(Main Course English Reader)
Lesson (1- Poem) (Sweet Are the Uses of Adversity)
Q. 1 What is adversity?
Ans. Adversity is a state of life which is full of misfortunes, worries, miseries and uncertainties. In this state, man remains in a fix to know what to do or what not to do.
Q.2 Why is ‘pomp’ described as ‘painted’ and ‘court’ as ‘envious’?
Ans. ‘Pomp’ is described ‘painted’ because it is artificial and far from the reality. Court is called envious because the courtiers are full of jealousy and always remain busy in hatching conspiracy against one another.
Q.3 Why are the woods more free from peril than the envious court?
Ans. The court is full of such courtiers as they feel jealous of one another. They are always busy in hatching conspiracies to harm their fellow courtiers. But there are no such persons in woods. Therefore, woods are free from peril than the envious court.
Q. 4 Why does not the speaker find any flattery in adversity?
Ans. In the adverse situation, the speaker lives in the woods along with his followers. In the woods there are cold, heat, trees brooks, stones etc. All these have nothing to do with flattery. These are objects of nature. Therefore, he finds no flattery in the adversity.
Q. 5 How does he find adversity sweet?
Ans. The speaker praises adversity while leading a hard life in woods. He says that his life is sweeter than that was in the court. In the forest, there is neither flatterer nor jealous person who can harm him. Therefore, the speaker finds adversity sweet.
Q. 6 What is the ‘penalty of Adam”?
Ans. Adam was punished by God for eating a forbidden apple. He was expelled from Eden Garden and sent to this world to suffer heat and cold caused by the change of seasons.
Q. 7 How does the speaker find tongue in trees?
Ans. The trees teach the speaker to do good for others as they do. Trees have fruit but do not eat them. They give them to others. Several people get fire wood from the trees and sit in their shadows. All the birds find live on their branches. But trees never say a word to anyone. All these things are enough for the speaker to find tongue in the trees.
Q. 8 What is the inspiration that we derive from this poem?
Ans. This poem gives the message that every adverse situation has some new opportunities in it. We should look for the usefulness in such situation. It is all in the condition of mind. We should have a positive attitude and approach to very thing and then we can make heaven out of hell.
Main Course (English Reader)
Poem-2 (Character of a Happy-Man)
Q. 1 What does the poet want to say in the poem?
Ans. In this poem, the poet wants to tell us about the character of a truly happy man. He has mentioned some qualities of a truly happy man in this poem.
Q. 2 Write a note on the central idea of the poem.
Ans. The central idea of this poem is that a truly happy man is he who is contented with what he has. He is the master of his own will. He prays to God to get his grace. He has full faith in God and honesty. He is far away from evils.
Q. 3 Write a summary of the poem in your own words.
Ans. This poem gives the secret of a happy man’s life. Such a man leads an honest life. He is jealous of none. He is content with whatever little he has. He is not a slave of passions. He follows the path of goodness.
Q. 4 Explain the lines; “Whose amour is honest thought
And simple truth his almost skill!”
Ans. In these lines the poet says that the armor of a happy man is his honest thinking and his utmost skill in his simple truth. It means that a man who is honest and truthful is always happy.
Q. 5 How does a religious book or a friend give happiness?
Ans. A religious book is like a friend and a friend is like a religious book. Both of them keep us on the right path. They stand by us in our loneliness. They give us happiness of the purest kind.
Q. 6 How does a contented man have all without having nothing?
Ans. A contented man has no hope to rise or fear of fall. He is content with whatever little he has. He may not be the master of lands, but he is the master of his desires. Thus, he becomes the master of all, though he may not have anything.
Q. 7 How does a man become really happy?
Ans. A man can become really happy by becoming honest, truthful and sincere. He should be free from slavery, flattery and jealousy. He should always think of doing well for others. Above all he should have full faith in God and should pray to Him daily.
Main Course (English Reader)
Poem 3 (Death the Leveller)
Q. 1 What is the theme of the central idea of the poem?
Ans. Death comes to all. It spares none. It treats the mighty and the weak equally. It reduces everyone to dust. Therefore, it is useless to boast of one’s power or wealth. Only our good actions remain after our death. Therefore, we should always be just in our actions.
