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Chapter-wise Board Exam Questions: English Core | Class XII | PYQs

Updated: Feb 17


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2023-2019 (Board-PYQs-English)


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The Last Lesson

Q1. When do the residents of Alsace realize how precious their language is to them?

The residents of Alsace realize how precious their language is to them when M. Hamel announces that the order has come from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. This revelation occurs during M. Hamel's last French lesson, marking the end of French language instruction. The news shocks the students and the villagers present in the school, making them aware of the imminent loss of their language. The realization dawns upon them that holding onto their language is crucial, as it is a key to preserving their identity and resisting the cultural assimilation imposed by the occupying Prussians.

Q2. What was Franz's feeling as he set out for school and why?

Franz's feeling as he set out for school was a mixture of dread and fear. He was particularly anxious about M. Hamel's announcement that there would be a question on participles, a topic he knew nothing about. The fear of a scolding and the pressure of the upcoming examination made Franz briefly consider skipping school and enjoying the beautiful day outdoors. However, Franz ultimately resists the temptation and decides to go to school despite his apprehensions.

Q3. Why was M. Hamel dressed in formal clothes in school?

M. Hamel was dressed in formal clothes in school because it was his last lesson before leaving Alsace. He wore his beautiful green coat, frilled shirt, and a little black silk cap, all embroidered. This attire was reserved for special occasions like inspections and prize days. M. Hamel's formal dressing on this particular day symbolized the significance and solemnity of the occasion, marking the end of his forty years of faithful service as a teacher in Alsace.

Q4. The last lesson reflects the flaws in human character that led to the sad plight of people in Alsace. Substantiate your answer with evidence from the text.

The text suggests the flaws in human character that contributed to the sad plight of the people in Alsace. M. Hamel, in his final lesson, points out the procrastination and neglect of learning among both the students and their parents. He mentions how everyone, including himself, had put off learning, thinking they had plenty of time. The teacher acknowledges his own role in diverting students from studies, such as sending them to water flowers or giving holidays for fishing.

Moreover, the mention of the old men of the village sitting in the back of the room with regretful expressions indicates a collective sense of remorse. Their failure to prioritize education and language learning contributed to the vulnerability of the community when faced with the imposition of German as the sole language of instruction. Overall, the text suggests that personal shortcomings, including procrastination and a lack of commitment to education, played a part in the cultural and linguistic crisis faced by the people of Alsace.


My Mother At Sixty-Six

  • What are the feelings of the poet about her aged mother with reference to the poem ‘My Mother at Sixty Six’ ?


Indigo (2023-2022)

Q1. Describe the role of Raj Kumar Shukla in Indigo.

Ans: Raj Kumar Shukla played a crucial role in the Champaran episode related to the indigo cultivation issue. He was a sharecropper from Champaran who approached Gandhi during the 1916 Indian National Congress party convention. Shukla, representing the grievances of indigo sharecroppers, persistently requested Gandhi to visit Champaran and address the injustice of the landlord system. Shukla's determination and continuous presence alongside Gandhi influenced him to eventually agree to visit Champaran. Shukla served as a catalyst in drawing Gandhi's attention to the plight of the peasants, leading to Gandhi's involvement in the Champaran struggle against the oppressive indigo plantation system.

Q2. Champaran Episode as the Beginning of Indian Struggle for Independence.

The Champaran episode is considered the beginning of the Indian struggle for independence because it marked Mahatma Gandhi's first organized act of civil disobedience against British rule in India.

In 1917, Gandhi, in response to the plight of indigo sharecroppers, led a nonviolent protest against oppressive British landlords in Champaran, Bihar. This was a pivotal moment as it demonstrated Gandhi's method of nonviolent resistance and mass mobilization against unjust colonial policies.

The success of the Champaran movement showcased the power of nonviolent civil disobedience, inspiring subsequent movements against British rule. It laid the foundation for Gandhi's philosophy of Satyagraha and provided a template for the larger independence struggle, setting a precedent for peaceful resistance against colonial oppression.

Q3. Why did Gandhi agree to a settlement of twenty-five percent refund to the peasants?

Gandhi agreed to a settlement of twenty-five percent refund to the peasants in the Champaran indigo issue as a pragmatic compromise. When the British planters offered to refund only 25 percent of the money extorted from the sharecroppers, Gandhi surprisingly accepted the offer. Despite the expectations that he would demand full repayment, Gandhi prioritized the symbolic victory over the monetary amount. By accepting the 25 percent refund, he aimed to break the deadlock and emphasize the landlords' obligation to surrender part of the money, thus diminishing their prestige. For Gandhi, the essence lay in establishing the principle that the landlords were accountable and that the peasants had rights and defenders.

Q4. Civil Disobedience had triumphed for the first time in modern India. When and how did it happen? (120-150 words/ 5 Marks)

The triumph of civil disobedience in modern India occurred during the Champaran episode. In 1917, when Gandhi was summoned to court for his refusal to leave Champaran and received a notice to quit the region, he disobeyed the order. Facing a potential legal battle, Gandhi declared his guilt and was prepared to face the consequences.

However, a spontaneous demonstration by thousands of peasants in support of Gandhi outside the courthouse created a situation where the authorities felt powerless without his cooperation. The officials requested a delay in the trial, and eventually, the Lieutenant-Governor ordered the case to be dropped. This marked the first instance of civil disobedience succeeding against the British authorities in modern India, establishing a precedent for future nonviolent resistance.

Q5. What does Gandhi refer to as ‘conflict of duties’?

