Chapter-6 On the Face of It- Extra Questions and NCERT Solution

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Extra Questions, Notes, Assignment and study material for Class 12th as Per CBSE Syllabus

Chapter- 6 English Language and Literature

         On the Face of It

                                                   By- Susan Hill

About the Author                                               

Susan Hill – A Short Biography

Susan Hill (Born: 5 February 1942) is an English author of fiction and non-fiction works. Her novels include The Woman in Black, The Mist in the Mirror and I’m the King of the Castle for which she received the Somerset Maugham Award in 1971.

She had to undergo tragedy early in life. In her semi-autobiographical novel, ‘In The Springtime of the Year 1974’, she deals with loneliness and isolation as is experienced by Mr Lamb and Derek in the play, ‘On the Face of It’.

Theme / Central Idea of the Lesson. Analysis of On the Face of It


The play deals with the sense of loss, a sense of isolation and how to overcome it. The actual pain caused by a physical impairment is often much less than the sense of alienation felt by the person. The title ‘On the Face of it’ is used to mean that something seems to be good, true etc. but that needs to be changed when you know more about it.

Appearances are deceptive and most often, we go on dealing with impressions and prejudices about others without bothering to know them. People know Mr Lamb as a lonely, eccentric lame old man but in reality, he is a very kind and generous man who longs for company and he loves his fellow human beings along with all the other creations of God. Similarly, Derek appears to be an abominable ugly boy with a huge scar on his face whom no one loves or likes or befriends. He is the object of other people’s hateful stares, ridicules and neglect. Even his mother does not dare to kiss him on the cheek with the scar. Yet this boy who is suffering from an acute inferiority complex has a tender and sensitive heart. He wants to love and be loved. Fortunately, he meets Mr Lamb who transforms him with his healing touch.

Justification of Title

“On the Face of It” is an informal expression used to say that what may seem good but this opinion may change when you know more about it.

This definition of the expression should leave us in no doubt about the appropriateness of the title. Mr Lamb is called Lamely Lamb and mothers were afraid of sending the children because of his tin leg. Derry has a burnt face and everyone pities him. Only a mother could love such a face.

Both Mr Lamb and Derry have been facing hatred and alienation. Mr Lamb takes comments lightly. But Derry does not have the attitude like Mr Lamb. The attitude of the people needs to be changed. On the face of it, both suffer from disability but their attitudes are very different. The title is therefore justified.

Moral/ Message of the lesson – On the Face of It


The message woven into the plot of the play is that scars do not change a person and handicaps must be accepted by individuals and society.”With a burned face, Deny had to face discrimination, because of which he had turned pessimistic. He had started hating being around people and had concluded that everyone hated him too because of his face. Then Derry meets Mr Lamb, a person who looks at things with a “half full” perspective. He points out that how one green plant is considered desirable and how the other (weed) is undesirable and how the sound made by the bees may be noise to some and music to others. He teaches Deny not to look at his burned face as a disability and try to overcome it just as Mr Lamb had dealt with his tin leg. The moral is very loud and clear that people who are physically disabled should not be isolated, we should help them expand their social interactions and help them fight loneliness, depression and disappointment. Mr Lamb tells Derry that it all depends upon people’s individual perceptions. A thing is a beauty for one while that beauty may be a beast for others.


Reasons for Mr Lamb’s positive influence on Derry

1. Mr Lamb himself was physically handicapped and had also been laughed at and rejected. It was easier for Derry to accept what he said.

2.His Attitude:

(i)Mr Lamb is not scared or repulsed by him. He accepts him and treats him like a normal person.

(ii) He seems to understand Derry and his anguish and doesn’t pity him.

(iii) He does not lecture or moralise.

(iv) He has a positive attitude toward everything. Even feeling that bees sing and do not buzz.

 (v) The fact that he doesn’t get angry or put off by Derry’s rudeness and doesn’t force him to stay or listen to him.

