The Tiger King – English Notes – Class XII

You can grab notes for other chapters from here.

Q1: Why do you think, the author goes into a detailed identification of the Tiger King through a variety of titles?

Ans No intention of praising the king-immediately after addressing the king with a variety of titles, he brings an anti-climax by telling his readers that his name is shortened to the Tiger King.

Q2: Why does the author introduce the supernatural element in the story and makes the child of ten days speak?

Ans to impress the readers that the prince is a prodigious child and has extraordinary powers.; strange ending tells that destiny is all powerful and inevitable

Q3: Do you think that the author has faith in astrology? Give reasons.

Ans King’s death through a tiger shows author’s faith-state astrologer believes that the `hour of the bull’ Tauras , and the sign under which the prince is born &tiger (Leo)are inimical towards each other.

Q4: What traits of the Maharaja & the British officer are exposed & satirized through the episode of the refusal of permission for tiger hunt by the British officer?

Ans: Maharaja was willful, obstinate, adamant- had a false sense of honour – unreasonable –lack of understanding- lacks practical approach – sacrifice diamonds to preserve his throne.

Q5: Would it be proper to call the Maharaja ‘penny wise, pound foolish’. Give reason.

Ans: Maharaja insists on restricting tiger killing to himself – unwilling to comprehensive – not allowed any other person be even photographed with a dead tiger – send a gift of 50 diamond rings to British officer’s good lady to placate injured feelings of the man & to retain his kingdom.

Q6: ‘______an unforeseen hurdle brought his mission to a standstill’. What was the mission & how did it stop? What do you find amusing in the reasons justifying the hurdle?

Ans: Mission was to shoot 100 tigers- tiger population became extinct – the tigers practised birth control or committed suicide- might have run away from the state.

Q7: Do you agree with the Maharaja’s statement, “you may kill even a cow in self –defence”. Did the king kill tigers purely in self- defence?

Ans: Maharaja did not kill the cow in self defence-killed with the express intention of proving the state astrologer prediction wrong which is unreasonable & illogical.

Q8: comment briefly on the relations between the king & his subjects citing the instances from the story.

Ans: No love between the king & his subjects – king was whimsical & did not care for the welfare of his subjects – most of the officers were not loyal – were cowards & obeyed him only out of fear – e.g hunters decision to hide the truth –dewan letting loose an old tiger in the forest for the king to hunt.

Q9: What moral lesson does the astrologer give to the 100th tiger? What is the significance of the 100th tiger?

Ans: There is a limit to commit a sin. The king’s cup of sin was full to the brim with the death of the 99 tigers & the death of the 100th would be catastrophic & the king’s death would be inevitable.

Q10: The story is a satire on the conceit of those in power. How does the author use dramatic irony in the chapter?

Ans: Dramatic irony- Through this, the author satirises the power of the kings who always expected an affirmative answer from all & whose whims & fancies were the law for the subjects. Their eccentric behaviour leads to catastrophe not only for their subjects but also for other living beings.

Eg:- a)After killing the first tiger the king considers himself powerful but is warned of the 100th tiger.

b)The prophecy at the time of his birth (to describe his death) is ironical as it, not anything amazing as expressed by the author.

c) We expect the baby boy to be scared of tigers after hearing the astrologers but he asks the tigers to beware of him.

d) It was not celebration time for tigers when hunting was banned in Pratibandapuram because the king could hunt them down.

e) The king’s elation at killing the 100th tiger & aiming at it carefully is ironical as he isn’t able to shoot the lamb-like tiger.

f) The king’s manner of death is also ironical.

g) The declaration by the surgeons that the operation is successful is ironical as they aren’t able to save the king.

Q11: Comment on the title. –

King crazy about tiger hunting. Use of bathos to describe his grandeur. Even marries for getting tigers to hunt. Kills 100 tigers to fulfil a vow. Dies of sliver prick of the wooden tiger. At birth warned of death by a tiger. This story revolves around tiger & king.

Q12: There is a Paradox in “the operation was successful. The Maharaja is dead” . What does the author intend to suggest it and how?