Ans: Gandhi refers to the 'conflict of duties' when he explains his refusal to obey the order to leave Champaran immediately. On one hand, he felt a duty not to set a bad example as a lawbreaker, and on the other hand, he was committed to rendering "humanitarian and national service" for the distressed peasants.

Gandhi believed that his disobedience was not a disregard for lawful authority but an obedience to the higher law of conscience, emphasizing the moral and ethical dimensions of his actions. This 'conflict of duties' highlights Gandhi's philosophy of balancing legal obligations with a higher moral duty to serve humanity and fight against injustice.

Q6. What would be the impact of synthetic indigo on the prices of natural indigo?

Ans: The landlords in Champaran compelled sharecroppers to cultivate indigo as the chief commercial crop. However, when Germany developed synthetic indigo, the landlords obtained agreements from sharecroppers to release them from the 15 percent indigo cultivation arrangement. This suggests that the availability of synthetic indigo made the traditional cultivation less profitable or desirable.

The shift to synthetic indigo would likely have led to a decline in demand for natural indigo, potentially affecting its prices negatively. The landlords sought compensation from sharecroppers for releasing them from the indigo arrangement, indicating a recognition of the changing economic dynamics due to the introduction of synthetic alternatives.



Q7. What would be the impact of synthetic indigo on the prices of natural indigo?

Ans: Refer to the above answer.

Q8. What changes occurred in the lives of farmers after Gandhi's visit to Champaran?

Ans: After Gandhi's visit to Champaran, several significant changes occurred in the lives of the farmers:

1. End of Indigo Sharecropping: The successful intervention by Gandhi and the subsequent inquiry led to a resolution of the issues faced by the indigo sharecroppers. The British planters agreed, in principle, to make refunds to the peasants, signaling the end of the oppressive indigo sharecropping system.

2. Empowerment and Liberation: The spontaneous demonstration by thousands of peasants in support of Gandhi marked the beginning of their liberation from fear of British authorities. This empowerment was a result of the nonviolent resistance led by Gandhi, showcasing the potential of civil disobedience in challenging colonial oppression.

3. Land Reversion to Peasants: Within a few years, the British planters abandoned their estates, and the land reverted to the peasants. This marked a significant shift in land ownership, giving the peasants control over the land they cultivated.

4. Cultural and Social Development: Gandhi recognized the cultural and social backwardness in Champaran villages. As part of his efforts to bring about immediate change, he appealed for teachers, and volunteers, including Gandhi's associates and their wives, started opening primary schools in six villages. This initiative aimed to address the educational needs of the community.

5. Health and Sanitation Improvement: Gandhi, during his stay, addressed health conditions by getting a doctor to volunteer services. Basic medical treatments were provided, and efforts were made to improve personal cleanliness and community sanitation.

6. Development of Self-Reliance: Gandhi's emphasis on self-reliance was evident when he opposed the idea of relying on an Englishman, Charles Freer Andrews, during the struggle. This instilled a sense of self-reliance among the local leaders, as highlighted by Rajendra Prasad's comments.

In summary, Gandhi's visit to Champaran brought about a positive transformation in the lives of the farmers, leading to the end of oppressive practices, empowerment, and improvements in education, health, and self-reliance.

Q9. How did Civil disobedience triumph for the first time in India?

Ans: The triumph of civil disobedience for the first time in modern India is illustrated in the Champaran episode, as depicted in the story . Here's a detailed explanation:

1. Gandhi's Disobedience and Summons to Court:

  • Gandhi, in response to the grievances of indigo sharecroppers in Champaran, refused to obey the order to leave the region, asserting his commitment to addressing the issues faced by the peasants.

  • This act of civil disobedience by Gandhi, openly defying British authorities, led to his summons to appear in court for his refusal to comply with the order.

2. Spontaneous Peasant Demonstration:

  • The news of Gandhi's summons spread quickly among the local peasants in Champaran.

  • In a remarkable show of support and solidarity, thousands of peasants gathered outside the courthouse in a spontaneous demonstration, expressing their backing for Gandhi.

3. Authorities Powerless without Gandhi's Cooperation:

  • Faced with the massive and united demonstration of the local population, the British authorities found themselves powerless to proceed without Gandhi's cooperation.

  • The officials, feeling the strength of the united peasant front, requested a delay in the trial, indicating their recognition of the potential unrest and challenges they would face without Gandhi's cooperation.

4. Case Dropped and Triumph of Civil Disobedience:

  • The Lieutenant-Governor, influenced by the situation and the support for Gandhi, ordered the case against him to be dropped.

  • This marked the triumph of civil disobedience for the first time in modern India. Gandhi's refusal to obey the order and the subsequent overwhelming support from the local population forced the British authorities to concede, signaling the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance against colonial oppression.

5. Impact and Symbolism:

  • The Champaran episode became a symbol of the power of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance against British rule.

  • It inspired confidence among Indians that peaceful mass mobilization could challenge and triumph over the seemingly unquestionable authority of the British colonial rulers.


In essence, the Champaran episode represents the first successful instance of civil disobedience in modern India, as Gandhi's principled stand and the united support of the peasants compelled the British authorities to back down and drop the case against him. This event laid the groundwork for Gandhi's philosophy of Satyagraha and became a beacon for future movements in the Indian struggle for independence.

Q10. Gandhiji worked for the social backwardness in Chamaparan villages. Elaborate with instances from the text.

Ans: Gandhi's work in Champaran extended beyond addressing the economic grievances of the indigo sharecroppers. He also focused on alleviating the social and cultural backwardness in the villages. Several instances from the text highlight Gandhi's efforts in this regard:

1. Education Initiatives:

  • Gandhi appealed for teachers to address the educational needs of the community in Champaran.

