Saturday 28 March 2020

Important questions for class 10 English CBSE

Important Question Answers for class X CBSE Board Examinations

Class 10

English Literature
(First Flight)

Q. Who does Lencho think has taken the rest of the money? What is irony in the situation?

A. Lencho thinks that post office employees have taken the rest of the money. He demanded hundred pesos from God and received only seventy pesos. He cannot doubt God and, is certain that God must have given full amount and post office employees have stolen the rest of his money.

It is very ironical that the people who should be praised and awarded for their charitable spirit and self-sacrificing nature are being abused, distrusted and condemned. We, as readers feel unable to decide whether to laugh at the innocence and foolishness of Lencho or feel sorry at the sad state of goodness being abused.

A Letter to God

Q. A simple moment proves to be very significant and saves the rest of the day of the poet from being wasted. Explain the statement on the basis of the poem 'Dust Of Snow'.

Ans. The poet is so much buried in his sorrow that he fails to see the glistening and bright snow which is the symbol of brightness, beauty, peace and positivity in life. A crow is presented to be an ominous bird bringing bad news and hemlock tree is presented as the symbol of death, dejection and disappointment in the poem. The poet failed to see that smallest particles of snow could cover the entire hemlock tree and its negativity. When the dust of snow falls on the shoulder of sad poet, it is like a lightening among the dark clouds, a big hope in his sad phase of life. Thus, the poet proved that even very insignificant things like small particles of snow and the ominous and negative things like crow and hemlock can also be the instruments to bring cheer and positivity in life if we have right perspective and positive frame of mind. He teaches us to inculcate positive attitude and optimistic outlook in life. No matter however dark phase we are going through, even a small hope can help us come out of the difficult time. It is rightly said that 'even a small stick is a great hope for a drowning man'.

Dust of Snow

Q. How has the poet used the dust of snow and crow as the symbols to steer clear of the stereotypes? How can positive attitude turn a problem into an opportunity and make the world a better place to live in?

Ans. Robert Frost condemns stereotypes which are fixed beliefs as they are not healthy for our belief system.  For example crow is considered to be an ominous bird bringing bad news and hemlock tree is the symbol of death. The poet is so much engrossed in his sad thoughts that he fails to see the glistening and bright snow which is like a lightening among the dark clouds. But poet proved that the insignificant things like crow and snow can bring significant changes in our life. They can be the instruments to bring cheer and positivity in life if we have right perspective and positive frame of mind. He exhorts us to open our mind and see the worth of things however small or insignificant they are.

Q. What is the underlying message of the poem ‘Dust of Snow’?

Ans. Sometimes, seemingly insignificant natural things or events do bring about a great change in our life. It depends on our perspective and the way we look at the things. However difficult phase of life we may be going through, there is always a ray of hope that the things will change. Even the darkest cloud has a silver lining in it. The message is clear enough that we need to have an optimistic outlook and positive frame of mind. 

Q. There are many ideas about how the world would end. What does the poet think? Do you agree?

Ans. Two contrasting ideas are discussed in the poem about how the world would end. According to one belief the world would by destroyed by fire or excessive heat while the other one predicts that the world would end due to extreme cold or freezing of everything. The poet presents these two ideas metaphorically and believes that either man’s selfish desires, greed and longingness would be the reason for the end of this world or his hatred for his fellow beings would be sufficient to end this world. I completely agree with the poet as in the present time man’s selfishness, greed, insensitivity, cruelty and hatred have crossed all the limits.

Q. What is the rhyme scheme of the poem? How does it help in bringing out the contrasting ideas in the poem?

Ans. The rhyme scheme of the poem is abaabcbcb. Through this rhyme scheme the two contrasting ideas behind the destruction of the world by ‘fire’ or ‘ice’ are presented very artistically. If we closely see the rhyme scheme, the first idea is discussed using the ‘ire’ words, (fire and desire) which are denoted by A. The second idea behind the destruction of the world is discussed using the words related to 'ice' and 'hate' and they are denoted by B and C in the rhyme scheme. Hence, two contrasting ideas are very beautifully separated through rhyming scheme.

Q. ‘Depths of oppression create heights of character’ Illustrate.

A. Yes it is so true that ‘Depths of oppression create heights of character’. The height and greatness of our character are tested in the hot fires of adversity, struggles or oppression. A person who is great to the core never surrenders to injustice and oppression but survives to see the golden dawn of freedom and justice after the darkness of oppression. Nelson Mandela illustrates this statement by giving the examples of Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and many other freedom fighters and revolutionary leaders. 