Q. 2 What lesson do you get from this poem?
Ans. Death spares none. It reduces everyone to dust. It treats the mighty and the weak equally, Therefore, it is useless to boast of one’s power or wealth. Only our good actions remain after our death. So, we should always be just in our actions.
Q. 3 What does the expression ‘scythe and spade’ stand for?
Ans. The given expression stands for the poor peasants and labourers. These people become equal with the kings in death. Death makes no difference between them and the kings.
Q. 4 Do the conquerors tame death or the dead?
Ans. Conquerors can tame only the dead. They have no power over death. Rather it is death that one day overpowers them and reduces them to dust.
Q. 5 Explain the lines:
“Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.”
Ans. Death spares none. It comes to one and all. It reduces everyone to dust. Only one thing escapes death. It is one’s good and just actions. They live even after one’s death. They are never forgotten.
Q. 6 This poem highlights the uselessness of human power and might. What is that cannot be snatched by death?
Ans. It is only our good and just actions that cannot be snatched by death. All other things – living and no-living – mix with dust in the end. Death spares none. Only our good actions live after our death.
Main Course (English Reader)
Poem-4 (The Tables Turned)
Q. 1 Give the central idea of the poem.
Ans. The central idea of this poem is that nature is the true teacher of man. Only it can teach us about what is moral and immoral and what is good or bad. But man has gone away from nature by indulging himself in the world created around him.
Q. 2 Write a brief summary of the poem in your own words.
Ans. Man has created his own world around himself/ The poet wants us to come out of the artificial world created around us and enjoy the world that is God’s creation. The poet says that human knowledge and wisdom acquired through intellectual sources or bookish sources is useless. Nature is the true teacher of man. Only it can teach us what is right and what is wrong. But our intellect deprives us of the aesthetic enjoyment of nature.
Q. 3 How is nature a better teacher than books?
Ans. Books give us knowledge only about the material things. This knowledge is superficial. But the knowledge given to us by nature soothes our mind, Heart and body. Therefore, nature is better teacher than books.
Q. 4 What gives a better aesthetic pleasure – man made world or the world of nature?
Ans. Man-made world is full of strife and worries. It cannot give us aesthetic pleasure anyway, On the other hand, the world of nature provides us such pleasure as which soothes our mind, body and heart. Thus, we can say that world of nature gives us aesthetic pleasure.
Q. 5 Why are books a “dull and endless” strife?
Ans. Books are a dull and endless strife because they do not provide us real and true knowledge. They give us only superficial knowledge. They deprive us from enjoying the r real beauty of the things around us.
Q. 6 What is the “toil and trouble” referred to in line 4?
Ans. In live 4, the “toil and trouble” referred to reading and writing books. These things are toil and trouble because they do not provide us real and true knowledge.
Main Course (English Reader)
Poem-5 (A Ballad of Sir Pertab Singh)
Q. 1 Write the summary of the poem in your own words.
Ans. In the first year of Sir Pertab Singh’s rule, an Englishman came to his palace. He was a perfect soldier. Sir Pertab Singh was greatly impressed by his personality. He made friendly relations with him. They began to pass their days cheerfully. But one day, the soldier died all of a sudden. There were only three men of his faith in Jodhpore to carry his bier. No man came forward to become the fourth man to carry the bier. The Hindus could not carry the bier of an alien for fear of losing their caste. At last, Pertab Singh came forward to become the fourth man to carry the bier of his friend. He said that, the caste of a soldier is above all castes and races of the world and he did not fear of losing it.
Q. 2 What is the central idea of the poem?
Ans. This poem is an attack on the uselessness of caste system prevailing in the Hindu society and gives the message that a man’s caste should not be determined by his birth, but by his actions. Men of noble heart, irrespective of their birth, belong to one caste. A true soldier is related to all the soldiers of the world. He shares a common bond of valor, courage and brotherhood with all the soldiers.
