GSEB Class 12 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

   

Gujarat Board GSEB Class 12 English Textbook Solutions Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages Questions and Answers, Notes Pdf.

GSEB Class 12 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

Reading comprehension is the ability to process text, understand its meaning, and to integrate with what the reader already knows. Fundamental skills required in efficient reading comprehension are knowing meaning of words, ability to understand meaning of a word from discourse context, ability to follow organisation of passage and to identify antecedents and references in it, ability to draw inferences from a passage about its contents, ability to identify the main thought of a passage and ability to answer questions based on the passage.

Specimens of Prose Comprehension
Read the following passages and answer the questions given below them:

Question 1.
Here is a scientific experiment on The homing of birds, the facts of which are quite certain. A few years ago seven swallows were caught near their nests at Bremen in Germany. They were marked with a red dye on some of their white feathers so that they could easily be seen. Then they were taken by aeroplane to Croydon, near London; this is a distance of 400 miles (640 km).

The seven swallows were set free at Croydon. Five of them flew back to their nests at Bremen. How did the birds find their way on that long journey, which they had never made before? That is the great puzzle. It is no good saying that swallows (or dogs) have a ‘sense of direction,’ or an ‘instinct to go home. These are just words and explain nothing. We want to know exactly what senses the animals use to find their way, how they know in which direction to go until they can see familiar landmarks. Unfortunately, practically no scientific experiments have yet been made on this question.

Perhaps migrating birds are the greatest mystery of all. Swallows leave England in August and September, and they fly to Africa, where they stay during the winter period. The swallows return to England in the spring, to nest. There are other birds too that leave England in the late summer for the south. A lot has been found out about the journeys of migrating birds by marking the birds with aluminium rings put on one leg. An address and a number is put on the ring.
Questions:
(1) Why were the swallows marked with a red dye
(2) When do swallows leave England?
(3) What two methods of identifying birds have been mentioned in this passage?
(4) What facts about homing or migrating birds are difficult to explain?
(5) How many birds did not fly back to Bremen from Croydon?
Answers:
(1) The swallows were marked with a red dye so that they could easily be seen.
(2) Swallows leave England in August and September.
(3) The two methods of identifying birds are :

  • Marking their feathers with a red dye.
  • Putting an aluminium ring on one leg with an address and a number on it.

(4) The facts about homing or migrating birds that are difficult to explain are:

  • How these birds find their way on long journeys.
  • What senses the animals use to find their way.
  • How they know in which direction to go.

(5) Two birds did not fly back to Bremen from Croydon.

GSEB Class 12 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

Question 2.
It is the height of selfishness for men, who fully appreciate in their own case the great advantage of a good education, to deny these advantages to women. There is no valid argument by which the exclusion of the female sex from the privilege of education can be defended. It is argued that women have their domestic duties to perform, and that, if they were educated, they would bury themselves in their books and have little time for attending to the management of their households. Of course, it is possible for women, as it is for men, to neglect necessary work in order to spare more time for reading sensational novels.

But women are no more liable to this temptation than men, and most women would be able to do their household work all the better for being able to refresh their minds in the intervals of leisure with a little reading. Nay, education would even help them in the performance of the narrowest sphere of womanly duty.

For education involves knowledge of the means by which health may be preserved and improved, and enables a mother to consult such modern books, as well tell her how to rear up her children into healthy men and women and skilfully nurse them and her husband when disease attacks her household. Without education, she will be not unlikely to listen with fatal results to the advice of superstitious quacks, who pretend to work wonders by charms and magic.
Questions:
(1) Why does the writer say that men are selfish?
(2) What is one of the things that education provides knowledge of?
(3) What do ‘quacks’ usually do?
(4) Mention two benefits that women gain from education.
(5) What could be the real reason for men to deny women the right of education?
Answers:
(1) The writer says that men are selfish because, knowing in their own cases the great advantages of good education, they deny these advantages to women.
(2) Education provides knowledge of the means by which health may be preserved and improved.
(3) ‘Quacks’ usually pretend to cure diseases by charms and magic.
(4) The two benefits that women gain from education are :

  • They can refresh their minds.
  • They can also rear their children well.

(5) The real reason for men to deny women the right of education is to keep them ignorant and financially dependent on them so that they can dominate them.

Question 3.
The great advantage of early rising is the good start it gives us in our days’ work. The early riser has done a large amount of hard work before other men have got out of bed. In the early morning, the mind is fresh, and there are- few sounds or other distractions, so the work done at the time is generally well done.

In many cases, the early riser also finds time to take some exercise in the fresh morning air, and this exercise supplies him with a fund of energy that will last until the evening. By beginning so early, he knows that he has plenty of time to do thoroughly all the work he can be expected to do and is not tempted to hurry over any part of it. All his work being finished in good time, he has a long interval of rest in the evening before the timely hour when he goes to bed.

He gets to sleep several hours before midnight, at the time when sleep is most refreshing and after a sound night’s rest rises early next morning in good health and spirits for the labours of a new day.