Long Walk to Freedom

Q. How can you say 10th May is ‘an autumn day’ in South Africa?

Ans. 10th May is 'an autumn day' because South Africa lies in southern hemisphere, hence, experiences autumn season in the month of March and last till June. In autumn season the trees shed their leaves and new ones come. It is a metaphor as old order was changing in South Africa when the British rule ended up and a non-racial and Democratic government was established. It is symbolic and metaphorical presentation of a political change establishing that ‘Change is the law of nature’.

Q. ‘Fear and lack of self-confidence stop one from learning new things’. Do you agree?

A. Definitely, I do agree that ‘Fear and lack of confidence stop one from learning new things as it happened with the young seagull. It wanted to fly but was afraid of falling. The fear of falling stopped it from even making an attempt. Moreover, it didn’t have faith and confidence on its wings. It thought that its wings won’t support it during its attempt to fly. Its fear of falling and lack of confidence stopped the young seagull from making an attempt to fly. Same is the case with all living creatures and even human beings. Out of fear and due to lack of faith in ourselves we don’t try out new things and get lost in the crowd. Hence, fear is the only thing that we should be afraid of.

Q. Why did the narrator decide to take risk? What was his driving force?

Ans. The narrator decided to take risk as he had confidence on himself. He also wanted to have English breakfast and enjoy his holidays with family.  Initially he got nervous to see the dark clouds and thought to go back to Paris but his desire to spend time with his family motivated him. He mustered courage and decided to take risk and steered through the stormy clouds. His confidence on his ability and trust in Providence helped him reach his destination.

His First Flight

Q. What is the significance of repetition of the words ‘quiet’ and ‘brilliant’ in the poem?

Ans. Through the repetition of the two words ‘quiet’ in first stanza and ‘brilliant’ in the last stanza the poet wants to make a stark contrast between the tiger in cage and the tiger in jungle. First ‘quiet’ portrays tiger’s noiseless soles which are soft like velvet and apt for hunting. The second ‘quiet’ pictures grief and anger of a tiger but his anger is suppressed and controlled as he is not free and can’t show his anger. First ‘brilliant’ refers to stars shining brightly in the open sky and the second ‘brilliant’ refers to tiger’s sad and helpless eyes that are twinkling with the hope of living a free life again. Thus, the repetition conveys two contrary conditions of a tiger. Through this repetition the poet tries to highlight that the tiger in the zoo is not free but has every right to live freely.

Video on Black Aeroplane

Q. “Freedom is everyone’s birth right”. How does the poet convey this message through the poem?

Ans. Not only humans but the animals too, require freedom and cherish it in their life, and freedom can’t be bargained at any cost. The tiger may be well fed and protected in the zoo. However, he can’t stay happy until or unless he is free to live, hunt and run under the open sky. He is in quiet rage and longs for freedom. He is sad being in a cage and that too, he can’t express. He would have been a tiger in true sense if he had been free in jungle and live the way God has created him.

Tiger in the Zoo

Q. What does the poet want to convey through the poem ‘The ball Poem’?

Ans.  John Berryman wants to convey the significance of loss in our life. He teaches how to cope up with the loss. Experiencing loss helps to grow up and face hardships. The poet makes the boy understand his responsibility when he loses his ball as the loss is inevitable. One needs to accept the loss as a part of life no matter how much it hurts. Life must go on. Life is to be lived and not wasted mourning over the loss which is past and clinging to something that is lost just like the boy who was trembling with grief when his ball went in water. He felt that all his childhood memories were lost. But the poet wants the boy to learn the epistemology of loss and understand that the past is gone and, will never come back. Staying strong is the only way to survive. Hence, it is important for everyone to experience loss, to stand up after it and to get on with life.

Q. What does the poet mean when he says, “Money is external”?

Ans. In ‘The Ball poem’ Money is termed as ‘external in terms of the Loss which is immaterial. Money is external as it cannot buy memories, happiness, love and other emotional attachments. It can buy materials such as toys, gifts, houses, vehicles, etc. It can’t buy lost childhood, lost memories, lost relations, nor can it replace the things that we love and the things that really matter in our life. If such things are lost, they can’t be bought back. Money is external to such losses.

