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For 2024 Board Exam
CBSE Competency Based Questions:
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Class 12

No Men Are Foreign | NCERT Solution | CBQs

Updated: Oct 27, 2023


Lesson Architecture:

Author Biography

  • An English poet who was an internationally celebrated poet, journalist, novelist, playwright and translator.

  • He was a teacher in England and Sweden, Spain and Japan.

  • His writings include around forty poetry collections, six books of autobiography etc.

  • He used to write in ‘The Independent’ newspaper and wrote about three hundred obituaries.

  • Atlantic Award for Literature from the Rockefeller Foundation.

  • Japan P.E.N Club Prize for poetry.



Theme

  • The poem promotes Universal Love & Brotherhood.

  • The poet suggests to us that all human beings are the same although there may be differences in religions, nationality, culture and languages.

  • All human beings share the sun air and water and we all labour alike, prosper in peace and suffer during war.

  • Human beings have commonality and they should foster bond of love and peace with one another.

  • When we wage a war against a country, we pollute the environment and harm ourselves in the process.




Stanza-Wise Explanation


Stanza 1

Remember, no men are strange, no countries foreign

Beneath all uniforms, a single body breathes Like ours: the land our brothers walk upon

Is earth like this, in which we all shall lie.


Vocabulary:

Beneath all uniforms: Inside the common clothes.

in which we all shall lie: We shall eventually get buried inside the earth.


Paraphrase:

  • The poet asks us to remember that no human being is a stranger to one another and no countries can be called foreign lands.

  • Inside the common clothes all human beings breathe like one another.

  • The land on which people of different countries walk is the same earth inside which all shall be buried after our death.


Stanza 2

They, too, aware of sun and air and water,

Are fed by peaceful harvests, by war’s long winter starv’d.

Their hands are ours, and in their lines we read

A labour not different from our own.


Vocabulary:

peaceful harvests – harvests during peaceful time.

war’s long winter starv’d – Like the productivity becomes less in winter, similarly people starve for a long time during war.

in their lines – in their hands.

A labour: hard work/efforts


Paraphrase:

Human beings living in different lands can experience similar things like

  • We share Sun, air and water.

  • Same healthy harvests during peaceful time.

  • Remain starved during the time of war.

  • We all labour in the same manner.

Stanza 3

Remember they have eyes like ours that wake

Or sleep, and strength that can be won

By love. In every land is common life

That all can recognise and understand.


Vocabulary:

that wake Or sleep – People of different countries have eyes like us which are used for sleeping and waking.


Paraphrase:

  • We have same structure of eyes that wake up or sleep in the same manner.

  • All human beings have strength that can be enhanced by mutual love.

  • In every country we have common life style which we can identify and understand each other’s way of living.

Stanza 4

Let us remember, whenever we are told

To hate our brothers, it is ourselves

That we shall dispossess, betray, condemn.

Remember, we who take arms against each other


Vocabulary:

To hate our brothers – to hate people of another country.

we shall dispossess – We destroy our own possessions when we hate others.

condemn- speak ill of.


Paraphrase:

  • We should remember that whenever we are provoked to hate people of another country, it is us who are at a loss.

  • In the process of hating others, we lose our own possessions, we are betrayed and condemned. We direct the hatred to ourselves in the event of hating other people.

  • We should remember that when we take arms against people of another country, we (pollute the earth).

Literary Devices

Recapitulation:

  • The poem conveys that we should build human relationship and foster universal love and brotherhood.

  • Human beings belonging to different countries are not stranger to one another.

  • They walk on the same earth and are fed by the same kind of harvest.

  • The poet reminds us that whenever we hate others, we dispossess, betray & condemn ourselves.

  • We pollute the air with fire and smoke when we indulge in air.

  • The Poet reminds us that no man is strange and no country is foreign.

NCERT Concept Video



NCERT Solution


Thinking about the Poem ( Page 81)


1.Answer the following questions


(i) “Beneath all uniforms . ..” What uniforms do you think the poet is speaking about?


Ans: The poet thinks about a variety of dresses that people of different countries wear. It could also mean different types of uniforms that soldiers of different countries wear.


(ii) How does the poet suggest that all people on earth are the same?


Ans: The poet suggests with the help of following instances:

  • Inside the clothes all human beings have the common body that breathes like one another.

  • The land on which people of different countries walk is the same earth.

  • All human beings share the sun, air and water.

  • They all labour alike, sleeps at the end of the day and wake up in the same manner.

  • They prosper in peace and suffer during war.

  • Thus nobody is foreign and no country is strange.

2. In stanza 1, find five ways in which we all are alike. Pick out the words.


Ans: The following are the five ways in which we all are alike.

  • No men are strange.

  • No countries foreign

  • a single body breathes.

  • We all walk on the same earth.

  • We all shall lie on the same earth after our death.

3. How many common features can you find in stanza 2? Pick out the words.

Ans: The following are the common features of all human beings all over the globe:

All human beings share the sun, air and water.

They are fed by peaceful harvests and starved during war.

All human being labour to make a living.


4. “...whenever we are told to hate our brothers...” When do you think this happens? Why? Who ‘tells’ us? Should we do as we are told at such times? What does the poet say?


Ans: This happens when there is a conflict and violence which leads to war among different nations.

It happens resulting out of arms race, land disputes, trade conflict between two/multiple nations.

The people of the countries involved in conflict with one another tell us to hate our brothers.

No, we should not indulge in spreading the poison of hatred for one another. If we do so, we ourselves will have to suffer the casualties.

The poet says that In the process of hating others, we lose our own possessions, we are betrayed and condemned. We direct the hatred to ourselves in the event of hating other people.

CBQs ( Competency Based Questions)


1.What does the poet ask us to remember in the first stanza of the poem ‘No Men Are Foreign’?

Ans : In the poem ‘No Men Are Foreign’, the poet asks us to remember that under all uniforms, a single body breathes like ours. We all walk on the same land. We all live and work in the same way. So, we are not different from each other.


2. How does the poet justify in stanza III of the poem that no men are foreign?


Ans: The poet does not believe in geographical boundaries and land demarcation that separate people of one country with another. He says human beings are equal. All the men have eyes like ours. They wake up and sleep in the same way. Relationship can be strengthened by fostering universal love and brotherhood. There is no difference among the nations.


3.“We are told to hate our brothers.” How does it affect us?


Ans : The poet says that hatred pollutes our own air. When we hate others, we dispossess ourselves. We tend to betray and condemn ourselves. If we hate others, we defile our own earth. Hatred brings only destruction.


4. What message does the poet convey through the poem ‘No Men Are Foreign’?


Ans: The poet conveys the message of universal love & brotherhood through the poem. He says that the people living in other parts of the world are like us in many ways. There are many common traits among people of different nations. All live, work, eat, walk and sleep in the

same way. When we wage a war against a country, we pollute the environment and harm ourselves in the process.


5. Our hells of fire and dust outrage the innocence of air.’ Explain.


Ans : Whenever we take arms against one another we pollute the living condition on earth. Our involvement in wars dilute the purity of air that is present everywhere for the sustenance of our life. The war replaces the innocence of the environment with hatred.


6. “It is ourselves that we shall dispossess, betray, condemn.” What does the poet convey?

Ans: We should remember that whenever we are provoked to hate people of another country, it is us who are at a loss.

In the process of hating others, we lose our own possessions, we are betrayed and condemned. We direct the hatred to ourselves in the event of hating other people.


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