  • Volunteers, including Gandhi's associates and their wives, responded to the call, and primary schools were opened in six villages.

  • This initiative aimed to uplift the educational standards of the local population, contributing to the overall social development.

2. Focus on Personal Cleanliness and Community Sanitation:

  • Kasturbai, Gandhi's wife, took on the role of teaching the ashram rules on personal cleanliness and community sanitation.

  • This effort was a practical step toward improving hygiene practices and living conditions in the villages, addressing a crucial aspect of social well-being.

3. Health Improvement Measures:

  • Gandhi noticed the poor health conditions in Champaran and took action to address them.

  • A doctor volunteered his services for six months, offering medical assistance to the villagers.

  • Basic medicines, including castor oil, quinine, and sulphur ointment, were provided to address common health issues, reflecting Gandhi's concern for the well-being of the community.

4. Empowerment of Women:

  • Gandhi, recognizing the conditions of women in Champaran, addressed the issue of dirty clothes.

  • He instructed Kasturbai to talk to women about improving cleanliness and hygiene.

  • This intervention aimed at empowering women and enhancing their living conditions, contributing to the broader social upliftment.

5. Societal Transformation Through Education:

  • Gandhi's emphasis on education went beyond academic learning; it included imparting values and principles for personal and community development.

  • By establishing schools and promoting education, Gandhi sought to bring about a broader societal transformation, empowering individuals with knowledge and fostering a sense of responsibility and community.

6. Awareness of Latrine Maintenance:

  • Gandhi, even from a distance, monitored the ashram and its activities in Champaran.

  • He emphasized the importance of maintaining hygiene by instructing the filling of old latrine trenches and digging new ones.


  • This directive reflected Gandhi's holistic approach to social development, considering even basic sanitary facilities as essential for community well-being.

  • In summary, Gandhi's work in Champaran went beyond the economic aspects, encompassing initiatives to address social backwardness.

Through education, health interventions, cleanliness campaigns, and empowerment efforts, he aimed to uplift the overall well-being of the Champaran villages, reflecting his commitment to holistic and sustainable social development.


Q11. Gandhi effectively managed to redress the problems of the indigo sharecroppers with the Lieutenant Governor. What did he achieve?

Ans: Gandhi, through persistent efforts, convinced the Lieutenant Governor to appoint an official commission of inquiry into the grievances of indigo sharecroppers in Champaran. This led to a resolution where landlords agreed, in principle, to refund 50% of the unjustly extorted money, marking a significant victory for the peasants.

Q12.  Gandhi not only alleviated the economic conditions of the Champaran people but also their social and cultural background. Justify.


Educational Reforms:

Gandhi's commitment to social transformation in Champaran extended to addressing educational gaps. He appealed for teachers, leading to the establishment of primary schools, aiming to uplift the community's educational standards.

Health and Hygiene Initiatives:

Recognizing the poor health conditions, Gandhi took steps to improve healthcare. A volunteered doctor provided medical assistance, and basic medicines were distributed. Efforts to enhance personal cleanliness and community sanitation were also emphasized.

Empowering Women:

Gandhi's concern for women's conditions in Champaran manifested in instructions to address clothing issues. This initiative aimed at empowering women and improving their living conditions, contributing to broader societal upliftment.

Self-Reliance and Holistic Transformation:

Gandhi's emphasis on self-reliance went beyond economic aspects, fostering a holistic societal transformation. His vision integrated education, health, and empowerment initiatives, aiming to break social and cultural backwardness and create an inclusive and empowered community.

Conclusion :

The Champaran episode exemplifies Gandhi's multifaceted approach, not only addressing economic injustices but also laying the foundation for comprehensive social development. His initiatives formed an integral part of India's journey towards independence.


Q. What was the contract between the sharecroppers of Champaran and their British landlords?


1. Mandatory Indigo Cultivation: The landlords required all tenants, who were sharecroppers, to plant a specific portion of their holdings with indigo. This was typically set at three twentieths or 15 percent of their total land.

2. Surrender of Entire Indigo Harvest: According to the contract, the sharecroppers were obligated to surrender the entire indigo harvest from the specified portion of their land to the landlords as rent. This was done under a long-term contractual arrangement.


Lost Spring


  1. What vicious circle are the bangle-makers trapped in?

  2. The description of Seemapuri creates a very dismal picture. Explain

  3. Firozabad presents a strange paradox the beauty of the glass bangles and the misery of the people who make bangles. Discuss. (120-150 words/ 5 Marks)

  4. ‘Last Spring’ and ‘Indigo’ bring out how the common man is a victim of exploitation. Explain.

  5. Why can the bangle-makers not organise themselves into a cooperative ?

Q1. What vicious circle are the bangle-makers trapped in?

The bangle-makers in Firozabad are trapped in a vicious circle involving middlemen, police, bureaucrats, and politicians. These middlemen exploit the poverty and helplessness of the bangle-making families, keeping them in a perpetual state of poverty. The lack of organization and leadership among the bangle-makers prevents them from breaking free from this cycle. The middlemen, along with other authorities, create a system that perpetuates their exploitation, making it difficult for the bangle-makers to improve their lives or escape from the clutches of poverty.

Q2. The description of Seemapuri creates a very dismal picture. Explain

Ans: Seemapuri is described as a place on the periphery of Delhi, inhabited by squatters who came from Bangladesh in 1971. The living conditions in Seemapuri are dismal, with structures made of mud, roofs of tin and tarpaulin, and a lack of basic amenities such as sewage, drainage, or running water. The 10,000 ragpickers who live in Seemapuri have no official identity or permits, but they manage to survive through ration cards that allow them to buy grain. The place is characterized by poverty, lack of infrastructure, and a struggle for survival, highlighting the harsh realities faced by those who have migrated and settled in such areas.