3. His views, which are so different from those held by others:

 (i) He lets him see he can lead a normal life, unlike Derry’s overprotective parents and others who have isolated him with their negative comments about his appearance.

(ii) He tells Derry he can have the world; that it is in his hands.

(iii) Makes him realise that handicaps are not an obstacle.

(iv)Tells him that all were similar and that there was no difference between him and others who were not handicapped. That beauty was relative.

 (v) He also emphasizes that people cannot be grouped together on the basis of their impairments. Each person is different.

(vi) Lets him see that people are important and that you cannot reject them or be afraid of them for then they will do the same.

 (vii) Makes him realize that you cannot just remember the bad things people say. That one should remember that good thing.

 (viii) Tells him that he feels everyone is a friend till proved otherwise.

(ix) The fact that he opens the world to him by telling him to just wait, watch and listen. He doesn’t expect him to do anything difficult.


1.Scared of meeting people as he hates seeing their fear of him and facing their rejection.

2.Very sensitive—people’s comments hurt him deeply.

3. Upset with parents’ overprotectiveness and mother’s revulsion with his face.

4. Defiant, rude as he is too scared to talk to people.

5. Negative about everything – sees everything in a bad light.

6. Indulges in self-pity over his face.

7. Hates sympathy.

8. Hates the world and keeps away from it.

9. Inner deep desire to be accepted which he hides under an abrasive exterior.

10.Change in the end after listening to Mr Lamb. Ready to face the world and overcome obstacles to do so. Finds courage and strength to get what he wants.

Mr Lamb

1.Very positive in his outlook. Sees the beauty in everything, including weeds.

2 .Doesn’t let physical handicap prevent him from living life to the fullest.

3. Very friendly, opened his doors to the world.

4. Sees the world is important and that people are important.

5. Strong; doesn’t let people’s negative comments hurt him.

6. Practical; knows one’s life is in one’s own hands.

7.Understanding of Derry’s problems.

 Things which hurt Derry

1. His mother kissing him on the good cheek and not the burnt one.

2. Parents talking about what he would do after they died with his face.

3. Parents’ overprotectiveness and making him feel he could not live a normal life.

4. A woman saying only a mother could love him.

5. The person saying he would be better off with people of his own kind.

6. People scared of him.

 Meaning of Title

1. On the surface, both Mr Lamb and Derry are similar as both have a handicap, but there are differences in their outlook on life.

2.Mr Lamb is positive about everything and remains happy. He likes people and lives a full life and does not think handicaps are obstacles.

3. But Derry is bitter, hurt at people’s comments, hates the world and isolates himself.

Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in English– On the Face of It/ Summary in simple Words/ Critical appreciation of the lesson – On the Face of It


 The play is about the friendship between an old man, Mr Lamb, and a young boy, Derry, who is withdrawn and defiant. The child is very disturbed because of his scarred face and feels that people do not want to associate with him. He drifts into Mr Lamb’s garden which looks very inviting but Derry panics when he meets the old man. The latter tries to make him feel at ease and advises him to accept life as it comes. Mr Lamb’s philosophy is to celebrate life in all its forms. To him, the difference is a part of life — a flower and a weed are the same, both signs of life, of growth. Having an artificial or a ‘tin leg’, he has had to cope with the cruelty of others but has taken it in his stride. He has a positive and optimistic attitude to life. He tells Derry to live life to the full and to avoid bitterness which can be more destructive than the acid that destroyed his face. He advises Derry to accept life without any pre-conceived notions. The power of choosing what one wants lies in one’s hands. Derry is extremely sensitive about his scarred face and has a fixed opinion that he is repulsive and ugly. He locks himself in a world of his own and avoids contact with others. But inspite of his attitude, he is moved by the old man’s spirit. This is evident from the fact that he defies his mother and returns to the garden, though sadly a little too late. Derry’ s face is scarred while Mr Lamb’s leg is an artificial one, a tin leg’ as he calls it. Both have to cope with the cruelty of others. While Derry withdraws into his shell, Mr Lamb takes it into his stride. One gets glimpses of the loneliness the old man faces in spite of his outward bravado in the scene when he talks to the bees. From Derry’ s point of view also it is sad that when he finally makes an effort to come out of his shell, he is confronted by the loss of the only person who had befriended him.

