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For 2025 Board Exam
CBSE Competency Based Questions:
Class 10
Class 12

A Tiger in the Zoo| CBE Questions & Answers

Updated: Sep 11, 2023


Theme

  • The poem contrasts a tiger in the zoo with the tiger in his natural habitat. The poetess describes how the basic freedom of movement and free will of a tiger is curtailed when he is imprisoned behind the confined space of a zoo.

  • The Tiger in the poem is the metaphor for all the caged animals, who are stripped off their natural habitat and thereby restricting them to the miseries of the caged wall.

  • They languish for the entire duration of their lifespan behind the caged cell of the zoo.

  • The poem moves from the zoo to the jungle, and back again to the zoo. By comparison the poem shows the merits of roaming in his natural habitat vis a vis demerits of of caged life.

  • Thus the poem conveys the message that wild animals appear to be beautiful in their natural habitat just like a child looks beautiful on the lap of his mother.

  • We should not deprive them of their basic and rightful freedom by captivating them in the zoo cell.



Vocabulary


  • Stalks – Walks slowly

  • Vivid – Clear

  • Stripes – Lines

  • Pads – Feet

  • Velvet – Soft

  • Rage – Anger

  • Lurking – Hiding

  • Sliding – Moving

  • Water hole – A river where animals come to drink

  • Plump deer – Young deer

  • Snarling – Showing the teeth

  • Jungle’s edge – Border of the forest

  • Baring – Showing

  • White fangs – White teeth

  • Claws – Nails

  • Terrorizing – Frightening

  • · Concrete – Cemented

  • · Cell – Cage

  • · Behind bars – Caged; locked

  • · Stalking – Walking



NCERT Solution ( Page 30)

Thinking about the Poem

1. Read the poem again and work in pairs or groups to do the following tasks.


i) Find the words that describe the movements and actions of the tiger in the cage and in the wild. Arrange them in two columns.


(ii) Find the words that describe the two places and arrange them in columns.


2. Notice the use of a word repeated in lines such as these:

(i) On pads of velvet quiet, In his quiet rage.

(ii) And stares with his brilliant eyes At the brilliant stars.

What do you think is the effect of this repetition?


The repetition is a poetic device which is used in order to give emphasis to the meaning of the words that are repeated.


i) In the first sentence, ‘velvet quiet’ refers to soft velvet pads/feet of the tiger when it moves on the surface of the zoo, whereas the ‘quiet rage’ refers to the suppressed anger of the tiger at not being able to exercise his natural freedom of movement.

ii) In the second sentence ‘brilliant eyes’ refers to the dazzling and beautiful eyes, which are the creation of the almighty God, yet confined in artificial zoo, which is contrasted with the natural ‘brilliant stars’, which are in their natural habitat.



CBE-based Extract Questions


Extract 1

He should be lurking in shadow,

Sliding through long grass

Near the water hole Where plump deer pass


(i) According to the extract, the poet wishes for the tiger to be ‘sliding’ through the foliage as this would

a) assist in keeping the prey unsuspecting of the predator’s sound.

b) aid in camouflaging the presence of the predator before it rushes in.

c) help the predator pounce on the prey comfortably without getting tired.

d) Support the predator’s vision as it eyes its prey.

(ii) Which fact DOES NOT connect with the significance of the water hole for the tiger?

a) Many tigers chase prey into the water and holds the victim’s head under water until it drowns. b) Prey feed in the water on water-lilies, and often wander into the middle of the water hole, where they are vulnerable and easy for the tiger to kill.

c) Prey that has quenched its thirst ensures consumption of hydrated meat for the tiger.

d) Chasing the panicked prey from shallow to deep water where the tiger grabs it.


(iii) Pick the option that DOES NOT use ‘lurking’ correctly to fill in the blank.


a) The thug was _________ in the alley late evening, for unsuspecting passers-by.

b) The hyena was __________ in its den after a good meal.

c) The detective cautioned her team about the _________ dangers likely to impact the case.

d) The prejudices __________beneath the surface create misunderstandings


(iv) ‘shadow’ here, refers to the shadow of

a) the tiger.

b) long grass.

c) water hole.

d) deer


(v) Pick the phrase that DOES NOT suggest that the forest in the extract is lush.

a) long grass

b) the water hole

c) plump deer

d) lurking in shadow


Answers

i. a) assist in keeping the prey unsuspecting of the predator’s sound.

ii. c) Prey that has quenched its thirst ensures consumption of hydrated meat for the tiger.

iii. b) The hyena was __________ in its den after a good meal.

iv. b ) long grass.

v. d) lurking in shadow




Extract 2

But he’s locked in a concrete cell,

His strength behind bars,

Stalking the length of his cage,

Ignoring visitors.

