Q1. Who was Saheb? What was he doing and why?
Ans – Saheb was a young boy of school-going age. He was looking for gold in the garbage dumps of the big city. He had left his home in Dhaka, Bangladesh and came to the big city in search of living. He has nothing. else to do but pick rags.
Q2. “But promises like mine abound in every corner of his bleak. world.” What promise does the author recall? In what context was it made? Was it fulfilled?
Ans. The author asked Saheb about going to school. Saheb explained that there was no school in his neighbourhood. He promised to go to school. when they built one. Half joking, the author asked whether he would come in case she started one. Saheb smiled broadly and agreed to come. After a few days, he ran upto the author and asked if the school was ready. The. author felt embarrassed. She had made a promise that was not meant.
Q3. The walls of the classroom are decorated with the pictures of ‘Shakespeare’ ‘buildings with domes’, ‘world maps’ and beautiful valleys. How do these contrast with the world of these children?
Ans: The pictures that decorate the walls hold a stark contrast with the world of these underfed, poverty-stricken, slum children living in cramped dark holes. Obstacles hamper their physical and mental growth. The pictures on the wall suggest beauty, well-being, progress and prosperity-a world of sunshine and warmth of love. But the world of the slum children is ugly and lack prosperity.
Q4. What does the poet want for the children of the slums? How can their lives be made to change?
Ans: The poet wants the people in authority to realise their responsibility towards the children of the slums. All sort of social injustice and class inequalities be ended by eliminating the obstacles that confine the slum children to their ugly and filthy surroundings. Let them study and learn to express themselves freely. Then they will share the fruit of progress and prosperity and their fives will change for the better.
Q4. Why does Stephen Spender use the images of despair and disease in the first stanza of the poem and with what effect?
Ans: He uses the images of despair and disease to describe the miserable and pathetic fives of the children living in slums. The faces of these children are pale and lifeless. They and their hair are like ‘rootless weeds’. The burden of fife makes them sit with their head ‘weighed down’. The stunted growth is depicted by the paper seeming bol and ‘the stunted unlucky heir of twisted bones. Their weak bodies recite their fathers’ ‘gnarled disease”
Q1. How does Stephen Spender picturise the condition of the slum children?
Ans: Stephen Spender uses contrasting images in the poem to picturise the condition of the slum children. For example: “A narrow street sealed in with a lead sky Far far from rivers, capes and stars of words.” The first line presents the dark, narrow, cramped holes and lanes closed in by the bluish grey sky. The second fine presents a world of beauty, prosperity, progress, well-being and openness.
Q2. What is the theme of the poem ‘An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’? How has it been presented?
Ans: In this poem Stephen Spender deals with the theme of social injustice and class inequalities. He presents the theme by talking of two different and incompatible worlds. The world of the rich and the ‘civilized’ has nothing to do with the world of narrow lanes and cramped holes. The gap between these two worlds highlights social disparities and class inequalities.
Q3. What message does Stephen Spender convey through the poem Elementary School Classroom in a. Slum’ ? What solution does he offer?
Ans: Stephen Spender conveys the message of social justice and class equalities by presenting two contrasting and incompatible worlds. He provides a way out. For achieving any significant progress and development the gap between the two worlds must be abridged. This can be done only by breaking the barriers that bind the slum children in dark, narrow, cramped holes and lanes. Let them be made mentally and physically free to lead happy lives. Only then art, culture and literature will have relevance for them.
Q4. Who Ttrd, the ivor/d its world and ho, What does this world contain,?
Ans: The conquerors and dictators change the map of the world according to their whims and will. They change the boundaries of various nations and shape the ‘map’. Their fair map is of a beautiful world full of domes, bells and flowers, rivers, capes and stars.
Q5. The poet says. Aria yet. for these Children, these windows, not this map, their world’. Which world do these children belong to? Which world is irue ecssihic to them?
Q6. Why was he amused by this idea?
Ans: His own life was sad and monotonous. He walked laboriously from place to place. The world had never been kind to him. So, during his gloomy ploddings, this dea became his favourite pastime. He was amused how people let themselves be caught in the dangerous snare and how others were still circling around the bait.
Q7. Did the peddler expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter?
Ans: The crofter served him porridge for supper and tobacco for his pipe. He also olayed a game of cards with him till bed time. This hospitality was unexpected as people usually made sour faces when the peddler asked for shelter.
Q8. Why was the crofter so talkative and friendly with the peddler?
Ans: The crofter’s circumstances and temperament made him so talkative and friendly with the peddler. Since he had no wife or child, he was happy to get someone to talk to in his loneliness. Secondly, he was quite generous with his confidences.
Q8. What could be some of the reasons for the migration of people from villages to cities?
Ans. People migrate from villages to cities in search of livelihood. Their fields fail to provide them means of survival. Cities provide employment, jobs or other means of getting food. The problem in case of the poor is to feed the hungry members. Survival is of primary concern.
Q9. Would you agree that promises made to the poor children are rarely kept? Why do you think this happens in the incidents narrated in the text?
Ans. The promises made to the poor are rarely kept. The author asks Saheb half-joking, whether he will come to her school if she starts one. Saheb agrees to do so. A few days later he asks if the school is ready. The writer feels embarrassed at having made a promise that was not meant. Promises like hers abound in every comer of their bleak world.
Q10. What forces conspire to keep the workers in bangle industry of Firozabad in poverty?
Ans. Certain forces conspire to keep the workers in bangle industry of Firozabad in poverty. These include the moneylenders, the middlemen, the policemen, the keepers of law, the bureaucrats and the politicians. Together they impose a heavy burden on the child.
Q11. How, in your opinion, can Mukesh realise his dream?
Ans. Mukesh is the son of a poor bangle-maker of Firozabad. Most of the young men of Firozabad have no initiative or ability to dream, but Mukesh is an exception. He has the capacity to take courage and break from the traditional family occupation. He has strong will power also. He does not
Q12. Which images of the slums in the third stanza pr sent the picture of social disparity, injustice and class inequalities.
Ans: The slum dwellers slyly turn in their ‘cramped holes’ from birth to death i.e. ‘from fog to endless nights. Their surroundings are ‘slag heap’. Their children “wear skins peeped through by bones. Their spectacles are “like bottle bits on stones.” The image that sums up their harsh existence reads: “All of their time and space are foggy slum.”
Q13. So blot their maps with slums as big as do,in;” says Stephen Sp..meter. What does the poet want to convex?
Ans: The poet notices the creation of two different worlds the dirty slums with their narrow lanes and cramped houses which are virtual hells. Then there are islands of prosperity and beauty where the rich and powerful dwell. The poet protests against the disparity between the lives of the people these two worlds. He wants that the poor should enjoy social equality and justice. The fair ‘map’ of the world should have blots of slums as big as doom. The gap must be reduced between the two worlds.