Summary (2)

The play revolves around two characters, Deny, a small boy of fourteen years and Mr Lamb, an old man. Deny got his face burnt on one side due to acid and Mr Lamb lost his leg in a bomb explosion during the war. Deny is repulsive and has a very negative attitude towards life, whereas Mr Lamb is optimistic.

 One day Deny stole inside Mr Lamb’s garden and found him there. They both start talking. Mr Lamb tried to comfort Derry and asked him not to fear anything. To this, Deny said that he was not afraid instead people were afraid of him due to his burnt face. They either ignored him or pitied him. They called him ugly and made fun of him. Mr Lamb consoled Deny by giving his own example. He said children called him Lamey Lamb’ but he didn’t feel bad about it. He asked Derry to face the harsh realities of life bravely.

Mr Lamb tried to convince Derry that it is the inner beauty of a person that matters. But Derry didn’t agree. He said that even his mother kissed him on the other side of the face. He showed his regret for the fact that he would spend all his life with a half face. Mr Lamb told him that his entire body is in perfect working condition. So he should not feel handicapped due to his half burnt face.

Mr Lamb told Deny to look around to find so many interesting things that he could do. He gave his own example. In order to remain occupied, he looked at the buzzing bees and flowers in the garden. He listened to the sound of birds and insects and enjoyed sitting in the sun. Deny, at this time, got inspired and said that he also wanted to have a big house with a big lawn. Mr Lamb offered him to stay with him but Deny left as his mother was waiting. But before leaving he promised to come back.

Derry went home and told his mother about Mr Lamb. She warned him not to go to meet him. But Derry was determined to come back. In the meantime, Mr Lamb climbed up a ladder to pluck crab apples from the tree. He fell down and died. When Deny came back he found him lying dead on the ground. Though Derry lost his only friend, yet he became strong and positive to face the world with his disfigured face.

Main Characters of the Story


 Derry: Deny is a fourteen-year-old boy who is disfigured and ugly because half of his face was burnt due to Spilling of acid on one side of his face. He is conscious of the fact that his ugliness is revolting to others and so, everybody wants to ignore him or pity him. He suffers from inferiority complex. He becomes too arrogant and usually avoids any social interaction. He heard people using nasty comments about him and so bears a grudge towards the entire society.

 He suspects everyone and lacks trust. Derry started listening to Mr Lamb because Mr Lamb was also handicapped. It is only when Mr Lamb bestowed on his love, trust and generosity that his mindset started changing. Due to the wise words of Mr Lamb, Deny transformed completely.

Mr Lamb: Mr Lamb is an old man who lives alone in a big house with a big lawn. He is handicapped, having lost his leg in a bomb explosion during the war. He is very optimistic. His openness is reflected through the open doors and windows of his house. He makes toffees, jam and jelly to attract people. He grows crab apples. He is never perturbed at being called ‘Lamey Lamb’.

 Mr Lamb accepted his handicap in a very matured manner. He is a great motivator and encourages Deny to look at everything in a positive way. He is a patient listener and holds a positive attitude towards life. He fills Derry with confidence. He has a great love for life and believes that we should not fritter away our lives aimlessly. Mr Lamb is instrumental in changing the attitude of Deny towards his handicap and, finally, accepting it as part of life.

