Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.
(a) Name the poem and the poet.
(b) Why are we 'despondent'?
(c) What removes 'the pall from our dark spirits'?
(a) The lines have been taken from the poem 'A Thing of Beauty' by John Keats.
(b) The world we inhabit is full of melancholy, depression and despair due to the scarcity of noble souls. Our despondence is inspired by these evil and dark emotions.
(c) The poet says that even if the world is harsh to us because of the innumerable reasons that bring us gloom and depression, the sight of the beautiful bounties of nature around us inspires us and fills us with the energy to keep going. These beautiful things remove the pall from our dark spirits.
Why did Edla plead with her father not to send the vagabond away?
Edla pleaded her father not to send the vagabond away as she became sympathetic seeing the plight of the poor peddler. She requested her father to allow him to spend one day with them in peace as a respite from the struggle he had to endure round the year.
Why did Sophie long for her brother's affection?
Sophie liked her brother more than any other person in the world. She could open her heart to him. She knew that Geoff was a person who could share her dreams. She had a strong faith in him. To her, he was an ideal man. Hence, she longed for his affection.
(a) The children referred to here are those who study in an elementary school in a slum.
(b) Their world comprises of only what they are able to see from the window of their classroom. The view is full of despair where their future seems blurred. They are confined to the narrow streets of the slum, far away from the open sky and rivers.
(c) Unlike other children, the children in the slums have a future that is hopeless and it seems as if it is painted with a fog. They lack the basic necessities of life like proper food, clothing, shelter and health benefits.
What job did Saheb take up? Was he happy?
Saheb had left rag picking and he took up a job at a nearby tea-stall. He was not happy working at the tea stall because he had lost the freedom of working at his own terms. So, he lost his 'carefree look'. Even though he earned 800 rupees and all his meals, he was less contented than before.
What was the poet's childhood fear?
As a child, the poet feared losing her mother or her company.
How are Aunt Jennifer's tigers different from her?
Aunt Jennifer's tigers are proud, free, fearless and sure of themselves. Unlike them, Aunt Jennifer is terrified and oppressed by her chauvinist husband. She lived her life under constant pressure of duties and responsibilities of a married lady.
Why did the Maharaja order the dewan to double the land tax?
After hearing about disappearances of sheep, the Maharaja set out on an expedition to find the hundredth tiger, which was supposed to be the reason for all this. However, the tiger could not be found. In his rage, the Maharaja ordered the dewan to double the land tax.
Why were the elders of the village sitting in the classroom?
The elders of the village were sitting in the classroom to attend the last French lesson by M. Hamel. They realised the worth of their native language when they came to know that they had lost it. They were there to pay their tribute to the language and respect to M. Hamel.
What is the sadness the poet refers to in the poem 'Keeping Quiet'?
The poet talks about the ‘sadness’ which is related to the human’s ceaseless activity and moving towards his own ruin on account of his unanalyzed actions. He regrets the rush of outdoing others that has made one forget the values of humanity.