GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

   

Gujarat Board GSEB Class 12 English Textbook Solutions Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Textbook Exercise Important Questions and Answers, Notes Pdf.

Gujarat Board Textbook Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

GSEB Class 12 English An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Text Book Questions and Answers

Think it Out

Question 1.
Tick the item which best answers the following:
(a) The tall girl with her head Weighed down means The girl ………………………. .
(i) is ill and exhausted.
(ii) has her head bent with shame.
(iii) has untidy hair.
Answer:
(i) is ill and exhausted.

(b) The paper-seeming boy with rat’s eyes means The boy is …………………… .
(i) sly and secretive.
(ii) thin, hungry and weak.
(iii) unpleasant looking.
Answer:
(ii) thin, hungry and weak.

(c) ‘The stunted, unlucky heir of twisted bones’ means The boy …………………………. .
(i) has an inherited disability.
(ii) is short and bony.
(iii) is mentally retarded.
Answer:
(i) has an inherited disability.

(d) His eyes live in a dream. A squirrel’s game, in the tree room other them this means The boy is …………………. .
(i) full of hope in the future.
(ii) mentally ill.
(iii) distracted from the lesson.
Answer:
(i) full of hope in the future.

(e) The children’s faces are compared to ‘rootless weeds’. This means they
(i) are insecure.
(ii) are ill-fed.
(iii) are wasters.
Answer:
(i) are insecure.

GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

Question 2.
What do you think is the colour of ‘sour cream? Why do you think the poet has used this expression to describe the classroom walls?
Answer:
The colour of ‘sour cream is off white. The poet has used this expression to suggest the decaying aspect. The deterioration in the colour of the classroom walls symbolises the pathetic condition of the lives of the scholars-the children of this slum school.

Question 3.
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?
Answer:
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.

Question 4.
What does the poet want for the children of the slums? How can their lives be made to change?
Answer:
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.

GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

GSEB Class 12 English An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Additional Important Questions and Answers

Answer the following questions in four to five sentences each:

Question 1.
Why does Stephen Spender use the images of despair and disease in the first stanza of the poem and with what effect?
Answer:
Spender uses the images of despair and disease to describe the miserable and pathetic lives 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 life makes them sit with their head ‘weighed down’. The stunted growth is depicted by ‘the paper-seeming boy and ‘the stunted unlucky heir of twisted bones’. Their weak bodies recite their fathers’ ‘gnarled disease’.

Question 2.
What is the theme of the poem ‘An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’? How as it been presented?
Answer:
In this poem, Stephen Spender deals with e theme of social injustice and class inequalities. : presents the theme by talking of two different d incompatible worlds. The world of the rich d the ‘civilized’ has nothing to do with the rld of narrow lanes and cramped holes. The gap- between these two worlds highlights social disparities and class inequalities.

Question 3.
What message does Stephen Spender convey through the poem ‘An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’ ? What solution does he offer?
Answer:
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.

GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

Question 4.
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 inaccessible to them?
Answer:
The world of stinking slums is the world that belongs to these poverty-stricken, ill-fed, undernourished children. The narrow lanes and dark, cramped, holes or hovels make their world. The world of ‘domes’, ‘bells’ and ‘flowers’ meant for the rich is inaccessible to them. They can only dream of rivers, capes and stars.

Question 5.
Which images of the slums in the third stanza present the picture of social disparity, injustice and class inequalities?
Answer:
The slum dwellers slyly turn in their ‘cramped holes’ from birth to death i.e., ‘from fog to endless night’. 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.”

Question 6.
“So blot their maps with slums as big as doom;” says Stephen Spender. What does the poet want to convey?
Answer:
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 in 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.

GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

Question 7.
Stephen Spender while writing about an elementary classroom in a slum, questions the value of education in such a milieu, suggesting that maps of the world and good literature may raise hopes and aspirations, which will never be fulfilled. Yet something offers a solution/hope. What is it?
Answer:
The slum children are being imparted education in a room whose walls are off-white in colour but are decorated with the pictures of ‘Shakespeare’, ‘buildings with domes’, ‘world maps’ and ‘beautiful valleys’. The maps of the world and good literature may raise hopes and aspirations. They may try to steal slyly from their milieu but it is quite unlikely that their hopes and aspirations may be fulfilled. The only solution/hope for them is to break the artificial barriers that bind and cramp them. Once free from their milieu, they can enjoy beauty.