Following is the complete question bank for On the Face of It-


1.Derry entered Mr Lamb’s garden by———–

 (a) climbing over the wall

(b) climbing through the window

 (c) walked in through the open gate

(d) walking in stealthily

2. Why was Derry startled?

(a) He was caught

(b) There were many people

(c) By Mr Lamb’s presence

(d) On seeing a watchdog

3. Why did Derry enter Mr Lamb’s garden?

(a) He wanted to see the flowers

(b) He wanted to see the bees

(c) He wanted to steal crabapples

(d) Out of curiosity

4. Derry was afraid that Mr Lamb would find his face———-

 (a) repulsive                       (b) unusual

 (c) boring                         (d) hard to forget

5. Mr Lamb believed that Derry wanted to turn back because of he———-

(a) he had been caught                                                  (b) he was ugly

 (c) he was afraid of Mr Lamb                                    (d) he had something to hide

6. Mr Lamb asked Derry to stay back and———-

(a) help him in plucking crabapples

(b) talk to him

 (c) hear birds sing

(d) discuss his problems

7. One side of Derry’s face was————

 (a) marred by scars                        (b) had spots

(c) was darker                                  (d) burnt by acid

8. No one liked to look at him. This made Derry suffer from————-

(a) lack of self-regard                            (b) a callous attitude

 (c) bitter hatred for the world            (d) a desire to die

9. Mr Lamb changed the subject and started talking about———–

 (a) apple picking                    (b) bees singing

(c) beauty and the beast          (d) his tin leg

10. Derry didn’t like being with people because————

(a) he was a shy boy                   (b) he was deformed

(c) people repulsed him              (d) people reminded him of his ugliness

11.Derry is——- when Mr Lamb welcomes him to his garden repulsed(d) curious

(a) surprised                                (b) angry

12.Mr Lamb has——-an attitude

(a) negative                                 (b) crazy

(c) positive                                 (d) pessimistic

13.Mr. Lambfeels one must——-

 (a) survive                           (b) struggle with disability

(c) live fully                        (d) look for sympathy

14.Children called Mr Lamb——-

 (a) an old hat                       (b) a beast

 (c) Lamey-Lamb               (d) an ogre

15. Mr Lamb felt the name children called him by——

 (a) suited him                 (b) did not suit him

 (c) was outrageous         (d) was disgusting

16. Derry feels that Mr Lamb can cover up his handicap by———

(a) not walking                (b) wearing trousers

 (c) not meeting people (d) by being confident

17. ‘Why is one green growing plant called a ———and another a flower?’ asks Mr Lamb

 (a) thorn                 (b) grass                   (c) weed                  (d) fruit

18.Mr Lamb believes all living beings are the same – they all———

(a) breathe          (b) make mistakes       (c) grow               (d) make choices

19.Mr Lamb says. it’s all——–, Beauty and the Beast.

(a) relative        (b) unimportant           (c) God’s Grace          (d) destiny

20.Which fruit was Derry going to step on when he jumped over Mr Lamb’s garden?

 (a) Plums        (b) Crabapple                (c) Banana                 (d) Mango

21.How old is Derry?

 (a) 13           (b) 14                                (c) 15                           (d) 16

22. Derry visits Mr Lamb in the month of———

(a) February         (b) July                 (c) September                (d) December

23.What ate Derry’s face away?

 (a) Mites            (b) Disease               (c) An accident                (d) Acid

24. Derry’s mother also kissed him———-

 (a) occasionally                               (b) on the other side of the face

(c) on the burnt side of the face (d) lovingly, regardless of the burns

25. The terrible woman said about Derry that it was a face———-

 (a) no one could love                    (b) everyone could love

 (c) only a mother could love          (d) kids would be scared of

26. Mr Lamb advised Deny to keep his ears——–

 (a) shut             (b) open              (c) clean               (d) shown

27.The gate to Mr Lamb’s house is

 (a) always shut              (b) heavily guarded

(c) barricaded               (d) always open

28.Mr Lamb thinks the bees ———

(a) sing                       (b) dance                           (c) play                         (d) understand

29.Derry didn’t like people

(a) being friendly                                   (b) being afraid of him

 (c) being affectionate                            (d) being sympathetic

30.The man who locked himself in the room died because

(a) a picture fell on his head                  (b) he slipped over a banana peel