Q3. Firozabad presents a strange paradox the beauty of the glass bangles and the misery of the people who make bangles. Discuss. (120-150 words/ 5 Marks)

Firozabad encapsulates a poignant paradox where the aesthetic allure of glass bangles sharply contrasts with the pervasive misery of the individuals responsible for crafting these intricate ornaments. The town, renowned for its glass-blowing industry, produces bangles that epitomize vibrant hues and cultural significance, symbolizing auspiciousness in marriages. The craftsmanship involved in creating these adornments adds to their beauty, making them sought after across the country.

However, this picturesque image unravels when one delves into the lives of the bangle-makers. These artisans, toiling in dingy cells without adequate light or ventilation, endure harsh conditions while creating these symbols of beauty. The narrative unveils the grim reality of child labor, where approximately 20,000 children work in the glass furnaces, exposed to high temperatures and risking the brightness of their eyes.

The families involved in bangle-making, despite being an integral part of a renowned industry, live in squalor. Poverty, lack of education, and absence of basic amenities define their daily existence. The paradox lies in the stark dichotomy between the allure of the final product and the grim circumstances of those crafting it. Firozabad becomes a microcosm of the societal disparities, where the beauty of tradition is overshadowed by the exploitation and destitution of the very artisans preserving it.

Q4. Why can the bangle-makers not organize themselves into a cooperative ?

The bangle-makers cannot organize themselves into a cooperative due to the fear of legal repercussions. The young men in Firozabad express concern that even if they were to organize, they would be targeted by the police, beaten, and possibly sent to jail for engaging in what is considered illegal activities. This fear reflects the power dynamics and exploitation present in their working environment. The absence of a leader among them and the belief that even organized efforts would be met with legal consequences contribute to their reluctance to form a cooperative and break free from the exploitative system imposed by middlemen and authorities.

Q5. ‘Lost Spring’ and ‘Indigo’ bring out how the common man is a victim of exploitation. Explain.

Ans: Both "Lost Spring" and "Indigo" highlight the exploitation and victimization of the common man, especially in the context of socio-economic and cultural issues.

1. Economic Exploitation in 'Indigo'

  • In "Indigo," the exploitation is evident in the relationship between the English landlords and Indian sharecroppers in Champaran. The landlords, owning large estates, forced the peasants to plant a significant portion of their land with indigo and surrender the entire harvest as rent.

  • The landlords took advantage of the peasants' lack of awareness and literacy to secure agreements, later compensating them for the release of the indigo arrangement when synthetic indigo was introduced.

  • The peasants were coerced and oppressed, facing the dilemma of signing agreements that they didn't fully understand. The landlords, backed by legal and physical force, perpetuated the economic exploitation.

2. Social and Cultural Exploitation in 'Lost Spring':

  • In "Lost Spring," the focus is on the socio-economic conditions of ragpickers living in Seemapuri, a settlement of squatters on the outskirts of Delhi.

  • The residents, originally from Bangladesh, lack official identities and live in abject poverty. They scavenge through garbage dumps for a living, highlighting their economic exploitation and marginalization.

  • The story also touches upon the cultural exploitation as the ragpickers, despite living in the same city, remain invisible and excluded. They lack access to basic amenities like education, perpetuating a cycle of poverty.

3. Child Labor and Lack of Opportunities in 'Lost Spring':

  • "Lost Spring" introduces characters like Saheb and Mukesh, who symbolize the exploitation of child labor. Saheb scrounges for gold in garbage dumps, and Mukesh works in a glass-blowing industry in Firozabad.

  • Mukesh's dream of becoming a motor mechanic is overshadowed by the harsh reality of poverty, lack of education, and limited opportunities. The children are forced into labor due to economic conditions and social structures that deny them a chance for personal development.

4. Resistance and Change in 'Indigo':

  • In "Indigo," resistance comes in the form of Mahatma Gandhi, who challenges the unjust system. His involvement in the Champaran episode illustrates how civil disobedience can be a powerful tool against economic exploitation.

  • Gandhi's efforts lead to an official inquiry, exposing the exploitation by landlords, and ultimately a settlement that brings relief to the sharecroppers. This marks a significant shift in power dynamics and the beginning of liberation for the peasants.

  • In summary, both stories shed light on the multifaceted exploitation faced by the common man, encompassing economic, social, and cultural dimensions. They emphasize the need for resistance, awareness, and collective efforts to bring about positive change and alleviate the plight of the marginalized.


Q. Life of the bangle makers of Firozabad shows the grinding state of poverty and traditions that condemn thousands of people to live a life of misery. Elaborate


The depiction of life in Firozabad in "Lost Spring" unveils a stark reality – the relentless grip of grinding poverty on families engaged in the traditional occupation of bangle-making. This narrative sheds light on the hazardous working conditions, lack of education, and limited opportunities that generations of bangle makers face.

Cycle of Poverty:

The families, deeply entrenched in glass-blowing and bangle-making, find themselves trapped in a perpetual cycle of poverty. Despite their artistic contributions to culturally significant items, such as bangles, economic exploitation and societal norms prevent them from breaking free.

Hazardous Working Conditions:

The story highlights the dismal working conditions in which children, often losing their eyesight before adulthood, are forced to contribute to the family's meager income. The lack of awareness about legal protections perpetuates their exploitation.

