life inspite of this?

A) Sufferings due to disappointments, inhuman lack of people with noble nature, gloomy days & of the trials & tribulations one encounters by using unhealthy & evil ways in the journey of life to achieve success. But the beauty of nature produces beautiful thoughts & memories which bind us to the earth & inspires us to survive inspite of difficulties.

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Sample Acknowledgment for Project

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my chemistry teacher, ___________________, for encouraging and guiding me in my project and for giving valuable suggestions. I also thank our lab assistant ___________ who helped me with the setup for the project and  gave valuable practical insights. Without thanking my parents for their unwavering support this acknowledgement would be incomplete. Truly this project would not have come so far without you people. I’m indebted to you all. In the end, I hope my project, however small, will make a significant difference in this world.

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Oil from Aniseed – Chemistry Project


S.No. Contents II Page No.
I. Introduction 4
II. Experiment 8
III. Observation 10
IV. Bibliography 11


We are all familiar with the pleasant odours coming out from flowers, spices and many trees. The essence or aromas of plants are due to volatile oils present in them. These smelling volatile oils present in plants are called essential oils. Cinnamon, clove, cumin, eucalyptus, garlic, jasmine, peppermint, rose, sandalwood, spearmint, thyme, wintergreen are a few familiar examples of valuable essential oils. The term “essential oils” literally means “oils derived from the essence” of plants.

Essential oils are mainly used for their pleasant odours and flavours in perfumes and as flavouring agents in foods. Some are used in medicines (e.g., camphor, wintergreen, eucalyptus) others as insect repellents (e.g., citronella). Chemically essential oils are composed of complex mixtures of ester, alcohols, phenols, aldehydes, ketones and hydrocarbons. They are essentially non-polar compounds and are thus soluble in non-polar solvents such as petroleum ether, benzene etc. Essential oils may occur in all parts of the plant, but they are often concentrated in the seeds or flowers. They are obtained from the plants by the process of steam distillation and extraction. The technique of steam distillation permits the separation of volatile components from non-volatile materials without raising the temperature of the distillation above 100° C.

Thus steam distillation reduces the risk of decomposition of essential oils.


Aniseed Plant

Aniseed, on steam distillation, yields an essential oil, known as Oil of Aniseed`, which has now replaced the fruits for medicinal and flavouring purposes. Aniseed oil is a colourless or pale-yellow liquid having the characteristic odour and taste of the fruit.
The yield of oil generally varies from 1.9 to 3.1 per cent. Higher values up to 6 per cent have been reported from Syrian aniseed. Crushing of fruits prior to distillation gives better yields of oil. The material should be distilled soon after the crushing to prevent any loss of oil due to evaporation. Aniseed oil is a highly refractive liquid, which solidifies on cooling. The congealing point depends much on the anethole content and is a valuable criterion for evaluating the oil. Exposure of the oil to air causes polymerization, and some oxidation also takes place with the formation of anisaldehyde and anisic acid.

The chief constituent of aniseed oil is anethole, which is present to the extent of 80 to 90 per cent and is mainly responsible for the characteristic flavour of the oil. The oil also contains methyl chavicol, p-methoxyphenyl acetone, and small amount of terpenes and sulphur containing compounds of disagreeable odour.

Aniseed Essential Oil

Common Method of Extraction:- Steam Distillation

Color:- Clear

Botanical Name:- Pimpinella anisum

Aromatic Description:- Distinctive scent of licorice. Rich and sweet.

Constituents:- a-pinene, camphene, B-pinene, linalool, cis-anethole, trans-anethole, safrole, anisaldehyde, acetoanisole.

Uses of Aniseed Oil:-

  • Ø In aromatherapy, aniseed essential oil is used to treat colds and flu.
  • Ø Aniseed oil can be made into a liquid scent and is used for both hunting and fishing. It is put on fishing lures to attract fish.
  • Ø Anethole, the principal component of anise oil, is a precursor that can eventually produce 2,5-dimethoxybenzaldehyde which is can be used in the clandestine synthesis of psychedelic drugs such as 2C-B, 2C-I and DOB.
  • Ø Oil of aniseed is also reported to be used as an aromatic carminative to relieve flatulence, and as an ingredient of cough lozenges in combination with liquorice.
  • Ø Essential oil is also used externally as an insecticide against small insects such as head lice, mites and vermin. It also has fungicidal properties.



