Sunday, May 26, 2013

NATURE by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Sample Questions and Answers

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
   1.  Answer the following questions(each in about 50 words): 5 marks each
       (i) Show how Longfellow compares Nature to a loving mother in the poem NatureOr, how does Longfellow bring out the similarity between a mother and nature in the poem Nature Or, how does the poet compare human beings to children and Nature to a loving but firm mother ? Or, why is Nature compared to a ‘fond mother’? (HS-2008) Or, How does Nature lead us to the unknown world ? Or, How, according to Longfellow, does Nature gradually lead us towards death ? Or, How does Nature prepare us for the ultimate rest ?
Ans.   The poet, Longfellow compares Nature to a fond but firm mother and the child to human beings. When the day is over, the loving mother takes her tired child from the playthings and leads him to bed for rest and sleep. Likewise, Nature takes away our so-called valuable possessions in our old age and prepares us with her loving touch for the other world for final rest. (67 words)
(ii)               “So Nature deals with us.”- How does Nature deals with us ? (HS-09)
Ans.     Nature deals with us exactly in the same way as an affectionate mother deals with her child. When the day is over ..................for final rest. [from BQ No. i]
(iii)             Bring out the significance of the title of the poem “Nature”.
Ans.    Longfellow has personified Nature in his poem. He has compared Nature to a ..............for final rest. Hence, Nature reflects the central theme of the poem. So the title “Nature” is appropriate. [from BQ No. i]
(iv)            How does the poet bring out the child’s unwillingness to go to bed ? Or, What, according to Longfellow, are the feelings of the child being led away to bed ? Or, Describe the child’s reaction as he is led by his mother to bed at the end of the day.
Ans.     The child is not at all willing to leave his scattered toys and go to bed when his loving mother takes him to bed for rest at the end of the day. He walks with his mother reluctantly but gazes at the toys fixedly. Though his mother promises him more splendid toys in their stead, he is not assured. He wishes to continue his play more with the old ones. (70 words)
(v)               Why does Nature take away our playthings ? (HS-2011)
Ans.    Our playthings are worldly possessions after which we run throughout the life. Nature gradually takes these away one by one when we grow old. In this process Nature weakens our senses which keep us attached to worldly attractions. Thus Nature prepares us and tenderly leads us along the right pathway to the ultimate rest that lies beyond death. (58 words)
      2.      Answer the following questions ( each in about 30 words ) :     3 marks each
(i)           How does the little child in Longfellow’s “Nature” behave, when his mother draws him away from play at the end of the day ? (HS-2007)
Ans.     The child is reluctant to leave his scattered toys and go to bed. He walks with his mother but gazes at the toys fixedly. Though his mother promises him more splendid toys in their stead, he is not assured. He wishes to continue his play. (45 words)
(ii)          Why does the child in the poem “Nature” go to bed ‘half willing’ and ‘half reluctant’ ?(HS-2008)
Ans.    The phrase ‘half willing, half reluctant’ denotes the child’s mental condition when the mother leads him to bed for rest. He is half willing as he feels tired and sleepy. He is half reluctant as he does not wish to leave his play. (43 words)
(iii)       “Which though more splendid, may not please him more.” – What is referred to as ‘which’ ? Why may it not ‘please him more’ ?
Ans.     The promised playthings to the child by his mother are referred to here as ‘which’.
            The promised playthings may not please the child more because he has a deep affection to his present toys. He cannot give up his attraction and affection for them. (44 words)
(iv)      “Nor wholly reassured and comforted” – Why is the child not wholly ‘reassured’ and ‘comforted’ ?
Ans.     When the mother promises her child to offer him more splendid toys in place of the broken ones, he is not wholly assured and comforted as he has a deep affection to his present toys. He cannot give up his attraction and affection for them. (45 words)
(v)               What does the poet mean by ‘our playthings’ in the poem “Nature” ?
Ans.      The poet means, by ‘our playthings’, the earthly possessions of man including vigour, youth and beauty, in which they remain deeply immersed in worldly life. Those are as trivial as toys, after the poet. (34 words)