Question 8.
How can powerful persons viz. governor, inspector, visitor may contribute to improve the lot of slum children?
Answer:
Powerful persons like governors, inspectors and visitors may take an initiative and start bridging the gap between the worlds of the rich and poor. They can play an important and effective role in removing social injustice and class inequalities. They should break and dismantle all the barriers that bind these children and confine them to the ugly surroundings.

They will have their physical and mental development only when they leave the filthy and ugly slums. All good things of life should be within their reach. They must enjoy the freedom of expression.

Question 9.
How far do you agree with the statement: “History theirs whose language is the sun.”
Answer:
This metaphor contains a vital truth. This world does not listen to the ‘dumb and driven’ people. Only those who speak with confidence, power, authority and vision are heard and obeyed Those who create history are people whose ideas and language can motivate, move, inspire and influence millions of people. In order to be effective, their language must have the warmth and power of the sun.

GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

Figures of Speech
Choose the Figures of Speech in the following lines:

Question 1.
‘Far far from gusty waves these children’s faces.
A. Alliteration
B. Repetition
C. Metaphor
D. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’
Answer:
D. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’

Question 2.
‘Like rootless weeds, the hair torn round their pallor.
A. Internal Rhyme
B. Simile
C. Alliteration
D. Synecdoche
Answer:
B. Simile

Question 3.
‘For lives that slyly turn in their cramped holes.
A. Metaphor
B. Exaggeration
C. Simile
D. Personification
Answer:
A. Metaphor

GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

Question 4.
‘With mended glass, like bottle bits on stones’.
A. Repetition
B. Comparison
C. Simile
D. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’
Answer:
C. Simile

Question 5.
‘So blot their maps with slums as big as doom’.
A. Metaphor
B. Comparison
C. Simile
D. Alliteration
Answer:
B. Comparison

Question 6.
‘………. and these windows …………………… That shut upon their lives like catacombs’.
A. Internal Rhyme
B. Simile
C. Metaphor
D. Synecdoche
Answer:
B. Simile

Question 7.
‘Break O break open till they break the town’.
A. Repetition
B. Apostrophe
C. Simile
D. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’
Answer:
D. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’

Reading Comprehension (Textual)
Read the following stanzas and answer the questions given below them:

Question 1.
Far far from gusty waves these children’s faces. Like rootless weeds, the hair torn around their pallor:
The tall girl with her weighed-down head. The paper- seeming boy, with rat’s eyes.
Questions :
(1) Why is the head of the tall girl ‘weighed down’?
(2) What do you understand by ‘The paper-seeming boy, with rat eyes’?
Answer:
(1) The head of the tall girl is ‘weighed down by the burdens of the world. She feels depressed, ill and exhausted. (2) It means that the boy is exceptionally thin, weak and hungry.

Question (2)
‘………………The stunted, unlucky heir Of twisted bones, reciting a father’s gnarled disease, His lesson from his desk. At back of the dim class One unnoted, sweet and young. His eyes live in a dream, Of squirrel’s game, in tree room, other than this.
Questions :
(1) Who is the ‘unlucky heir’ and what will he inherit?
(2) ‘His eyes live in a dream’. What dream does he have?
Answer:
(1) The lean and thin boy having rat’s eyes and a stunted growth is the ‘unlucky heir’. He will inherit twisted bones from his father.
(2) The boy seems hopeful. He dreams of a better time – outdoor games, of a squirrel’s game, of a room made inside the stem of a tree. He dreams of many things other than this dim and unpleasant classroom has, such as green fields, open seas.

GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

Question 3.
‘On sour cream walls, donations. Shakespeare’s head, Cloudless at dawn, civilized dome riding sill cities. Belled, flowery, Tyrolese valley. Open-handed map Awarding the world its world’.
Questions:
(1) What is the colour of the classroom walls? What does this colour suggest?
(2) Which two worlds does the poet hint at? How is the contrast between the two worlds resented?
Answer:
(1) The colour of the classroom walls is ‘sour cream’ or off-white. This colour suggests the decaying aspect and pathetic condition of the lives of the children in a slum school.
(2) The poet hints at two worlds: the world of poverty, misery and malnutrition of the slums where children are underfed, weak and have stunted growth. The other world is of progress and prosperity peopled by the rich and the powerful. The pictures on the wall suggesting happiness, richness, well-being and beauty are in stark contrast to the dim and dull slums.

Question 4.
‘…….And yet, for these Children, these windows, not this map, their world, Where all their future’s painted with a fog, A narrow street sealed in with a lead sky Far far from rivers, capes, and stars of words.
Questions :
(1) Which is their world?
(2) How is their life different from that of other children?
Answer:
(1) Their world is limited to the window of the classroom. They are confined within the narrow streets of the slum, i.e., far away from the open sky and rivers. Their view is full of despair and despondency. The life of the children seems to be bleak.

(2) The slum children spend their life only in the narrow streets of the land. They do not get the basic necessities of life. They are deprived of food, clothing and shelter. But the main thing that they differ from other children is freedom. They do not enjoy the freedom of life.

Question (5)
‘Surely, Shakespeare is wicked, the map a bad example, With ships and sun and love tempting them to steal – For lives that slyly turn in their cramped. holes From fog to endless night’?
Questions:
(1) What does the poet say about ‘their’ lives?
(2) Explain: ‘From fog to endless night’.
Answer:
(1) The poet says that the children spend their lives confined in their cramped holes like rodents. Their bodies look like skeletons because they are the victims of malnutrition. Their steel-frame spectacles with repaired glasses make them appear like the broken pieces of a bottle scattered on stones. Their future seems to be bleak.
(2) Their future is foggy or uncertain. The only certainty in their lives is the endless night of their death. In other words, their birth, life and death are all enveloped by darkness.

GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

Question (6)
‘………………….On their slag heap, these children Wear skins peeped through by bones and spectacles of steel With mended glass, like bottle bits on stones. All of their time and space are foggy slum. So blot their maps with slums as big as doom’.
Questions :
(1) What are the two images used to describe these slums? What do these images convey?
(2) What sort of life do such children lead?
Answer:
(1) The images used to describe the slums are :

  • slag heap,
  • bottle bits on stone;
  • foggy slums,
  • Slum as big as doom.

(Any two acceptable) These images convey the misery the children and the poverty of their dirty and unhygienic surroundings.
(2) In the dirty and unhygienic surroundings the slum children lead very pathetic and miserable lives full of woes, wants, diseases, poverty and uncertainty.

Question 7.
‘Unless, governor, inspector, visitor,
This map becomes their window and these windows That shut upon their lives like catacombs’.
Questions:
(1) Why does the poet invoke ‘governor’, ‘inspector’, ‘visitor’? What function are they expected to perform?
(2) How can ‘this map’ become ‘their window’?
Answer:
(1) Governor, inspector and visitor are important and powerful persons in the modem times. The poet invokes them to help the miserable slum children. They are expected to perform an important role in removing social injustice and class inequalities. They can bridge the gap between the two worlds-the beautiful world of the great and rich and the ugly world of slums.

(2) Two worlds exist. ‘This map’ refers to the beautiful world of prosperity and well-being inhabited by the rich and great and shaped and owned by them. ‘Their windows’ refer to the lairs, holes or hovels of the dirty, stinking slums where the poor and unfortunate children of slums live. The slum children will be able to peep through windows only when the difference between the two worlds is bridged.

Question 8.
‘Break O break open till they break the town And show the children to green fields, and make their world Run azure on gold sands, and let their tongues Run naked into books the white and green leaves open History theirs whose language is the- sun’.
Questions: ‘
(1) ‘Break O break open’. What should they ‘break’?
(2) What other freedom should they enjoy? ’
Answer:
(1) They should break all the barriers and obstacles that bind these children and confine them to ugly and dirty surroundings.