Societal Norms and Economic Exploitation:

The tradition of making bangles, passed down through generations, becomes both a source of identity and a shackle. The families remain ensnared in poverty, unable to break free due to societal norms and economic exploitation by middlemen and sahukars.

Call for Reforms:

The narrative highlights the urgent need for social reforms, education, and economic empowerment to break the cycle of poverty that persists in traditional occupations like bangle-making. The lives of these bangle makers illuminate the broader issues of poverty and exploitation plaguing the common man.


Deep Water

  1. What were Douglas' initial thoughts when he was pushed into the pool?

  2. Why did Douglas decide to go to the YMCA pool to learn swimming ?

  3. What handicap did Doughlas suffer from? How did he overcome that?

2020 How did William Douglas’s fear of water start ?


The Rattrap

Q1. Why was the peddler hesitant to accompany the ironmaster to the manor house?

The peddler was hesitant to accompany the ironmaster to the manor house because he had initially deceived the ironmaster by pretending to be an old acquaintance named Captain von Stahle. The ironmaster mistook him for someone else, and the peddler was afraid that his true identity as a poor trader would be revealed. Additionally, he had stolen money from the old man's leather pouch in the cottage, and he feared facing consequences if he went to the manor house with the ironmaster.

Q2. Edla is a contrast to her father, the ironmaster. Explain. (120-150 words/ 5 Marks)

Edla, the daughter of the ironmaster, serves as a stark contrast to her father in terms of compassion, empathy, and social outlook. The ironmaster, driven by societal norms and skepticism, initially views the peddler with suspicion, assuming he is an old acquaintance. In contrast, Edla approaches the situation with a more humane perspective, recognizing the peddler's need for shelter and warmth.

While the ironmaster represents a more rigid and class-conscious attitude, Edla exhibits a kind and open-hearted nature. Her actions, such as interceding for the peddler and insisting on his stay for Christmas Eve, reveal a willingness to see beyond societal stereotypes and extend help to those in need. Edla's compassionate demeanor challenges her father's initial judgment, emphasizing a stark generational and ideological difference between them. This contrast highlights the theme of kindness and humanity prevailing over social status and skepticism in the narrative.

Q3. What made the ironmaster invite the peddler to his house ?

The ironmaster invited the peddler to his house initially because he mistook him for an old regimental comrade named Captain von Stahle. Believing the peddler to be an acquaintance, the ironmaster thought it was only right to offer him shelter and hospitality, especially on Christmas Eve. However, once the ironmaster discovered the deception and the peddler's true identity, he was less pleased and wanted him to leave.

Q4. Who was Edla Williamson ? Why did she visit the forge at night ?

Edla Willmansson is the daughter of the ironmaster in the story. She represents a compassionate and empathetic character in contrast to her father's initial skepticism. Edla visited the forge at night to offer help and shelter to the peddler, a man she believed to be in need. This act of kindness stemmed from her understanding of the peddler's difficult life, as well as her desire to bring warmth and Christmas cheer to someone who seemed destitute.

Q5. Why did the iron master compare Edla to a parson ?

The ironmaster compared Edla to a parson because of her compassionate and charitable nature. He used the phrase when he said, "You do preach worse than a parson," in response to Edla's plea to let the peddler stay for Christmas Eve. The ironmaster acknowledged her inclination towards kindness and generosity, even though he may not have fully shared her sentiments initially.

Q6. What made the peddler think that he had fallen into the trap?

The peddler thought that he had fallen into the trap when he found himself lost in the confusing forest after stealing money from the old man's leather pouch. He had earlier compared the world to a rattrap, where people are enticed by baits, and once ensnared, everything comes to an end. Now, he realized that he had become a victim of his own analogy. The forest represented the trap closing in on him, and he felt trapped in an impenetrable prison from which he thought he could never escape. This situation made him reflect on his own thoughts about the world and its traps.


Q. The iron master accuses the peddler of not being quite honest. What does the peddler say to justify the situation?

The peddler, in response to the ironmaster's accusation of dishonesty, emphasizes several points to justify his actions. Firstly, he asserts that he had not pretended to be anything other than a poor trader. Furthermore, the peddler emphasizes that he had pleaded and begged to be allowed to stay in the forge. The act of pleading and begging suggests a vulnerability and a sincere desire for temporary shelter rather than a malicious intent. Lastly, the peddler presents the option of putting on his rags again and leaving.


Going Places

1. Why did Sophie wish to delve more deeply in her brother's affections?

Ans: Sophie wished to delve more deeply into her brother's affections because she felt a sense of curiosity and longing for the world outside her immediate surroundings. Geoff, being older and working as an apprentice mechanic, represented a connection to a broader world that Sophie desired to explore. She sensed that Geoff had experiences and knowledge beyond her reach, and she wanted to be a part of that, breaking free from the limitations of her current life.

2. Fantasizing and unrealistic dreams sometimes lead to disappointment and disillusionment. Discuss this with reference to the story Going Places. (120-150 Words/ 5 Marks)

Answers: In the story "Going Places," Sophie's fantasizing and unrealistic dreams serve as a central theme that leads to disappointment and disillusionment. Sophie dreams of having a boutique and compares herself to successful figures like Mary Quant. However, her family's financial constraints and the practicalities of life make achieving these dreams challenging. Her aspirations clash with the reality of her future earmarked for the biscuit factory.

Similarly, Sophie's encounter with Danny Casey, a famous footballer, becomes a source of fantasy and excitement. However, when she waits for him by the canal, he doesn't show up, shattering her dreams. This highlights the contrast between her idealized vision and the harsh realities of life. The story underscores the notion that indulging in fantasies and unrealistic dreams can set one up for inevitable disappointment and disillusionment when confronted with the limitations and practicalities of the real world.