The Ball Poem

Q. How does Wanda feel about the dresses game? Why does she say that she has a hundred dresses?

A. When Peggy and other girls teased Wanda by playing dresses game, Wanda didn’t reveal any feelings on her face. But, she must have felt embarrassed and humiliated as she was poor but she maintained her calm and remained silent. She was bullied again and again due to her faded blue dress which was a mark of her poverty. The girls asked, ‘How many dresses did she have’? To avoid their bullies and make them quiet she said that she had hundred dresses. As she was a self-respecting and talented girl, she drew hundred beautiful dresses to prove herself right.

Q. Maddie thought that her silence was as bad as Peggy’s behaviour. Was she right? What do you think about it?

A. Yes, Maddie was right to think that her silence was as bad as Peggy’s behaviour. She could have stopped Peggy and saved Wanda from humiliation. If we feel bad about any injustice being done to anyone and don’t do anything to stop it or don’t even express our displeasure about it, we are equally responsible for that injustice. On the contrary, we are worse than the one involved in injustice because the other person may not have the sensibility and sensitivity to realise what he/she is doing, but we even after realising the gravity of issue don’t do anything to stop it, that’s why our passivity in such case is worse.  

Q. What important decision did Maddie take? Why did she have to think hard to do so?

Ans. Maddie decided not to stand by and remain silent to see the injustice or bullying being done to anyone or people like Wanda but speak against it. She had to think hard to do so as she might displease her friend Peggy and lose her friendship in doing so. She also had to gather lot of courage to do so as she wasn’t habitual of such bravery. She had been by the side of Peggy thinking she might be bullied for her borrowed clothes. She, being a poor girl might be an object of such bullies, too. 

Q. “A mother is the child’s first school”. How far is Amanda’s mother true to this statement?

Ans. Amanda's mother also serves as her first school, but in different sense. She is depicted as a strict and critical figure who is always correcting Amanda's behaviour, from her posture and habits to her academic performance and personal hygiene. While her intentions may be good, her methods are shown to be ineffective, and in some cases, harmful. By constantly nit-picking Amanda's behaviour, her mother creates an atmosphere of tension and anxiety, which only serves to make Amanda feel worse about herself. This also causes Amanda to feel like being misunderstood, leading her to seek solace in imaginary worlds and fantasies. The methods of Amanda's mother do not come across as conducive to achieving this goal. Rather than focusing on Amanda's strengths and encouraging her to develop them, she highlights her weaknesses and shortcomings. Amanda is thus, left feeling undervalued, which could have a negative impact on her self-esteem and mental health. A mother is not only to teach and correct but also to understand and support and Amanda’s mother fails in doing so.

Q. Was Anne right when she said, “The world may not be interested in the musings of a 13 years old.”

Ans. No, Anne was not right when she said that "The world may not be interested in the musings of a 13 years old.” She thought nobody would be interested about her views and feelings recorded in diary but she was wrong in her speculations as we all saw that the whole world gave a wonderful response to her diary and even now people are interested to buy and read the book. The book is widely read in the entire world and has been one of the best sellers. It has been translated into many languages, even included as curriculum across the world.

Video on Diary of Anne Frank

Q. ‘India is a perfect picture of unity in diversity’. How does the chapter ‘Glimpses of India’ reflect the perfect picture of India which loves to assimilate foreign cultures and welcome other countries’ traditions?

Ans. India is diverse and rich in terms of culture and traditions because it loves to welcome and assimilate foreign cultures and traditions. It followed and accepted the culture of bread baking from Portuguese, followed the practice of tea plantations in Assam and coffee estates in Coorg from foreigners and all of them have become an integral part of our life. The soldiers from alexander’s army settled here and, we followed their martial culture and practiced their customs in our life. The crux of the chapter is that the secret behind India's 'unity in diversity' is our hospitality, the warmth of our hearts and belief in 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam'.

Q. The lesson 'Glimpses of India' ends with the phrase ‘visitors searching for the heart and soul of India, right here in Coorg’ Explain the phrase.

Ans. The author, Lokesh Abrol beautifully describes Coorg as a heaven for the visitors. The hospitable people of Coorg keep the very soul of Indian culture ‘Atithi devo bhava’ alive. Its hills, coffee plantations and evergreen rainforests truly present India as a land of geographical variety and agricultural richness. The Koorgi people are live example of India’s cultural variety and their mixed culture speaks profoundly about its unity in diversity. The Buddhist monastery at the island of Nisargandhama attracts the peace lovers and help them find real peace. People find the answers to the most puzzling questions of life in Koorg, and that's what India represents.