(2) They should enjoy freedom of acquiring knowledge as well as freedom of expression. Let the pages of wisdom (contained in the books) be open to them and let their tongues run freely without any check or fear.

An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Summary in English

An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Introduction:
Sir Stephen Harold Spender CBE (28 February 1909-16 July 1995) was an English poet, novelist, and essayist who concentrated on themes of social injustice and the class struggle in his work. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the United States Library of Congress in 1965.

GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Summary:
The children staying in slums have a life full of struggle and lack hope and optimism. They are far away from the velvety world outside. They lack those amenities which are available to privileged people. They are as unwanted as the rootless weed. They can only wish for the velvety and comfortable life of the world outside. These children have no hope on their faces. Their faces are tousled and dirty.

Their hair is scattered untidily around their pale faces. They lack stability. The tall girl is sitting with her head down because she is depressed and overburdened with poverty. There is a boy who is as lean and thin as paper, his miserable underdeveloped body with eyes bulging out like rat reflects the greed he has felt for an eternity. His growth is blocked, and the body appears underdeveloped and malnourished. He is an unfortunate heir who has inherited the twisted bones of his father. He is not reciting a lesson from his desk but is enumerating the diseases inherited from his father. At the back of that unlit classroom, is a sweet young boy who goes unnoticed.

Dreams seem to be alive in his eyes. His eyes have that spark of dreams to be part of that world outside the classroom. He dreams of squirrels playing games in the hollow of the tree. His dreams are of the places other them his repulsive classroom. He is lost in his imagination eating his own fantasy world where he plays like squirrel in its tree room. He is not interested the monotonous environment of the classroom.

The poet depicts the critical condition of the ie and dingy yellow walls of the classroom. He compares the colour of the walls to ‘sour cream. The classroom has a picture of Shakespeare which was probably donated. The poet further compares the gifts given as donations and the picture of Shakespeare hung on the unpleasant creamy walls depicting dejection. To them, they are of no use. Shakespeare and literature have no place in their lives.

There is also a picture of a clear sky hung on the classroom walls which depicts dawn and a beautiful Tyrolese valley, which indicates beauty and hope with its bells and colourful flowers representing the world that celebrates civilization, progress and heavenly splendour.

GSEB Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

There is also a world map hung on the wall which is of no use to them as their world is narrow and stuck in the boundaries of poverty and misery. Their future is shaky, dark and foggy. Their world is confined within the narrow streets of the slum enclosed by the bluish-grey sky. They are far away from rivers, seas that resemble adventure, excitement and beauty as well as from the stars that symbolize wisdom that can brighten their future.

The poet feels that Shakespeare is ‘wicked’ as he is misleading those naive children through his words portraying the world of ships, sun and love which is not only unreal for them, but it has a negative impact on their minds. He feels that this would instigate them to steal or take unfair means as they desperately make attempts to escape from their cramped holes. Their existence is indeed, very sad.

These deprived children are so skinny that it appears that they are ‘wearing’ skins. The spectacles they are wearing have glass which has been broken and mended. Their entire appearance reflects their misery and deprivation. The poet shows his indignation by suggesting that the maps on the classroom walls should show the reality of their life, it must show the huge slums instead of beautiful scenic graphics.

The poet tries to appease and appeal to the teachers, governor, inspector and visitor to become aware and sensitive and do something to improve the conditions of these deprived children. They must try to align the world and transform their map unlike the map of children with amenities. The poet hopes that the bureaucrats and authorities understand their moral responsibilities and free these deprived ones from traps of their graves (A metaphor for the slum). He wants all the barriers that keep them away from achieving the true education to be broken down.

They should be given an opportunity to come out of their narrow and shabby lanes and extend to the blue sky and waves rising over the golden sands. The children must be given the freedom to experience the wholesome bounties of nature’s fields. These deprived children must be taught to express themselves freely. He wishes that all distinctions that separate them from merging with the outside world be removed from their lives and that they too may have hope of a better, more secure future.

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