Aunt Jennifer's Tigers


Q1. Why do Aunt Jennifer's tigers not fear the men beneath the tree?

Ans: Aunt Jennifer's tigers do not fear the men beneath the tree because they exist in a symbolic world created by Aunt Jennifer herself. The tigers represent her inner strength, desires, and aspirations. In this imaginary world, the tigers are confident and unafraid, reflecting Aunt Jennifer's longing for a life that is free from fear and oppression.

Q2. Why did Aunt Jennifer create tigers so different from her own character?

Ans: Aunt Jennifer created tigers that are different from her own character as a form of artistic expression and an escape from her reality. The tigers symbolize the strength, freedom, and power that she may have felt lacking in her own life. Through her art, Aunt Jennifer can manifest a world where she is not constrained by the societal expectations and the weight of her marriage.


Q3. What does Aunt Jennifer symbolize in the poem 'Aunt Jennifer's Tigers'?

Ans: Aunt Jennifer symbolizes a woman trapped in a stifling marriage and societal expectations. The poem suggests that she is subdued and burdened by the weight of her responsibilities, as indicated by the description of the massive weight of Uncle's wedding band on her hand. The poem portrays Aunt Jennifer as someone who seeks an outlet for her suppressed desires and finds solace in creating an artistic world through her needlework, where she can express her innermost thoughts and aspirations. The tigers in the poem symbolize the strength and freedom that Aunt Jennifer yearns for but cannot fully attain in her real life.

Q4. Explain the irony at the end of the poem, "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers'.

The irony lies in the fact that while Aunt Jennifer's artistic creation, the tigers, exude confidence and fearlessness, Aunt Jennifer's own life is marked by fear and subjugation. The tigers symbolize the strength and freedom she wishes for but cannot fully attain in her reality.

The contrast between the fearless tigers in the artistic panel and Aunt Jennifer's fearful, burdened existence creates a poignant irony, highlighting the disparity between her imaginative world and the harsh realities of her life. Despite her artistic expression, Aunt Jennifer seems unable to break free from the constraints that define her existence.

Q5. Explain the significance of the 'denizens pacing in sleek certainty' in the poem 'Aunt Jennifer's Tigers'.

Ans: In "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers," the phrase "denizens pacing in sleek certainty" symbolizes Aunt Jennifer's artistic creation, representing her suppressed desires for strength and freedom. This imagery contrasts with her oppressed reality, emphasizing the power of art as an outlet for expressing unfulfilled aspirations and breaking free from societal constraints.


Keeping Quiet

Q1. What according to Pablo Neruda in the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’ is the lesson that we should learn from mother earth?


The Roadside Stand

Q1. Who does the poet accuse of having double standards in The Roadside Stand?

Q2. What does the expression ‘polished traffic’ refer to? What does it reveal about city people?

Q3. A Roadside Stand is a social satire depicting the two contrasting worlds existing in society. Justify this statement with reference to the poem. ( 120-150 Words/ 5 Marks)


Poets & Pancakes

  1.  In the chapter ' Poets and Pancakes', the author has used gentle humour to point out human foibles. Pick out instances of this to show how it served to make the extract engaging.


A Thing of Beauty

  1.  In the poem ' A Thing of Beauty' how is grandeur connected with the mighty dead?

  2. Explain 'On every morrow are we wreathing.'.


  1. In What way do the things of beauty leave a lasting impression on us?


My Mother At Sixty Six

Q1. What is the significance of the word ‘but’ in ‘but all I said was see you soon, Amma ?




Journey to the End of the Earth


Q1. What were the author's initial emotions on setting foot in Antarctica?

The author's initial emotions on setting foot in Antarctica were relief, followed by immediate and profound wonder. The relief likely stemmed from the culmination of a long and arduous journey involving various modes of transportation. The wonder was directed at the immensity and isolation of Antarctica, particularly reflecting on the historical connection when India and Antarctica were part of the same landmass.

Q2. What are the significant features of the ‘Students on Ice Programme’?

The significant features of the 'Students on Ice Programme' include its aim to provide high school students with inspiring educational opportunities at the ends of the world, particularly in Antarctica. The program, led by Geoff Green, focuses on fostering a new understanding and respect for the planet among the future generation of policy-makers. It offers life-changing experiences for students, allowing them to absorb, learn, and take action regarding environmental issues.

Q3. Why did Geoff Green include young students in his programme?

Geoff Green included young students in the 'Students on Ice Programme' because he wanted to offer the future generation of policy-makers a life-changing experience at an age when they are ready to absorb, learn, and act. The program aims to instill a deeper understanding and respect for the planet in young minds, emphasizing the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability.

Q4. How can a visit to Antarctica be an enlightening experience? Elaborate.

A visit to Antarctica can be an enlightening experience due to several factors. The continent's pristine environment, devoid of human population, allows for a direct observation of natural processes and ecosystems. Antarctica's simple ecosystem and lack of biodiversity make it an ideal place to study how small changes in the environment can have significant repercussions. Additionally, the continent holds ancient ice cores with half-million-year-old carbon records, providing insights into the Earth's past, present, and future. The immersive experience in Antarctica forces individuals to place themselves in the context of the Earth's geological history, fostering a deep appreciation for the planet's fragility and the impact of human activities.

Q5. How has human civilization impacted our environment? Comment with reference to the lesson 'Journey to the End of the Earth'.

