By- Markus Naito
Short Answer Type Questions (30 to 40 words)
1. Give the theme and central idea of the poem Childhood.
Ans. The theme of the poem is the process of growing up, from childhood to adulthood. The childhood, the heavenly period of innocence, lasts until one becomes a teenager. This transition brings about a radical change in one’s physique and understanding.
2. What loss does the poet Markus Natten regret? What does he speculate?
Ans. Natten regrets the loss of his childhood, his childlike purity and innocence. He wonders where he lost it, perhaps when he crossed eleven and developed a questioning attitude. Now he realised that heaven and hell were imaginary things. He also noticed that grown-ups were blatant liars. They talked of love but practised hatred. Finally, he started thinking freely and differently from others.
3. What faults does the poet find in grown-ups?
Ans. The poet notes with sorrow that grown-ups are hypocrites. They do not practise what they preach.
4. What are the three hallmarks of growing up, according to Natten?
Ans. (i) The ability to see the difference between facts and fiction, between right and wrong.
(ii) Hypocrisy. Grown-ups become hypocrites. They talk about the brotherhood of mankind but they do not act on that principle.
(iii) The ability to use one’s mind independently.
5. What are the poet’s search and questioning? Does he get a satisfying answer?
Ans. The poet has lost his childlike innocence. He wonders when he outgrew his childhood and where he left it behind. After some analysis and guesses, he gets the only answer to his question. Only a child has the privilege to remain simple, honest and clean. As one grows up in years one becomes dishonest. Childhood lies hidden in the face of an infant.