He hears the last voice at night,

The patrolling cars, …


(i) Which option correctly lists the reason for the tiger ‘stalking the length of his cage’?

a) Animals tend to cover large distances and burn a lot of their energy by hunting for prey, in their natural habitat. Zoos deprive them of such stimulation and they are restless and bored.

b) Animals are scared of visitors gazing at them in their unnatural surroundings. Zoos are places where animals are far removed from the privacy of their natural habitat.

c) Animals dislike human noises in the city and react to them aggressively. Zoos are often located in cities or outskirts.

d) Animals require human love and care and miss this when in captivity. Zoos are places where they walk around mechanically to attract human attention.


(ii) The main contrasting idea suggested by the extract is that of

a) strength and weakness.

b) nature and culture.

c) beasts and mortals.

d) confinement and freedom.


(iii) Choose the option listing the most likely reason for the tiger to ignore visitors, according to the extract

a) He is scared of their constant stares.

b) The visitors don’t provide him with any food.

c) He knows that none would help him out of captivity.

d) The visitors don’t speak to him kindly.


Answers:

(i) Animals tend to cover large distances and burn a lot of their energy by hunting for prey, in their natural habitat. Zoos deprive them of such stimulation and they are restless and bored.

(ii) d) confinement and freedom.

(iii) c) He knows that none would help him out of captivity.


(iv) Why is the word 'cell' used in the extract?

Ans: The word 'cell' evokes the image of a prison in our mind. The poet uses the word in order to highlight that the tiger is caged inside a zoo.


(v) Identify the use of alliteration in the exract.

Ans: Alliteration is used with the phrase 'behind bars.'




Extract 3


He hears the last voice at night,

The patrolling cars,

And stares with his brilliant eyes

At the brilliant stars.


(i) Whose voice does the tiger hear the last at night?

Ans: The tiger hears the voice of the patrolling cars moving arond the zoo to keep watch over the surroundings.


(ii) Why are the eyes of the tiger compared with the stars?

Ans: The eyes of the tiger and the stars have been referred to as 'brilliant' because they shine at night.


(iii) Which literary device is used for the word ' brilliant'.

Ans: Here the literary device- 'Repetition' has been used as the word 'brilliant' has been repeated for both the eyes of the tiger and the star.


CBE-based Short Questions


1. Compare the lesson 'Long Walk to Freedom' with the poem ' A Tiger in the Zoo'.

Ans: Both 'Long Walk to Freedom' and the poem ' A Tiger in the Zoo' deal with the concept of freedom. In the first lesson, Mandela fights for the freedom of the Black community in South Africa from the policy of apartheid as practised by the White Governement. Mandela asserts the right of every citizen to live freely without having to face discriminations of any kind. On the other hand, in the poem ' A Tiger in the Zoo' we can observe that the tiger has been deprived of his freedom of movement in his natural habitat. As a result of habitat displacement, the tiger is unhappy in the zoo. Hence the two lessons as discussed above have a common theme and so they merit comparison.




2. Why do you think the tiger's rage has been referred to as 'quiet'?

Ans: The tiger inside the zoo is helpless and is incapable of exerting his authority and strenght in the zoo. Therefore, he has subdued anger which is brewing inside. Therefore, the poet refers to his rage being 'quiet'.


3. Explain the line ' HIs strength behind bars'?


Ans: The tiger is unable to assert his strength and launch attacks on humans due to confinement inside the zoo. The tiger's natural instinct of aggression is of no use as it has been stripped of owing to habitat displacement. Therefore, the writer says that his strength has been put to no use as he is confined behind the bars of the zoo.




Questions for Practice


Q4. It is said that an animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. Explain with reference to the tiger.

Q5. How does the poem point to the cruelty of animals in captivity?

Q6. The poet celebrates the strength of the tiger in this poem. Counter the statement.

Q7. Do you think the tiger in the poem had lost its natural instinct due to captivity? Support your response with evidence from the poem.

Q8. What do you think the tiger would say to you, as a visitor? You may begin like this: Please stop staring. You have no idea……………(continue)………

Q9. Imagine that Man has been accused by the tiger of cruelty in an animal court. What would be the tiger’s two major accusations and how would Man defend them? Present your answer in two paragraphs.

Q10. The tiger in the poem ‘A Tiger in the Zoo’ presents a contrasting image with the tiger in the poem ‘How to Tell Wild Animals’. Compare and contrast the two tigers with reference to the manner in which they have been presented in both poems.






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