Human civilization has impacted the environment significantly, as highlighted in the lesson 'Journey to the End of the Earth.' The author mentions that human civilizations have been around for a relatively short period of 12,000 years, yet in this brief time, humans have created a considerable impact. The rapid increase in human populations has led to competition with other species for limited resources, while the unmitigated burning of fossil fuels has contributed to a rise in carbon dioxide levels, affecting the global climate.

The lesson emphasizes climate change as one of the most contested environmental debates, and Antarctica plays a crucial role in this discussion. The continent's pristine nature and ice cores containing ancient carbon records make it a vital location for studying the Earth's past, present, and future.

The author suggests that witnessing the visible effects of climate change, such as glaciers retreating and ice shelves collapsing, makes the threat of global warming more tangible. Overall, the lesson highlights the importance of understanding and addressing the environmental impact of human activities, especially in the context of climate change and its potential consequences.


How was Gondwana different from today’s world ? Describe it.

Ans: Gondwana was a giant amalgamated southern supercontinent that existed approximately 600 to 500 million years ago. It was centered roughly around the present-day Antarctica and included landmasses that are now part of South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, the Indian subcontinent, and the Arabian Peninsula. Gondwana was significantly different from today's world in several aspects:

1. Geographical Configuration: Gondwana represented a massive landmass that was a combination of several continents. The continents we recognize today were part of this singular supercontinent, and their current positions and shapes were vastly different from what we see today.

2. Climate: The climate of Gondwana during its existence was much warmer than the present. It hosted a diverse range of flora and fauna due to the milder temperatures. The climate supported a wide variety of ecosystems across the supercontinent.

3. Biodiversity: Gondwana thrived for approximately 500 million years, and during this time, it harbored a rich diversity of plant and animal species. However, these species were different from the ones we find today, as evolution and extinction events have shaped the Earth's biodiversity over millions of years.

4. Human Presence: Human beings had not yet appeared on the global scene during the time of Gondwana. The emergence of complex life forms, including humans, occurred much later in the Earth's history.

5. Landmass Arrangement: Over time, as the dinosaurs went extinct and the age of mammals began, Gondwana started to break apart. The landmasses drifted and separated, forming the continents as we know them today. This process shaped the modern geographical arrangement of continents and ocean basins.

6. Continental Drift: The breakup of Gondwana played a crucial role in the phenomenon of continental drift. The separation of landmasses and their movement over geological time scales has influenced the Earth's topography and climate patterns.

In summary, Gondwana was a vastly different world from today, characterized by a warmer climate, different species, and a singular supercontinent that eventually gave rise to the continents we recognize in the present day. The study of Gondwana provides insights into the dynamic geological and climatic changes that have shaped the Earth over millions of years.


The Third Level


Q1. Describe briefly the Third Level. How did it differ from the Second Level?

The Third Level is a mysterious and seemingly time-traveling location within Grand Central Station. Charley discovers it accidentally when he gets lost trying to take the subway home.

The Third Level is distinct from the Second Level in that it appears to be a portal to the past, specifically the year 1894. The atmosphere on the Third Level reflects the late 19th century, with people dressed in clothing from that era, gaslights illuminating the space, and outdated technology. It is a place where one can apparently purchase train tickets to various destinations in the United States but for the year 1894.

Q2. What role does Sam’s letter play in the story?

Sam's letter serves as crucial evidence for Charley and Louisa that the Third Level is real. It confirms that Sam, who disappeared mysteriously, has found the Third Level and is living in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1894. The letter is a message of invitation for Charley and Louisa to join him on the Third Level, emphasizing the idyllic and peaceful life of that time. Sam's letter becomes a catalyst for Charley and Louisa to believe in the existence of the Third Level and motivates them to keep searching for it.

Q3. What do you learn about Galesburg, Illinois, during 1894 from the lesson 'The Third Level'?

From the story, we learn that Galesburg, Illinois, in 1894 is depicted as a charming and peaceful town. The description includes big old frame houses, huge lawns, and tall trees with branches meeting overhead. The evenings are described as being twice as long, with people sitting on their lawns, men smoking cigars and talking quietly, and women waving palm-leaf fans. The setting portrays a serene and idyllic atmosphere, emphasizing the nostalgia and appeal of the past.

Q4. Why did Charley buy old-style currency?

Charley bought old-style currency because he wanted to use it to purchase tickets on the Third Level at Grand Central Station. When he initially tried to buy tickets with modern currency, the clerk rejected it, considering it counterfeit. To avoid suspicion and ensure a successful transaction, Charley exchanged his modern money for old-style bills, matching the currency used in the year 1894 on the Third Level.

Q5. Do you think that the third level was a medium of escape? Why/Why not?

Yes, the Third Level can be interpreted as a medium of escape. Charley and others who find this mysterious level have the opportunity to travel back in time to a seemingly simpler and more peaceful era, away from the complexities and troubles of the modern world.

The appeal of Galesburg, Illinois, in 1894, with its nostalgic charm, represents a desire for an escape from the anxieties of the present. The Third Level becomes a literal and metaphorical escape route for those seeking refuge from the challenges of their contemporary lives.


Q. The modern world is full of insecurity, fear, war, worry and stress. What are the ways in which we attempt to overcome them? (120-150 Words/ 5 Marks)

1. Psychological Escapism:

Individuals often resort to psychological escapism as a means of overcoming the challenges posed by the modern world. This involves seeking refuge in alternate realities or daydreams to temporarily detach from the harsh realities of life.

2. Hobbies and Collections:

Engaging in hobbies or building collections, as seen in the protagonist's stamp collecting, serves as a temporary refuge from the stresses of the contemporary world. These activities provide a sense of purpose and diversion from daily anxieties.