Ans: Paradox is clear- Maharaja shouldn’t have been said to be dead as the operation was successful. But the author intends to suggest humour in to make astrology triumph in this case-to satirise the obstinacy & pride of the Maharaja. They were scared to bring on record that the operation was the cause of the King’s death as they could be subjected to punishment.

Q13: What does the author want to suggest by creating humour in the story?

Ans: The hypocrisy and hollowness of those in power.

Q14: . How is the king whimsical?

Ans: because just to prove his bravery he kills 100 tigers & was ready to marry anyone( rather he just got married) so that he could complete his count of 100 tigers.

The Last Lesson – English Notes – Class XII

You can grab notes for other chapters from here.

The Last Lesson

1) What was the narrator’s great dread when he started for school & why? How did he plan to escape the scolding? What was much more tempting than the rules for participles? ‘I had the strength to resist’. What does he resist & how? What does this show about him?

Ans–Dread was of a scolding from M. Hamel who would be asking questions on participles that day & the narrator hadn’t learnt them. He felt that he would run away & spend the day out of doors as it was warm & bright outside. The chirping of the birds in the woods & the Prussian soldiers drilling in the open field was much more tempting to see & enjoy than the rules for participles. But he resisted this temptation by saying that he had strength to resist all this & hurried off to school. It shows that he had self-restrain.

2) What is the significance of the terms ‘the Prussian soldiers were drilling’, ‘draft’, ‘lost battles’?

Ans–They all remind of the Prussian invasion of France & the soldiers were getting military exercises in & around the town to highlight the loss of political freedom & force their presence on the people of Alsace. ‘Draft’ is a scheme or a written version of a speech or document enforcing compulsory military service for the people of Alsace by joining the Prussian army. ‘Lost battles’ are the wars they have lost against the Prussian army. All these terms highlight the grim atmosphere of the war.

3) The school child’s plight is similar to the condition of the soldiers drilling. Comment.

Ans–The child’s wanting to run away is a symbol of his love for freedom like other children but like the soldiers, he too is bound to the system. He like the soldiers can’t break free whether he likes his school or not.

4) Who was Wachter? What is the significance of his comment “You’ll get to your school in plenty of time”?

Ans– He was a blacksmith who stood with other people & his apprentice reading the bulletin board & commented thus in response to the order he had read which barred the teaching of French in schools. Franz did not understand the significance of his words & thought that he was making fun of him as he was hurrying to school for being late so that he could escape a scolding from M. Hamel.

5) Usually, when school began, there was a great bustle. Comment. ‘Now it was all so still!’ Explain. What does he refer to? Why was it like a Sunday morning? ‘The whole school seemed strange & solemn.’ Why? How?

Ans– When school began the bustle could be heard in the street. The sound of the opening & closing of desks, lessons repeated in unison loudly & the teacher’s ruler rapping on the table could be heard daily. But today all was still. It was like a quiet Sunday morning as through the window he saw his classmates sitting in their places, M. Hamel walking up & down with his ruler under his arm & the atmosphere was tense & grim.

6) How was the commotion significant for Franz? What had he counted on & why? Why did he blush & feel frightened? The narrator’s plan to enter school unnoticed was foiled. How?

Ans– The narrator was late to school & wanted to enter the class during the bustle to escape being noticed so that he would not be scolded by M. Hamel. But when he entered, the school atmosphere was so still & silent that he felt frightened & blushed to enter the class by opening the door in front of everybody.

7) ‘But nothing happened’. What had Franz expected to happen? How did M. Hamel behave & appear different from other days?

Ans–The statement is ironical as Franz had expected to be scolded by M. Hamel for being late to school and not learning the rules of participles, but he talked to him very kindly & asked him to take his seat quickly as they were beginning with their lesson. He saw that the usually vacant back benches were occupied by the village elders. After he got over his fright he saw that his teacher was dressed differently as he did on inspection or prize days. He wore his beautiful green coat, frilled shirt & little black embroidered silk cap. He was surprised as it was not a special day & yet there were so many changes in the school & teacher’s behaviour & appearance.

8) What surprised Franz most in the class? Comment on the significance of ‘Everybody looked sad’. Who & why?

Ans– On the back benches that were always empty, he found villagers like old Hauser, the former mayor, the former postmaster & many others sitting. They had brought old primers & held them open ready for them to read. They all looked sad because it was the last French class & lesson they were attending according to orders from Berlin & they all realized their mistake of postponing the learning of French till now & the lack of political freedom & identity they would face from the next day.