Steam generator (Copper Vessel), round bottom flask (500 ml), conical flask, condenser, glass tubes, iron stand, sand bath, separatory funnel, tripod stands, burners, Ajwain(Carum), Petroleum ether(60-80°C), Saunf(Aniseed) .


  1. Set the apparatus as shown in the picture of Experimental Setup. The apparatus consists of a steam generator connected to the round bottom flask through a glass inlet tube. The flask is connected to a water condenser through a glass outlet tube. Condenser is further attached to a receiver through an adaptor.
  2. Take about 750 ml of water in the steam generator and start heating to produce steam.
  3. In the round bottom flask take about 75 gm of crushed saunf.
  4. A vigorous current of steam from steam generator is passed through the round bottom flask.
  5. A part of the steam condenses in the round bottom flask. As more and more steam is passed, the steam volatile components of saunf pass through the condenser along with steam. These contents on condensation are collected in the receiver.
  6. The contents in the round bottom flask may be heated by a Bunsen burner to prevent excessive condensation of steam.
  7. The process of steam distillation is continued for about half an hour.
  8. Transfer the distillate to a separating funnel and extract with 20 ml portions of petroleum ether 3 times.
  9. Combine the petroleum ether extracts in a 250 ml conical flask and dry it with the help of anhydrous sodium sulphate.
  10. Remove the solvent from the dried filtrate by careful distillation in a water bath. The essential oil is left behind in the distillation flask.
  11. Find the weight of the extracted essential oil. Note the colour, odour and weight of the essential oil.


1.) Saunf (Aniseed):-

Weight of Saunf taken        = 100 gm

Initial Weight of the bottle = 10gm(x)

Weight of bottle + essential oil = 11.25 gm(y)

Weight of essential oil extracted =(y-x) =1.25 gm

Percentage of essential oil = (y/100)*100=1.25 %

Colour of the oil    = Colourless

Odour of the oil = Saunf like smell.

2.) Ajwain (Carum):-

Weight of Saunf taken        = 75 gm

Initial Weight of the bottle = 10 gm(x)

Weight of bottle + essential oil = 11 gm(y)

Weight of essential oil extracted =(y-x) =1 gm

Percentage of essential oil = (y/75)*100=1.33%

Colour of the oil    = Colourless

Odour of the oil = Ajwain like smell.


  • Comprehensive Chemistry Practical Class-XII.

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Saturated Solutions Measuring Solubility – Chemistry Project


S.No. Contents II Page No.
I. Objective 4
II. Introduction 4
III. Materials And Equipments 8
IV. Experimental Procedure 9
V. Observation 10
VI. Conclusion 11
VII. Precaution 12
VIII. Bibliography 13


The goal of this project is to measure the solubilities of some common chemicals:

  • Table salt (NaCl)
  • Epsom salts (MgSO4)
  • sugar (sucrose, C12H22O11).


A good part of the substances we deal with in daily life, such as milk, gasoline, shampoo, wood, steel and air are mixtures. When the mixture is homogenous, that is to say, when its components are intermingled evenly, it is called a solution. There are various types of solutions, and these can be categorized by state (gas, liquid, or solid).

The chart below gives some examples of solutions in different states. Many essential chemical reactions and natural processes occur in liquid solutions, particularly those containing water (aqueous solutions) because so many things dissolve in water. In fact, water is sometimes referred to as the universal solvent. The electrical charges in water molecules help dissolve different kinds of substances. Solutions form when the force of attraction between solute and solvent is greater than the force of attraction between the particles in the solute.

Two examples of such important processes are the uptake of nutrients by plants, and the chemical weathering of minerals. Chemical weathering begins to take place when carbon dioxide in the air dissolves in rainwater. A solution called carbonic acid is formed. The process is then completed as the acidic water seeps into rocks and dissolves underground limestone deposits.
Sometimes, the dissolving of soluble minerals in rocks can even lead to the formation of caves.

If one takes a moment to consider aqueous solutions, one quickly observes that they exhibit many interesting properties. For example, the tap water in your kitchen sink does not freeze at exactly 0°C. This is because tap water is not pure water; it contains dissolved solutes. Some tap water, commonly known as hard water, contains mineral solutes such as calcium carbonate, magnesium sulphate, calcium chloride, and iron sulphate. Another interesting solution property is exhibited with salt and ice.

Another example comes from the fact that salt is spread on ice collected on roads in winters. When the ice begins to melt, the salt dissolves in the water and forms salt water. The reason is that with the addition of salt the melting point of water increases and as a result the snow melts away faster.