It is very plain that such a life as this is far more conducive to health than that of the man who shortens his waking hours by rising late, and so can afford in the course of the day little leisure for necessary rest. Anyone who lies in bed late, must, if he wished to do a full day’s work, go on working to a correspondingly late hour, and deny himself the hour or two of evening exercise that he ought to take for the benefit of his health. But, in spite of all his efforts, he will probably not produce as good results as the early riser, because he misses the best working hours of the day.
Questions:
(1) How is the early morning conducive to work?
(2) How does exercise taken in the morning help one?
(3) The late riser loses the opportunity for exercise twice in the day. Which are those times?
(4) Which of the two types of people mentioned in this passage will be energetic and lively, and which will be hard-pressed for time?
(5) How does the late riser lose out on freshness of mind?
Answers :
1. The mind is fresh in the early morning, and there are few sounds or other distractions, and so the work done at the time is generally well done.
2. It supplies the person with a fund of energy that will last until the evening.
3. The late riser loses the opportunity for exercise twice in the day, i.e., once in the early morning, and once in the evening.
4. The early riser will always be energetic and lively, and the late riser will always be hard-pressed for time.
5. The late riser loses the early morning hours when the fresh morning air is conducive to work and exercise. Also, he loses the best hours of sleep that enable one to rise early next morning in good health and spirits for the labours of a new day.

GSEB Class 12 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

Question 4.
The evil effects of tobacco are not confined to children alone. They are equally injurious to adults too as is strongly maintained by medical men, who have given this matter their special consideration. Excessive smoking gives rise to chronic pharyngitis with irritability of the throat and cough and might ultimately predispose to tuberculosis. The blood becomes impoverished and circulation affected; palpitation of the heart and pain over the heart region, being the chief results.

Sometimes, though rarely, the cardiac pain may be so intense as to stimulate angina pectoris. Tobacco-heart (also called Irritable heart or Soldier’s heart) is a dangerous affliction rendering the victim unfit of thousands of would-be recruited to the late wars, and colleges and universities have recognised that cigarette-smoking has seriously interfered with the efficiency of their athletic teams, and whoever desires to be in the best form should abstain from smoking.

Confirmed smokers have never been amongst long-distance swimmers or rowers or cyclists. Dr Seawer, Professor of Physical Culture in the Yale University, found by a series of experiments that non-smoking students made far better records in physical development than smokers, their increase in height was 24 per cent more than the others, while in their chest or breathing capacity their superiority was more than 77 per cent.
Questions:
(1) What was the finding of colleges and universities?
(2) What are the problems of the respiratory tract that smokers may face?
(3) What were Dr Seawer’s findings?
(4) Why have long time smokers never been amongst long-distance swimmers, rowers or cyclists?
(5) Why do you think smokers could not be recruited as soldiers?
Answers :
(1) Colleges and universities found out that cigarette smoking seriously interfered with the efficiency of their athletic teams.

(2) Smokers may face chronic pharyngitis with irritability of the throat and cough which might lead to tuberculosis.

(3) Dr Seawer found that non-smoking students made far better records in physical development than smokers. Their increase in height was 24 per cent more than others, and in their breathing capacity, their superiority was more than 77 per cent.

(4) Long-distance swimmers, rowers and cyclists need to be in their best form to be successful. Long time smoking interferes with their efficiency and prevents them from being in their best form.

(5) Soldiers have to be completely fit, and smokers have the possibility of getting heart problems. Hence smokers could not be recruited as soldiers.

Question 5.
People are always talking about ‘the problem of youth’. If there is one which I take leave to doubt – then it is older people who create it, not the young themselves. Let us get down to the fundamentals and agree that the young are after all human beings – people just like their elders. There is only one difference between an old man and a young one; the young man has a glorious future before him and the old one has a splendid past behind him, and maybe that is where the rub is.

When I was a teenager, I felt that I was just young and uncertain – that I was a new boy in a huge school. I would have been very pleased to be regarded as something so interesting as a problem. For one thing, being a problem gives you a certain identity and that is one of the things the young are busily engaged in seeking. I find young people exciting. They have an air of freedom, and they have not a dreary commitment to mean ambition or love of comfort.