Video on the poem The Trees

Q. Why do you think the poet doesn’t mention in her letter the departure of the forest from the house?

Ans. It is because Adrienne Rich feels that the humans won't be interested in knowing about the freedom of trees as she considers them insensitive and unconcerned about nature that's why they want to captivate trees and animals for their selfish purposes. She feels that there is no use mentioning of it in her letters as it would not invite anyone’s attention and interest. Later on, the story of trees' movement to the forest would eventually reach the world and people would get to know about it.

Q. Does the poem 'The Trees' present an ages long conflict between humans and nature? How does its theme corelate with the poem 'A Tiger in the Zoo'?

Ans. Yes, the poem presents a conflict between man and nature. Man has always caused much harm to nature, without realising that it actually is a harm to the human race itself. Humans cut down forests for forest goods, which has destroyed a lot of natural beauty. By keeping trees inside four walls and denying them their natural home, they are denying them their freedom. That is why, the trees want to move out. Similarly, in the poem 'A Tiger in the Zoo', the poet shows that animals feel bounded by cages and they want to get free and run wild in the open. The right place for the trees and the tiger is a forest. They are forcefully kept inside by man for his selfish purposes and self gratification, to prove himself better than other species.

Q. ‘Beauty is only skin deep’. How does the poem ‘For Anne Gregory’ bring out the message?

Ans. W B Yeast tries to affirm that physical beauty is transient and disappoints the lovers as it will fade away. On the contrary, the spiritual beauty must be real influencing agent for love. Our spirit or soul is the reality of our existence and we don't have to fake for it. Hence, lovers must not get attracted by physical charm, but should seek love and admire the person for what he / she is in reality.

Q. How does the poet in the poem ‘Animals’ suggest that animals enjoy their present while human beings cry over past and worry for future? How are animals different from man according to the poet?

Ans. Walt Whitman admires the qualities of the animals and wishes to live with animals as they clearly understand what they want and when they get it, enjoy it without pining for other things they don't possess. Animals are contented and know how to be happy with their lot. The humans, on the contrary, always crave for the past and cry for the things they don't have instead of enjoying the bounties they have at the moment. They worry about the future and would always imagine that they would be happier with the thing they don't possess at the moment.

Video on the poem Animals

Q. Why does the poet wish to turn and go to live with the animals?

Ans. Walt Whitman being a romantic poet can learn important lessons from nature and other creatures of nature that he considers equal to men. He perceived the futility of civilisation and advancement because man is not able to enjoy his gains and cries for what he doesn't have. Hence he wants to go back to ancient period when men were like animals and were happy and satisfied with their lot. All the progress and civilization is futile if they can't make us happy.

Q. How did Valli plan for bus journey?

Ans. Valli was a meticulous planner and a strong willed girl. She collected information by overhearing her neighbours and the people who used to travel by bus frequently. She collected the details such as the town was six miles away, the fare was thirty paise one way and the time of the ride was forty five minutes one way. She fixed safe time for journey in the afternoon hours when her mother takes daily nap. She saved her pocket money, resisting her temptations by not buying things of her interests, not going on merry go round and collected 60 paise for her return journey. She planned and replanned, calculated and recalculated and most importantly executed her plan very wisely, bravely and smartly.

Q. What things can you learn from Valli? What kind of character is Valli?

Ans. We can learn lot many things from Valli. We need to be inquisitive, wise, courageous, self respecting like Valii who knows how to fulfil her desires wisely and safely. Valli wisely planned, enquired, managed carefully and executed her plans meticulously. She was wise and smart enough to take the bus ride alone to the nearby town and then back to her village. The spirit of learning in Valli is really commendable. She was fond of standing in the doorway of her house and observing curiously what all was happening outside as she was curious to learn new things. Apart from that she was mature and brave enough to take ride alone, take care of herself and keep her pride intact during the journey. She only spent the money that she could save and declined the offer of the conductor to enjoy the cold drink. It's so astonishing that a girl of 8 years is wiser, smarter, more courageous and self respecting than many older people.