Even some organisms have evolved to survive freezing water temperatures with natural “antifreeze.” Certain arctic fish have blood containing a high concentration of a specific protein. This protein behaves like a solute in a solution and lowers the freezing point of the blood. Going to the other end of the spectrum, one can also observe that the boiling point of a solution is affected by the addition of a solute. These two properties, namely freezing-point depression and boiling-point elevation, are called colligative properties (properties that depend on the number of molecules, but not on their chemical nature).

Basic Concepts

A saturated solution is a mixture in which no more solute can be practically dissolved in a solvent at a given temperature. It is said practical because theoretically infinite amount of solute can be added to a solvent, but after a certain limit the earlier dissolved solute particles start rearranging and come out at a constant rate. Hence overall it appears that no solute is dissolved after a given amount of solute is dissolved. This is known as a saturated solution.

In an unsaturated solution, if solute is dissolved in a solvent the solute particles dissociate and mix with the solvent without the re-arrangement of earlier dissolved solute particles.

Solubility depends on various factors like the Ksp of the salt, bond strength between the cation and anion, covalency of the bond, extent of inter and intramolecular hydrogen bonding, polarity, dipole moment etc. Out of these the concepts of H-bonding, covalency , ionic bond strength and polarity play a major role if water is taken as a solvent.

Also physical conditions like temperature and pressure also play very important roles as they affect the kinetic energy of the molecules.

Materials and Equipment

To do this experiment following materials and equipment are required:

  • Distilled water
  • Metric liquid measuring cup (or graduated cylinder)
  • Three clean glass jars or beakers
  • Non-iodized table salt (NaCl)
  • Epsom salts (MgSO4)
  • Sugar (sucrose, C12H22O11)
  • Disposable plastic spoons
  • Thermometer
  • Three shallow plates or saucers
  • Oven
  • Electronic kitchen balance (accurate to 0.1 g)

Experimental Procedure

Determining Solubility

1. Measure 100 mL of distilled water and pour into a clean, empty beaker or jar.

2. Use the kitchen balance to weigh out the suggested amount (see below) of the solute to be tested.

a.   50 g Non-iodized table salt (NaCl)

b.    50 g Epsom salts (MgSO4)

c.   250 g Sugar (sucrose, C12H22O11)

3. Add a small amount of the solute to the water and stir with a clean disposable spoon until dissolved.

4. Repeat this process, always adding a small amount until the solute will no longer dissolve.

5. Weigh the amount of solute remaining to determine how much was added to the solution.

6. Try and add more solute at the same temperature and observe changes if any.

7. Now heat the solutions and add more solute to the solutions.


Salt Amount of salt dissolved in 100mL water to make saturated solution. Moles dissolved
NaCl (Non-iodized 36.8 grams 0.7
common salt)
MgSO4 32.7 grams 0.255
C12H22O11 (sucrose) 51.3 grams 0.15

Adding more solute at the same temperature to the saturated solutions yielded no significant changes in NaCl and Epsom salt. However, at all temperatures the saturation point of sucrose could not be obtained exactly as due to the large size of the molecule the solution became thick and refraction was more prominent. Neglecting this observation in the room for error, the experiments agreed with the theory.

Adding more solute to heated solutions increased the solubility in all the 3 cases. The largest increase was shown by NaCl, followed by Epsom salt and sucrose. These facts too agreed with the theory as at high temperatures the kinetic energy of molecules increases and the collisions are more effective.


The solubility of NaCl is the highest as it an ionic salt and easily dissociates in water. Also since the size of both the cation and

anion are small, the collisions are more and hence the probability of dissociation is high. The solubility of MgSO4 is also high as it is also an ionic salt, but due to a larger anion, collisions are not

very effective. The solubility of C12H22O11 is the least as it a very large molecule due to which hydrogen bonding with the water

molecules is not very effective. Also due to the large number of carbon and oxygen atoms, inter molecular H-bonding is more dominant than intramolecular H-bonding.


  1. While adding the solute to the solvent, the solution should be stirred slowly so as to avoid the formation of any globules.
  2. Stirring should not be vigorous as the kinetic energy of the molecules might change due to which solubility can increase.
  3. While stirring, contact with the walls of the container should be avoided as with every collision, an impulse is generated which makes the dissolved solute particles rearrange themselves. As a result solubility can decrease.
  4. The temperature while conducting all the three experiments should be approximately same.
  5. Epsom salt should be first dried in order to remove the water of crystallization (MgSO4.7H2O).



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