Short Stories THE SCHOOL BOY Read:
The school boy in the poem is not a happy child. What makes him unhappy? Why does he compare himself to a bird that lives in a cage or a plant that withers when it should blossom.
nip something in a bud to stop or destroy something at an early stage of its development
plants stripped of joy is taken away from plants
I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me.
O! what sweet company.
But to go to school in a summer morn,
O! it drives all joy away;
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day,
In sighing and dismay.
Ah! then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour.
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning’s bower,
Worn thro’ with the dreary shower.
How can the bird that is born for joy,
Sit in a cage and sing.
How can a child when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring.
O! Father and Mother, if buds are nip’d,
And blossoms blown away,
And if the tender plants are strip’d
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and cares dismay,
How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or do the summer fruits appear?
Short Stories THE SCHOOL BOY
Q. 1) Find three or four words/phrases in stanza 1 that reflect the child’s happiness and joy.
Ans. The phrases that reflect the child’s joy and happiness are ‘love to rise in a summer morn’, ‘birds sing on every tree, ‘the skylark sings with me’ and ‘sweet company’.
Q.2) In stanza 2, the mood changes. Which words/phrases reflect the changed mood?
Ans. The phrases that reflect the changed mood are ‘it drives all joy away’ and ‘spend the day In sighing and dismay.
Q 3) A cruel eye outworn’ (stanza 2) refers to
I) The classroom is shabby/noisy.
II) The lessons which are difficult/uninteresting.
III) The dull/uninspiring life at school with lots of work and no play. Mark the answer that you consider right.
Mark the answer that you consider right.
Ans. ( iii ) the dull/uninspiring life at school with lots of work and no play.
Q 3) ‘Nor sit in learning’s bower worn thro’ with the dreary shower’ Which of the following is a close paraphrase of the lines above?
I) Nor can I sit in a roofless classroom when it is raining.
II) Nor can I learn anything at school though teachers go on lecturing
III) Nor can I sit in the school garden for fear of getting wet in the rain.
Ans. ( ii ) Nor can I learn anything at school though teachers go on lecturing and explaining.
Read the following poem and compare it with Short Stories THE SCHOOL BOY
The One Furrow
When I was young, I went to school
With pencil and footrule
Sponge and slate,
And sat on a tall stool
At learning’s gate.
When I was older, the gate swung wide;
Clever and keen-eyed
In I pressed,
But found in the mind’s pride
No peace, no rest.
Then who was it taught me back to go
To cattle and barrow,
Field and plough:
To keep to the one furrow,
As I do now?
( 4 ) Answer the following questions in one sentence each :
Q 1) What does ‘A cruel eye outworn’ refer to?
Ans. ‘A cruel eye outworn’ refers to the strict control of the teacher and the dull and uninteresting life at school with lots of work and no freedom or enjoyment.
Q 2) What does the child not like?
Ans. The child does not like to go to school on a summer morning.
Q 3) What does the child say about his attitude in school?
Ans. The child is neither interested in his books nor in the boring lectures of his teachers.
Q 4) What does the phrase ‘worn thro’ with the dreary shower’ mean?
Ans. The phrase ‘worn thro’ with the dreary shower’ means ‘to be tired with the dull and boring shower of continuous lectures of teachers being poured over the child’.
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