3. Seeking Unconventional Solutions:

In the case of Charley from "The Third Level," the discovery of the mysterious Third Level at Grand Central Station becomes an unconventional solution. It symbolizes a physical and temporal escape, offering a retreat to a seemingly simpler era.

4. Nostalgia and Idealization:

An inclination towards nostalgia and idealization of the past is a common strategy. The desire to revisit a perceived better time, as showcased in the story's portrayal of 1894, reflects an attempt to escape the challenges of the contemporary world.

5. Materialistic Distractions:

Some individuals turn to materialistic distractions, such as acquiring old-style currency, to recreate a semblance of the past. This may involve collecting vintage items or engaging in activities that evoke a sense of historical comfort.

In summary, people employ diverse strategies ranging from psychological escapism to tangible actions like exploring mysterious avenues, all in an effort to overcome the insecurities, fears, wars, and stress prevalent in the modern world.


The Tiger King

Q1. What was Maharaja's mission? How did he resolve to overcome the obstacles in the fulfilment of his mission?  

The Maharaja's mission was to kill a hundred tigers. He resolved to overcome obstacles in the fulfillment of his mission by issuing a proclamation that banned tiger hunting by anyone except himself. The State astrologer's prediction also played a crucial role in shaping his determination. He faced dangers during the hunts, but his indomitable courage and determination allowed him to successfully kill seventy tigers.

Q2. What was the hidden agenda behind the Tiger King’s marriage with the princess in the neighbouring state ?

The hidden agenda behind the Tiger King's marriage with the princess in the neighbouring state was to find a bride from a royal family with a large tiger population. This strategic decision was made to ensure that he could continue his tiger hunts, as killing tigers had become a significant aspect of his identity and rule.

Q3. What did the astrologers depict about the child when he was born?

The astrologers foretold that the newborn prince would mature into a heroic figure, renowned for his bravery and warrior prowess. Additionally, He noted that the infant was born during the hour of the bull, and as the bull and the tiger were considered adversaries, the astrologers predicted that his demise would be attributed to a tiger.

Q4. How did the ‘duraisani’ behave on receiving the gifts?

Upon receiving expensive diamond rings from the Maharaja, the duraisani (wife of the British officer) did not send back the rings as expected. Instead, she thanked the Maharaja for the gifts. Subsequently, a bill for three lakh rupees arrived from the British jewellers, and the Maharaja considered it a small price to pay to retain his kingdom.

Q5. Which problem did the Maharaja face after killing seventy tigers when he had vowed to kill 100 tigers?

After killing seventy tigers, the Maharaja faced a problem when the tiger population became extinct in the forests of Pratibandapuram. Despite his determination to kill a hundred tigers, the scarcity of tigers in his own state became a hurdle, and he struggled to find the remaining thirty tigers.

Q6. Did the Tiger King manage to kill the hundredth Tiger / why /why not ?

No, the Tiger King did not manage to kill the hundredth tiger. In a twist of events, the last tiger he believed he had killed turned out to be alive. The tiger had fainted from the shock of a missed bullet, and the Maharaja remained unaware of this. The tiger was later killed by one of the hunters to maintain the Maharaja's belief that he had successfully completed his mission. In a tragic turn of events, the Maharaja contracted a fatal infection from a wooden splinter while playing with a toy tiger, and the surgeons declared him dead after a failed operation. This marked the hundredth tiger's final revenge upon the Tiger King.


How did the Tiger King meet his end ? What is ironical about his death?

Ans: The Tiger King, Maharaja Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur, met his end due to an unexpected turn of events following his mission to kill a hundred tigers. After successfully hunting numerous tigers, he faced a shortage as the tiger population in Pratibandapuram's forests became extinct.

The irony lies in the fact that the Maharaja, known for his prowess in tiger hunting, did not meet his end during a tiger hunt. Instead, his death resulted from a seemingly trivial incident. While playing with a wooden tiger toy meant for his son, he suffered an infection from a splinter that led to a fatal suppurating sore. This ironic twist contrasts with his grand ambitions and fearless encounters with real tigers.

Despite efforts by renowned surgeons to treat the infection, the Maharaja's condition worsened. The irony deepened when the surgeons, who intended to save him through an operation, emerged from the theatre declaring the operation successful while simultaneously announcing the Maharaja's demise. This unforeseen consequence marked the hundredth tiger's final revenge, fulfilling the astrologers' prediction in an unexpected and ironic manner.


On The Face of It

Q1. Mr. Lamb stands as a symbol of optimism and hope. Support your answer with examples from the text.

Q2. What gave Derry the courage to go back to Mr. Lamb’s house despite his mother’s refusal?

Q3. Why did Derry enter Mr. Lamb's garden?

Q4. Derek wants to go back to Mr. Lamb's House against his mother's will. What does this tell you about Mr. Lamb?


Q1. Who is Mr. Lamb? How does Derry get into his garden?

Q2. How did Mr. Lamb's conversation and company change Derry's desire to isolate himself from the


The Enemy

Q. What impressions do you form of Dr. Sadao's father from the story 'the Enemy'?

Q. Why was Dr. Sadao not sent abroad with the troops?

Q. Dr. Sadao emerges as a Saviour of humanity. Substantiate your answer with evidence from the text. (120-150 words/5 Marks )

Q. Dr. Sadao is torn between his duty as a doctor and his responsibility as a patriotic citizen. Elaborate.


We Too Are Humans

  1. What does Zitkala-Sa mean by eating by formula?

  2. Bama and Zitkala-Sa, though victims of a system that crushes their aspirations, are determined to break out. Comment. (120 150 words/ 5 Marks)


To be Continued. Keep visiting the site.



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