9) What did M. Hamel announce mounting his chair? Which words were a thunderclap for the narrator & why? Whom does he call ‘wretches’ & why?

Ans– The announcement of M. Hamel was a thunderclap when he said that an order had come from Berlin to teach German in the schools of Alsace & Lorraine & the new master would arrive the next day. He requested everyone to be attentive as it was their last French lesson. Franz calls the Germans as ‘wretches’ who had put up this order on the bulletin board of the town hall.

10) Explain the significance of Franz’s comment “My last French lesson”. What was his reaction to hearing M. Hamel’s announcement? ‘Absence or parting from something can make us realize its worth’. Comment. ‘Dire situations turn out to be lessons in life’. Comment. How is Franz’s reaction ironical?

Ans– After the announcement, he realizes & regrets the fact that he hadn’t given any importance to the learning of his mother tongue & now had to part with it forever. Regrets – He hardly knew how to write. He didn’t learn his lessons wasting his time seeking birds’ eggs or going sliding on the sear. His books that seemed a nuisance & heavy load ( like books on grammar, history of saints) now seemed to be old friends whom he couldn’t give up. Mr Hamel who seemed to be cranky with his ruler was now someone important for Franz. He had hated things till now but parting from them changed his feelings, which is ironical.

11) What looked like flags & what is the significance of the term ‘flag’ & the words written on the new copies? Explain the significance of ‘will they make the pigeons also sing in German?’

Ans–The new copies which M. Hamel had brought for the students for a lesson in writing with ‘France, Alsace, France, Alsace,’ written on them looked like little flags floating everywhere in the school- room. These words & the term ‘flags’ highlight the sense of nationality & patriotism & the sadness at being deprived of political freedom & identity. The significance of ‘Will———- German?’ is to show the plight of the people who were free as pigeons (which is a symbol of freedom) but are now forced under Prussian dictatorship. They are forced to suffer under linguistic chauvinism where German instead of French would be compulsory for them.

12) How does the theme of The last lesson by Alphonse Daudet relate to the subject of language and culture?

Answer: Alphonse Daudet’s ‘The Last Lesson’ very prominently raises the question of the linguistic and cultural hegemony of the colonial and imperial powers and their lust for controlling the world and influencing their cultures and identities.

The Last Lesson raises the burning question very innocently through the words of little Franz that “Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons?” This raises the question of immorality of imposing imperial (royal/colonial) languages and cultures on the colonies. The child questions that when even the birds and animals can’t be forced to abandon their language and speak other languages then what forces the man to think that it would be a prudent force for other human beings to forcibly accept any language other than theirs.

The language of a country is not only a medium of communication for the people but also the link for identity, once the native language is snatched away from the people. It’s not only the loss of convenient communicating medium but also the loss of identity for people for what they have been and what they might become.

When a small child like Franz can think of the irrationality behind snatching away the right of language and identity from people then why can’t the warlords and colonizers understand the fact?

Justify the title – ‘Last Lesson’

The story ‘The Last Lesson’ highlights the human tendency that there is plenty of time to do things and hence man keeps postponing the lessons of life, oblivious to the fact that life is subject to change. The people of Alsace always thought they have plenty of time to learn the lesson and so did not give much importance to the school. They preferred their children to work on the farms and mills instead of having them learn the lessons. Even Franz the narrator always looked for opportunities to skip the school to collect birds’ eggs. However the unexpected happens and the order is received from Berlin regarding the teaching of German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. It is then that they realize that what they had been evading all this while will now be deprived to  them.

The last French lesson taught by M. Hamel symbolizes the loss of language and the loss of freedom of France. It becomes an emotional lesson rendered by M. Hamel to the villagers signifying the changing order of life, its sensibility, its emotions and rule. The marching of soldiers under the windows represents the dawn of Prussia in France and the defeat of the French people, its language and culture.

The story is aptly titled as it evokes a consciousness in the reader not to put off the things that he can do that day. M. Hamel’s bold ‘Long live France’ on the blackboard becomes an emotional evidence of his sadness, patriotism and finality that is reflected in his motionless posture, his fixed gaze on things in the classroom and his eventual words- ‘School is dismissed – You may go’.