Q. How did Kisa Gautami come to realise the truth second time which she failed to do first time?

Ans. Buddha didn’t preach in beginning to a grieving mother but raised a hope in Gautami's heart that her son could be revived. But, the condition imposed by him was impossible for her to fulfil and she could not bring mustard seeds from the house no person had lost his loved ones. The futile search of Kisa Gautami made her realise that birth and death are a part of life and the one who has taken birth has to die sooner or later. 

She failed to understand the truth first time as she had become selfish and mad in grief due to the death of her only son. Later, she realised that she had been selfish in her love and failed to accept the truth of life. She learnt that one can attain peace only by acceptance.

Q. What is a ballad? Describe how is the poem ‘A Tale of Custard the Dragon’ is a ballad.

Ans. Ballad is a narrative of a tale, episode, incident or history in form of poem which is meant to be sung and performed. ‘A Tale of Custard the Dragon’ is humorous and light hearted through and through. It is purely musical with full of sound words and the use of poetic devices such as alliteration, assonance, poetic repetition, and refrain. The description of characters with their attitude and manners brings out dramatic irony, conflicts, climax and anti climax of a thrilling story. Episode of the pirate is narrated in a light hearted tone. The exaggerated boasting by the pets, unchanged attitude of pets and Belinda even at the end is quite humorous and ironical.

Q. “An empty vessel sounds much”. How does this saying go in context of the poem 'The tale of Custard the Dragon'?

Ans. "An empty vessel sounds much" fits well in the context of this poem as Belinda, Custard, Ink and Blink used to speak high of their bravery but at the time of action they fled and hid in the corners. Whereas, Custard the dragon who was peaceful and shy showed courage and fought with the pirate. Hence, it is proved that people of character never speak but act at the right time while shallow characters only keep talking without doing the action.

Q. Explain how the musical quality of a ballad is perfectly employed and maintained in ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’.

Ans. The Tale of Custard the Dragon' composed by Ogden Nash is a musical ballad that tells the story of a cowardly Dragon and other pets of Belinda in a musical and humorous fashion. The poem is full of pectic devices in order to make it rhythmic, sonorous and interesting even the names of the pets - Ink, Blink, Mustard and Custard are perfectly musical. The poet has used the poetic devices such as alliteration, assonance and consonance profusely in the lines where the pets boast of their bravery such as 'Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears',  'And Ink and Blink chased lions down' and 'Custard cried for a nice safe cage'. Use of Refrain here and there adds rhythmic flavour to the poem. Lot of sound words such as growled, giggled, weeck, meowch, ooh, yelp are the most effective examples of Onomatopoeia which adds to poem's musical quality. 

The poet has made a clever use of poetic license through the words like winda, and especially the use of 'realio, trulio' makes it highly musical and compels the readers to sing it. The rhyming scheme has been maintained throughout the poom that is AABB. Hence, the poem perfectly employs and maintains the musical quality of a ballad.

Q. Mijbil was an intelligent, sensitive, fun loving and adorable pet. Elucidate the statement.

Ans. Mijbil, the otter was an intelligent, sensitive, fun loving and an adorable pet. This can aptly be justified through his fun loving activities and intelligent behaviour. Mijbil was initially indifferent to the author but soon he became very friendly with him. Very soon he learnt that water could be found in bathroom and very easily he also learnt to open a tap. This shows his smartness and intelligence. He invented various games with the objects and articles he found in his surroundings. He started playing with marbles and rubber balls, and he even invented a game to play with the broken suitcase of the narrator and ping pong ball. 

His sensitivity could be seen when he did not like to be away from the narrator or packed in a box when the writer was moving to England via plane. Whenever he was with the narrator, he was happy and found comfort and nuzzled at him showing his love. This shows that Mijbil was sensitive and fun loving like a child and, that he was an adorable pet.

Q.  Which issues related to wedding are highlighted in the play ‘The Proposal’? 

Ans. The play 'The Proposal' written by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov highlights various issues related to the wedding. First of all, it depicts the purpose behind weddings in the rich families is to seek ties with other wealthy families and increase their estate. The wedding is usually fixed and intended for money and social status.

The second issue is that the weddings are not appropriate or suitable for both the parties. In the play, neither Natalya Stepanovna nor Ivan Vassilevitch Lomov loved each other nor they had respect, but agreed to the marriage because of estate and their need of getting married. Such unequal and wrong matches result in quarrels among the spouses. The quarrelsome nature of both Natalya and Lomov highlighted that the most husbands and wives spend their married life in quarrelling on petty issues and do not show maturity to solve the matters.

1 comment: