THE LAST LESSON
1.Why was Franz tempted to play truant from school?
A. The French teacher M Hamel was going to ask questions on participle which Franz had not prepared. To avoid being scolded he was tempted to play truant from school and spend the day out doors in a pleasurable manner.
2.What was unusual about the school that Franz noticed when he entered the school?
A. On entering the school Franz noticed there was unusual silence. There was no usual bustle of opening and closing of desks. The village elders had occupied the last benches that usually remain empty.
3.Why was it the last lesson? How did Franz react to it?
A. As the order from Berlin had come to teach German in all schools of Alsace and Lorraine there would be no French lesson form the next day M Hamel announced in the class. The announcement was like a thunderclap to Franz. He felt sorry for not learning French. The French books, which earlier were nuisance, became attractive. He felt he could not give up his French books.
4.What reasons did M Hamel give for their lack of interest in learning French?
A. The lack of interest in learning French was due to the parents who wanted their children to work in farm or mill to earn, due to the students who were reluctant to learn and often put off the lesson for the next day and due to himself as he asked them to water the flower and gave them off when he had to go for fishing
5. Why does not M Hamel want the people to forget French?
A. M Hamel wanted them not to forget French as it is the most beautiful and logical language and as long as they hold fast to their language it would be as if they had the key to the prison.
6.Describe how M Hamel conducted the last lesson.
A. In his last French class though M Hamel was emotional he fully involved himself in the teaching learning process. He heard every lesson to the last sitting motionless in the chair. When the church bell struck twelve he stood up pale and wrote ‘Vive La French’ and with a gesture he communicated that the school is dismissed.
1.Seemapuri a place on the periphery of Delhi yet miles away from it metaphorically. Justify this statement.
A. Seemapuri the rag pickers shanty is just in the outskirt of Delhi but it is far away from Delhi so far as Delhi’s glitter and amenities are concerned. Here the squatters of Bangladesh who came after 1971 war live in structures of mud with roof of tin or tarpaulin. There is no sewerage, drainage or pipe water that Delites enjoy.
2.Through the years rag picking has acquired the ‘proportion of a fine art’ in Seemapuri. Justify the statement.
A. The means of survival of migrants of Bangladesh in Seemapuri is rag picking. Garbage to them is gold. Like a fine art that has no end in appealing the sense of beauty the rag picker’s scrounging the garbage is a never ending process which provide them their daily bread day after day.
3.Does the rag picking mean the same thing for parents and children? Give reasons for your answer.
A. No, rag picking is not the same for parents and children. For children it is wrapped in wonders where as for parents it is the means of survival.
4.Why was not Saheb happy on getting a job?
A. Saheb was not happy on getting a job in tea stall for a salary of Rs.800/- per month as he lost his freedom. He had to carry the stall owner’s steel canister in place of his bag. He lost his carefree look He was now no longer his own master.
5.Why don’t the bangle makers of Firozabad organise themselves?
A. The bangle makers are trapped in the vicious circle of middlemen and police. If they organise a co operative they will be hauled up, beaten and dragged to jail by police for doing something illegal. There is no leader to help them out from their misery. They are the victims of greed and injustice.
1.What had happened when Douglas was three or four years old?
A.When Douglas was three or four years old he was on the California beach with his father. There the sea waves knocked him down and swept over him. He felt breathless buried in the water and was frightened; but his father laughed at him.
2.What was the misadventure of Douglas? How did it end?
A. The misadventure was his being ducked by a big bruiser of a boy of eighteen in the YMCA swimming pool. He was drowned and nearly dying in the pool; but was somehow miraculously saved from the mouth of death
3.How was the instructor successful in making Douglas a perfect swimmier?
A. The instructor made Douglas a perfect swimmer by removing his fear of being drowned and teaching him swimming piece by piece in a period of three months. During the training he let Douglas swim back and forth of the pool tying him with a pulley. He taught him to put his face under the water to exhale raise above it to inhale.
4.How did Douglas finally over come his fear of water?
A. Douglas over came his fear of water by challenging the fear itself and going for several round of swimming in the pool; but finally the residual fear he over came when he went up to Tie ton to Conrad meadows and swam across the other shore and back of the warm lake as Doug Corpron used to do.
5.What thought of Roosevelt deeply impacted Douglas? How did the thoughts apply to his life?
A. The thought of Roosevelt that there is terror in the fear of death had deep impact on Douglas. He had experienced both the sensation of dying and the terror of the fear of death. But later he brushed aside his fear by challenging it by the will to live and succeeded.
1.What was the peddler’s philosophy about rattrap? Why did it amuse him?
A. The peddler’s philosophy was that the whole world is a rattrap with several baits in it. As one is tempted to bait and touches it the door is closed and everything comes to an end like in a rattrap. The thought amused him because he has so far been selling rattrap; but not fallen in this world’s rattrap
2.What kind of host was the old crofter?
A. The old crofter was an affectionate and generous host. He warmly welcomed the peddler as he got someone to talk to in his loneliness. He served him porridge for his supper and offered a pipe with tobacco roll to smoke and finally played with him mjolis till bedtime.
3.The reader’s sympathy is with the peddler right from the beginning? Is it justified? Give reasons.
A. The rattrap peddler draws reader’s sympathy because of his poverty. The author’s description of his clothes and appearance like –“his clothes are in rags, his cheeks are sunken and hunger gleams his eyes” and his resorting to begging and petty thievery to keep his body and soul together evoke reader’s sympathy
4. Who do you think was at fault-the ironmaster or the peddler? Give two reasons.
A. I think the ironmaster was at fault because it was he who invited the tramp to his house for the Christmas thinking him to be his old acquaintance; but on knowing he was not his acquaintance he could not oppose his daughter’s decision to offer him Christmas cheer.
5.Why was the peddler grateful to the ironmaster and his daughter?
A. The peddler was grateful to the ironmaster and his daughter as they empowered him to release himself from the world’s rattrap through their selfless hospitality, love, sympathy, compassion, and understanding.
1.Why was Gandhiji impressed with Rajkumar Shukla’s tenacity and determination?
A. Rajkumar Shukla the Champaran-Sharecropper requested Gandhiji in Congress Session in Lucknow to fix a date to visit Champaran where the sharecroppers were subjected to injustice. Till Gandhiji fixed a date he did not leave him rather he accompanied him wherever he went. Gandhiji was impressed by his tenacity and determination and finally agreed to go there from Calcutta.
2. Why did Gandhi chide the lawyers who represented the interests of group of sharecroppers of Champaran?
A. Gandhiji chided the lawyers for collecting big fees from the sharecroppers to fight their case in law courts. He felt taking their case to law courts would do little good when they were so crushed and fear stricken. So his first priority was to free them from fear.
3.What were the conditions of sharecroppers of Champaran?
A. The peasants of Champaran were tenants of British landlords. Under long term sharecropping arrangement they were growing Indigo on 15 percent of their holding and surrendering the harvest as rent to the British landlord. But when Indigo price fell due to synthetic Indigo developed in Germany the landlords obtained agreement from the peasant to pay them compensation which some of the peasants resisted and fought their case in court.
4.What made the British realise that the Indians could challenge their might hither to unquestioned?
A. The spontaneous demonstration around the courthouse by the peasants of Motihari on knowing that Gandhiji was in trouble was the beginning of their liberation from fear of the British which made the British realise that now the Indians can challenge their might.
5.How did Gandhiji make the peasants fearless and self-reliant?
A. Gandhiji made the peasants fearless by letting them know about their rights, fighting their case and by obtaining the refund of compensation made to the British landlords who were behaving as lords above the law.
POETS AND PANCAKES
1.Bring out gentle humour that the make-up room presents.
A. The make-up room once believed to be Clive’s stable had a look of haircutting saloon with incandescent light around half a dozen mirrors. The gang of nationally integrated make up men could turn any decent looking person into a hideous, crimson hued monster with pancakes and locally made lotion and potion.
2.How did Subbu give direction and definition to Gemini Studio?
A. Subbu was a many sided genius. He was a poet, an actor, a director and a novelist. He composed many story poems in folk refrain, wrote a novel, recreated the mood and manner of the Devadasis of the early 20th century and played the subsidiary role better than supposed main players.
3.Why is the Englishman’s visit referred to as ‘an unexplained mystery’?
A. The Englishman’s visit to the studio remained a mystery because neither they could know why an English poet visited a film studio nor they could understand what he spoke due to his accent. The poet too after his speech looked baffled due to sheer incongruity of his talk
4.What views does the author have about the prose writers?
A. The author’s conviction is that the prose writing is not and cannot be the true pursuit of a genius. It is meant for the patient, persistent, persevering drudge with a shrunken heart. A prose piece is always rejected. But the prose writer never bothers about rejection. He sends a fresh copy to another publisher with postage for return of the manuscript.
5.What does ‘The God That Failed’ refer to?
A. ‘The God That Failed’ is a book of six essays by six eminent essayists that describe their journey to communism and disillusioned return. The book has allusive reference to the author who failed in getting recognition as a poet like the essayists failed in their journey to communism.
1.Interviews are necessary. Justify the statement.
A. Despite the drawbacks of interviews they are supremely serviceable medium of communication. They are an art and a source of truth. We know about our contemporary celebrities and others through their interviews.
2.Do you think Eco’s non-fictional writing style is a departure from regular style? Give reasons.
A. Eco’s non-fictional writing is not depersonalized and boring like his scholarly works. There is a playful and personal touch in it, which is a departure from his regular style.
3.What did Eco learn at the age of 22 that he pursued in his novels?
A. Eco learnt at the age of 22 that scholarly books should be written by telling the story of research. He learnt that there should be a narrative technique employed in scholarly writing that he later employed when he wrote novels at the age of 50.
4.What makes ‘The Name of the Rose’ a serious novel?
A. ‘The Name of the Rose’ is a serious novel as it delves into metaphysics, theology and medieval history inspite of being a detective story at one level.
5.What does Eco think of the readers of his novel ‘The Name of the Rose’?
A. Eco thinks that there are readers who don’t like ‘trash’ and like to have difficult reading experiences. It is contrary to what journalists and publishers think. The selling of 15 million copies of his novel ‘The Name of the Rose’- a very serious work is testimony that readers don’t want easy reading experiences.
1.How is Jansie different from Sophie?
A. Jansie is practical and down to earth where as her friend Sophie lives in a world of dream and fantasy. Sophie dreams to have a boutique, wants to become an actress and fashion designer. But Jansie doesn’t want her to go on imaginary flights, as she knows that they are made for biscuit factory.
2.What did Sophie think of Geoff who does not share his thought with anyone?
A. Sophie thought of Geoff as grown up now. She suspected ‘areas of his life’ about which she knows nothing and he never spoke. Sophie thought when Geoff didn’t speak he was thinking of these places. They attained a special fascination for her simply because they were ‘unknown’ and beyond her reach.
3.Describe the reaction of Sophie’s family on her story.
A. Geoff looked around Sophie abruptly with disbelief when he heard her meeting with Danny Casey, the wonder boy of football. When she gave the footballer’s detailed physical appearance he believed her. But Sophie’s father turned his head on his thick neck with an expression of disdain and ridiculed her. He muttered something inaudible and dragged himself round in his chair called it a wild story.
4.Did Sophie really meet Danny Casey?
A. Sophie had once met Danny Casey in the arcade. When Sophie was looking at the clothes in Royce’s window Danny came and stood beside her. But no one believed in her as she always fantasized about him. Had she not met Casey she could not have felt pain when failed to make people believe her.
5.How is the title ‘Going Places’ most appropriate?
A. The title is appropriate as Sophie the protagonist- a teenager fantasizes and goes to places in her imagination in the story and Geoff’s ‘areas of his life’ which unknown to her holds a special fascination for her about which she romanticizes.
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