They are not anxious social climbers, and they have no devotion to material things. All this is in my mind when I meet a young person. He may be conceited, ill-mannered, presumptuous, but I do not turn for protection to dreary dictates about respect for elders-as if mere age were a reason for respect. I accept that we are equals and I will argue with him as an equal if I think he is wrong.
Questions :
(1) How did the writer feel when he was a teenager?
(2) What characteristics might a young person have?
(3) Categorise the following into those that refer to the youth and those that refer to the elderly person :
(a) He has a splendid past behind him.
(b) He has not a dreary commitment to mean ambition or love of comfort,
(c) He has an exciting air of freedom about him. (d) He expects to be respected because of his age.
(4) Which of the following correctly express the writer’s feelings and interactions for and with youth?
(а) He finds them exciting,
(b) He encourages them to be social climbers,
(c) He likes to argue with them as an equal,
(d) He considers them a problem.
(5) Which characteristics of elderly people does the writer obviously criticise?
Answers :
(1) When the writer was a teenager, he felt young and uncertain like a new boy in a huge school.
(2) A young person might have the following characteristics conceited, ill-mannered, presumptuous
(3) Youth: He has an exciting air of freedom about him. He has not a dreary commitment to mean ambition or love of comfort.
Elderly Person: He has a splendid past behind him. He expects to be respected because of his age.
(4) He finds them exciting. He likes to argue with them as an equal.
(5) The writer obviously criticises the following characteristics of elderly people. They have a dreary commitment to mean ambition or love of comfort, anxiety to climb the social ladder and devotion to material things.

GSEB Class 12 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

Question 6.
Why is it easy to form bad habits, and so hard to form good ones? The reason is plain. Our natural inclination is to take the line of least resistance. It requires at first a distinct effort to take the more difficult of two possible courses of action. For instance, it is easier to lie in bed on a cold morning than to get up early.

It is easier to tell a lie than to own up and take the punishment for a fault. It is easier to put off today’s duties to tomorrow than to do them at the right time. Now a habit is formed by repetition. Every time we yield to temptation makes it easier to yield, and harder to resist the next time. So we form the habits of laziness, lying and unpunctuality.

Happily good habits are formed in the same way. The forming of them calls for effort and determination at first, but every time we resist temptation and do what is, in the long run, wise and good, we make the next struggle less severe. At last, we form a good habit which would be hard to break even if we wanted to break it. Get into the habit of early rising and you will not want to lie in bed like a lazybones. Get into the habit of telling the truth, and you will find it really hard to tell a lie. Get into the habit of doing today’s work today, and you will feel uncomfortable if you have to put anything off till tomorrow.

Habit-forming is very important, for character is simply a bundle of habits. If we form good habits, we build up a good character, if we form bad habits we form a bad character.
Questions:
(1) What is character?
(2) What determines good character?
(3) What are the steps in the formation of a bad habit?
(4) What should we do when we are faced with temptation?
(5) Which of the following are hard to break good habits or bad habits
Answers:
(1) Character is simply a bundle of habits.
(2) The inculcation of good habits.
(3) First, one takes the line of least resistance when faced with two possible courses of action. Then the habit is reinforced by repetition.
(4) When we are faced with temptation, we should not yield to it.
(5) Both good habits and bad habits are hard to break.

Question 7.
The young liftman in a city office who threw a passenger out of his lift the other morning and was fined for the offence was undoubtedly in the wrong. It was a question of ‘Please.’ The complainant entering the lift, said, ‘Top.’ The liftman demanded ‘Top-please,’ and this concession being refused he not only declined to comply with the instruction but hurled the passenger out of the lift. This, of course, was carrying a comment on manners too far. Discourtesy is not a legal offence, and it does not excuse assault and battery.

If a burglar breaks into my house and I knock him down, the law will acquit me, and if I am physically assaulted, it will permit me to retaliate with reasonable violence. It does this because the burglar and my assailant have broken quite definite commands of the law.

But no legal system could attempt to legislate against bad manners or could sanction the use of violence against something which it does not itself recognize as a legally punishable offence. And whatever our sympathy with the lift-man, we must admit that the law is reasonable. It would never do if we \were at liberty to box people’s ears because we did not like their behaviour, or the tone of their voices, or the scowl on their faces. Our fists would never be idle, and the gutters of the city would run with blood all day.

But though we are bound to endorse the verdict against the lift-man, most people will have a certain sympathy with him. While it is true that there is no law that compels us to say ‘Please,’ there is a social practice much older and much more sacred than any law which enjoins us to be civil. And the first requirement of civility is that we should acknowledge a service. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are the small changes with which we pay our way as social beings. They are the little courtesies by which we keep the machine of life oiled and running sweetly.
Questions:
( 1 ) What did the liftman do to the passenger?
(2) Why is physically assaulting a burglar who breaks into your house legally permissible?
( 3 ) What would happen if people were permitted to attack those who spoke rudely or mannerlessly?
(4) How were both the liftman and the passenger in the wrong?
(5 ) The writer obviously sympathises with the lift-man. Why does he do so?
Answers :
(1) The liftman hurled the discourteous passenger out of the lift.

(2) Physically assaulting a burglar who breaks into our house is legally permissible because he himself has broken the law.

GSEB Class 12 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

(3) If people were permitted to attack those who spoke rudely or mannerlessly, there would be too much violence all around.

(4) The liftman was wrong for treating the passenger violently. The passenger was wrong for being discourteous.

(5) Not only was the liftman denied courtesy by the passenger, but was also fined for hurling the passenger out of the lift. Hence, the writer feels that the lift-man was doubly wronged.

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