Q. 3 Who was Sir Pertab Singh?
Ans. Sir Pertab Singh was the king of Jodhpore. He was a true soldier and had respect for the perfect soldiers of all the world irrespective of their caste and creed.
Q. 4 Why did he immediately like the English soldier?
Ans. Sir Pertab Singh was himself a true soldier and knew how to treat with another true soldier. When the English soldier came to him, he found in him all the qualities of a true soldier. Therefore, he immediately liked the English soldier.
Q. 5 How did the two comrades spend their days?
Ans. The two comrades spent most of their time together in riding. They told each other the tales of their love with women. They also talked of good wars and other exploits of their lives. Thus they spent their days happily.
Q. 6 Why was Pertab Singh asked to send a sweeper when the Englishman died?
Ans. There were only three men of the dead Englishman’s race in all Jodhpore. They could not find the fourth man to carry the bier. No Hindu came forward for the purpose for fear of losing his caste. But a sweeper had no caste to lose. So Pertab Singh was asked to send a sweeper to carry the bier.
Q. 7 What was the problem that arose when the Englishman died?
Ans. There were only three men of the dead Englishman’s race in all Jodhpore. They could not find the fourth man to carry the bier. Everyone was afraid of losing his caste by carrying a foreigner’s bier. This was the problem that arose.
Q. 8 What, according to the Priests, had Pertab Singh lost? Why?
Ans. According to the priests, Pertab Singh had lost his caste. He had lost it because he had carried the bier of a foreigner which was not allowed in Hindu religion.
Main Course (English Reader)
Poem-6 (Razia, The Tigress)
Q. 1 Write a summary of the poem.
Ans. Razia, the tigress lived in a forest. She had two cubs. Her male companion, Sheru, left her shortly after the birth of the cubs. Razia was very sad now. As long as Sheru was there, she had no worry. He did all the hunting for Razia and her cubs. But now she could not leave the cubs alone. She feared that the wild hyenas would kill her cubs. She was also afraid of the poachers who could come any time with their guns and kill her and her cubs.
Q. 2 What is the theme of the poem?
Ans. This poem tells us how man has usurped and plundered his natural resources. This has threatened wild-life around us. It has also put human life and our environment in danger.
Q. 3 Why does Razia, the tigress, live alone?
Ans. Razia, the tigress lives alone because his mate, Sheru has left her.
Q. 4 What was Sheru’s expertise?
Ans. Sheru knew all about winds. He had a good knowledge of their directions and movements. He also knew that the herd of deer would smell him out if they were on the down side of the wind and he would be on the upside.
Q. 5 What happened to Sheru?
Ans. Owing to deforestation, there arose scarcity for wild animals. There left no deer or any other animal which could be hunted by Sheru for food. So, he left the forest. It is also possible that Sheru had been caught or killed by some poacher.
Q. 6 What are Razia’s fears?
Ans. Razia fears that if she goes out for hunting, the wild hyenas will kill her two cubs. Her greater fear is that the poachers can come with their guns and kill her along with her two cubs.
Main Course- Poem
(Where the Mind is without Fear)
Q. 1 What is the central idea of the poem?
Ans. The poet prays to God to turn his country into a heaven of freedom. He prays that his countrymen should give up all that is evil. They should not be narrow-minded. Only then can his country gain freedom in the real sense.
Q. 2 Write a summary of the poem.
Ans. the poet wants his country to be a heaven of freedom. He wants it to be free from all evils. People should be free from the narrow thoughts of caste and creed. They should ever strive for perfection.
Q. 3 What is the meaning of the line ‘Where knowledge is free’ ?
Ans. The poet wants that knowledge should be free in his country. It should be free for one and all. It should not be sold in schools and colleges. Everyone should have the right to free education.
Q. 4 Why is the world broken by narrow domestic walls? That can we do about it?
Ans. The walls of religion, caste and creed divide the world. These walls exist everywhere in the world. We can pull them down only through love and non-violence.
Q. 5 What does the poet desire for his country?
Ans. The poet wants his country to be a true heaven of freedom. He wants that knowledge should be free in his country. People should be broad-minded. They should follow truth and reason. They should be self-respecting.