Keeping Quiet -English Notes – Class XII

You can grab notes for other chapters from here.

Summary of the poem:

In this poem, the poet has emphasized the need to introspect and bring in the spirit of brotherhood among the people of the world. He wants people to stop talking and stop all movements symbolizing agitation and restlessness till he counts twelve, that is, a short period of time. These moments of silence would be strange and exotic because in our mundane life we are working towards selfish goals, regardless of the other’ requirements and emotions. Hence, this sudden silence would give us an opportunity to introspect. Since we would not speak for a while, barriers between communities would break and a sense of brotherhood would prevail. Man would get an opportunity to realize how he is destroying nature and how he is harming himself. Futile wars against men and nature would be arrested and a new feeling of unity would be experienced. The poet does not want his desire for inactivity to be misunderstood as a state of uselessness. He wants men to learn a lesson from the Earth. The Earth appears to be inactive yet it is selflessly productive. Men too could be productive and progressive without any aggression, selfishness and the urge for destruction.

Q1. Why does the poet advocate silence ?

Ans -The poet advocates silence so that we can get time for introspection. There is a mad rush in the world today. Confusion, tension and stress prevail everywhere. Relaxation is lacking in the world. The poet says us to keep quiet and introspect ourselves so that we can be freed from worldly maladies.

Q2. What is significant about “twelve” in the poem?

Ans. There are twenty-four hours in a day in all, with twelve hours for a half a day. The hours are numbered from one to twelve for both the ante meridiem (a.m.) half of the day and the post meridiem (p.m.) half of the day. 12:00 after a.m. and before p.m. (in the middle of the day) is midday or noon, and 12:00 after p.m. and before a.m. (in the middle of the night) is midnight. A new day is considered to start with the stroke of midnight. Furthermore, the basic units of time (60 seconds, 60 minutes, and 24 hours) can all perfectly divide by twelve.

In scripture, we find twelve associated with  rules. The sun which rules the day and the moon and stars which govern the night move through the twelve signs of the zodiac. The zodiac resides in the great circle of the heavens, which is itself 360 degrees (= 30 x 12).

The Heavenly City of Revelations has twelve gates with the names of the twelve tribes on them. Twelve angels stand at the gates; the walls have twelve foundations garnished with twelve precious stones and in them the names of the twelve apostles. The city is twelve thousand furlongs square, and the twelve gates are twelve pearls. The number twelve is used here symbolically of God’s perfect government.

The importance of 12 in Judaism and Christianity can be found in the Bible. The Twelfth chapter of the Bible starts with God calling Abram to come out of the land he was living in and go where God would tell him. This is the beginning of God’s plan to call out a nation unto him, that would be ruled by God and be a testimony to all the nations of the earth of the one true God. Here we can see the link between perfect government and the number twelve.

There are 12 days of Christmas. Most calendar systems have twelve months in a year. At twelve, the hands of a clock are one. It is Oneness that the poem calls for. Count the letters in the title “Keeping Quiet”, there are twelve. Or, the poet may have used ‘twelve’ for no reason.

Q3. what does the poet advocate to do to create feelings of mutual understanding and unity among human beings ?

Ans. Here the poet is encouraging a unified movement among people, with no discrimination based on race or language. This would be a mass movement for the first time on the face of the earth, and would greatly enhance unity. Let us stop for a moment and not move our hands so much in violence i.e. Let us not fight and argue so much.

Q4.who are those who prepare green wars’ here? What would they do when they introspect for a few moments?

Ans. Those who prepare green wars’ are the people engaged in researching new methods Of warfare like biological weapons eg, nerve gas. They aim at getting the victory even if the entire humanity is wiped out. When they keep quiet they would realize a newness of life. They would put on new clothes and crave for meeting and harmonize with their fellow brothers.

Q5. what does the poet actually mean by keeping quiet when he says that it should not be confused with total inactivity?

Ans. The poet cautions the reader that keeping quiet does not mean total inactivity or resignation to or negation of life. Actually, he means that life, as it happens, should be lived with full involvement, both physically and spiritually. This is clear in his saying ‘ I want no truck with death’.

Q6.what importance does the poet give to The Earth, when he says that it can teach us an essential meaning of life?

Ans. The poet says that when everything seems dead on the surface of the earth, there pulsates and throbs life underneath. It means that the earth should be seen and realized in the right perspective. Keeping still for some time opens up its mysteries when we introspect ourselves vis-à-vis of the earth.

Title – Conveys Neruda’s philosophy of an exotic moment of silence & inactivity which can be an antidote to war, violence, hatred & exploitation. It emphasizes the necessity of quiet introspection creating a feeling of mutual understanding among human beings.

Theme – The poet gives a clarion call for introspection. He highlights how rush, hurry & developments have caused much chaos & man needs to take a pause, a silent moment when he can introspect & create a feeling of mutual understanding among human beings. Stillness here doesn’t mean inactivity because that would mean death. Lost in the rush man has become sad as he is unable to understand himself & others. So a long silence can soothe our feelings removing this sadness.

Stanza 1) ‘Now——-still’-

The poet begins on an exercise of meditation & introspection. He says that till we count twelve, let’s remain still, motionless, quiet as too much rush, activity & development have brought chaos & misfortune & lack of understanding among mankind. So it is better to remain quiet and still.

Stanza 2) ‘For once——-so much’-

The stanza is a call for introspection for human beings who have divided themselves on the basis of race, language & nationalities. The poet says that at least once on the surface of earth let’s not speak in any language because the language has been made as an issue of dispute. People need excuses to fight among themselves by indulging in reasoning disputes & quarrels among themselves. So it is better not to speak in any language. Let’s stop all activities (arms) for a second including weapons to kill & destroy. A pun is used in ‘arm’ which also means weapons. The stanza shows poet’s belief in pacifism (that is a belief that war is wrong & useless for everyone). Development of arms is leading to more destruction.

Stanza 3) ‘It——-strangeness’-

The moment without activity, hurry, spoken words, no movement of arms would be a still moment without even machines & their noise. This silent moment would be an unusual & attractive moment which would not only be unfamiliar but would be enjoyed together by all. In this moment one can experience the strength of togetherness, a sudden strange relationship to which humanity binds itself. Engines are a symbol of civilization & scientific developments which are crushing humane feelings still & introspect the matter. So he wants a world devoid of machines, without rush which is taking away one man from another & increasing greed, violence & chaos in the world.

Stanza 4) ‘Fishermen——-hands’-

‘Fishermen’ here symbolize man’s indiscriminate exploitation of nature for his vested interests. The poet here takes up the global issue of conservation of the aquatic species like whales in the poles & asks fishermen not to harm them. In the last 2 lines through the man gathering salt, he shows that man is so lost in acquiring from nature for a monetary benefit that while getting it he is not bothered about causing harm to himself or others due to this. Poet creates the image of man’s incessant suffering in his efforts to add comforts to his life. He wants a man to get some time from his hectic schedule to reflect at the pain & harm his task has caused to himself & others.

Stanza 5) ‘Those——-doing nothing’-

This stanza supports the poet’s pacifist views as he advises the war mongers to stop such wars against environment & nature (like cutting trees, hunting, poaching, killing aquatic species), wars using poisonous gases & firearms & napalm firebombs because even if they win, the victory would not be enjoyed, as there wouldn’t be any survivors after the war. Rather these war mongers should understand that during peace people are friends & the same become enemies during war. So they should put on their best dresses & go out in the lap of nature with their fellow human beings for a walk. Nature’s company would add a soothing touch to make & enhance the feelings of understanding between human beings & this can be possible only when activity is ceased & introspection is done in the company of nature in silence.

Stanza 6) ‘What I——–death’-

The poet doesn’t want us to misunderstand him as advocating inactivity because by silence he doesn’t mean inactivity which leads to death, degeneration, stagnancy. He wants life or himself to have no association with death because life is about activity, it is an ongoing process. By silence he only means a temporary pause, break or rest from the hurry & rush in life. If we stop focusing on just how to keep our lives moving & could take short intervals in between, then the huge silence would be beneficial for us to interrupt in the sadness caused in man for not being able to understand himself & others & would stop the fear of being threatened with death due to the wars & greed rising by the increase in the machines in the world which has created a rush everywhere.

Stanza 7 & 8) ‘Perhaps——–will go’-

Earth can teach a lesson to mankind. The earth is a symbol of life under apparent stillness. When everything seems dead, the earth remains alive. The never-ending cycle of birth, growth & death goes on in silence teaching man that silence is fruitful & doesn’t mean inactivity. Similarly, evil thoughts can be brought to an end & a new life of peace & tranquillity can be revived. He then brings an end to this session of meditation instructing man to keep quiet & leaves him in deep introspection.

Key Points –

a) The poem is a didactic poem as it teaches a lesson to man to take a break from some routine tasks for a while & indulge in deep introspection for better understanding among human beings.

b) The poem is a nature poem as nature is glorified in the poem as man is urged to learn that birth, growth & death go on in silence in nature & yet no significant activity can be observed, proving the significance of silence.

c) The poem is an antiwar poem as it highlights the poet’s pacifist views when it says that victory in these wars can’t be enjoyed as there wouldn’t be any survivors & he gives a clarion call to warmongers to stop all wars against nature & each other.

d) On what note does the poet conclude the poem? – On a serene & pious note leaving the listeners in an ecstatic & exotic moment of peace. He once again counts up to 12 & asks everyone to be quiet & enjoy the bliss of silence.

e) What is the significance of ‘counting up to 12’? – Commencement of the session of introspection & meditation. When stressed out or in dilemma, the best exercise is to keep quiet, calm the mind & begin counting.

f) How do you know that the poet is not an escapist? – He doesn’t escape or try to run away from the chaos machines & developments are creating. He rather tries to find a solution to the rising trend of demanding wars & not understanding other human beings by asking us to do deep introspection by remaining silent & stopping our activity for sometime.

What is significant about “twelve” in the poem?

There are twenty-four hours in a day in all, with twelve hours for a half a day. The hours are numbered from one to twelve for both the ante meridiem (a.m.) half of the day and the post meridiem (p.m.) half of the day. 12:00 after a.m. and before p.m. (in the middle of the day) is midday or noon, and 12:00 after p.m. and before a.m. (in the middle of the night) is midnight. A new day is considered to start with the stroke of midnight. Furthermore, the basic units of time (60 seconds, 60 minutes, and 24 hours) can all perfectly divide by twelve.

In scripture, we find twelve associated with the rule. The sun which rules the day and the moon and stars which govern the night move through the twelve signs of the zodiac. The zodiac resides in the great circle of the heavens, which is itself 360 degrees (= 30 x 12).

The Heavenly City of Revelations has twelve gates with the names of the twelve tribes on them. Twelve angels stand at the gates; the walls have twelve foundations garnished with twelve precious stones and in them the names of the twelve apostles. The city is twelve thousand furlongs square, and the twelve gates are twelve pearls. The number twelve is used here symbolically of God’s perfect government.

The importance of 12 in Judaism and Christianity can be found in the Bible. The Twelfth chapter of the Bible starts with God calling Abram to come out of the land he was living in and go where God would tell him. This is the beginning of God’s plan to call out a nation unto him, that would be ruled by God and be a testimony to all the nations of the earth of the one true God. Here we can see the link between perfect government and the number twelve.

There are 12 days of Christmas. Most calendar systems have twelve months in a year. At twelve, the hands of a clock are one. It is Oneness that the poem calls for. Count the letters in the title “Keeping Quiet”, there are twelve. Or, the poet may have used ‘twelve’ for no reason.

Indigo – English Notes – Class XII

You can grab notes for other chapters from here.

  • 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.

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

SUB-THEME:
Contributions made by anonymous Indians to the freedom movement.

VALUE BASED QUESTIONS (5 marks)

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

Perseverance

Patience

Integrity of character

Self-reliance

Courage

Organized

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?

Courage

Patriotism

Truth and honesty

Patriotism

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?

Courage

Being resolute

Determination

Willpower

Standing by truth and honesty

Patriotism

Empathy
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’.

Points

– 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.

Stanza-1)

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.

Stanza-2)

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.

Stanza-3)

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.

QUESTIONS WITH VALUE POINTS

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.

Comment.-

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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