(c) a donkey kicked him to death           (d) a bus ran over him

31.Derryfelt Mr Lamb said———things

(a) peculiar                              (b) sad

(c) funny                                (d) profound

32.Mr. Lamb had ——– at the windows

(a) barricades                     (b) lovely curtains

(c) no curtains                  (d) no window panes

33.Mr. Lamb claimed he had ______ friends

(a) hundreds of               (b) no

(c) two or three             (d) a couple of

34.Mr. Lamb made——-  with honey

(a) cake                         (b) cookies

(c) pie                          (d) toffee

35.The boy’s name is ——– but he prefers

(a) Dennis                (b) Derek

(c) Derham            (d) Derrain

36.——–blew up Mr Lamb’s leg

(a) A bomb             (b) A gunshot

(c) An accident        (d) A splinter

37.How far is Derry’s house from Mr Lamb’s?

(a) A mile                 (b) 2 miles

(c) 3 miles             (d) 4 miles

38. Derry’s family has been living in that house for only ———months

(a) 2                         (b) 3

(c) 4                          (d) 5

39. If Derry didn’t go back, he was scared————

(a) Mr Lamb would not let him in

(b) Mr Lamb would make other friends

(c) he wouldn’t be able to pick crabapples

(d) he’d never go anywhere in the world again

40. Why does Derry begin to weep in the end?

(a) Out of relief as had managed to come

(b) Mr Lamb was dead

(c) Mr Lamb did not want him

(d) His mother prohibited him from stepping out of doors


1.(a) Climbing over the wall 2. (c) By Mr Lamb’s presence

3.(d) Out of curiosity               4. (a) Repulsive

5.(c) he was afraid of Mr Lamb 6. (a) help him in plucking crabapples

7.(d) burnt by acid                   8. (a) lack of self-regard

9.(a) apple picking                10. (d) people reminded him of his ugliness

11.(a) Surprised                    12. (c) positive

13.(c) live fully                     14. (c) Lamey-Lamb

15. (a) suited him                16. (b) wearing trousers

17. (c) weed                         18. (c) grow

19. (a) relative                  20. (b) Crab apple

21. (b) 14                         22. (c) September

23. (d) Acid                     24. (b) on the other side of the face

25. (c) only a mother could love26. (a) shut

27. (d) always open            28. (a) sing

29. (b) being afraid of him 30. (a) A picture fell on his head

31. (a) peculiar                  32. (c) No curtains

33. (a) hundreds of          34. (d) toffee

35. (b) Derek                36. (a) A bomb

37. (c) 3 miles                38. (b) 3 in the world again

39. (d) he’d never go anywhere 40. (b) Mr Lamb was dead

 Short Answer Type Questions  (30 to 40 words)

SHORT ANSWERS TYPE QUESTIONS                                                                                              (3 Marks Each)

Q1. Why is Derry startled as soon as he enters the garden?

 Ans. Derry, a boy of fourteen, climbs over the boundary to enter Mr Lamb’s garden assuming it to be empty. Mr Lamb’s ‘Mind the Apples’ startled Derry.

Q2. Why does Derry enter Mr. Lamb’s garden?

 Ans. Derry thought there was no one in Mr Lamb’s garden. He did not come to steal apples but out of curiosity.

 Q3. Why does Derry want to go home as soon as he comes face to face with Mr Lamb?

 Ans. Derry thought the garden was an empty place and had come out of curiosity. On seeing Mr Lamb, Derry wanted to go home because he felt that Mr Lamb like other people would find his face repulsive and frightful.

Q4. What is the attitude of Mr Lamb to Derry who comes to his garden?

Ans. Mr Lamb is gentle and friendly. He is not repulsed by Derry’s appearance and tells him to mind the crabapples. He urges Derry to stay on.

 Q5. What terrible complex did Derry suffer from?

Ans. One side of Derry’s face was severely burnt by acid. Nobody liked him or befriended him. They were repulsed by his ugly face and avoided him. He withdrew on account of this and avoided people.

Q6. Why does Derry feel that Mr Lamb had changed the subject?

 Ans. Derry feels that Mr Lamb had changed the subject because he was afraid to ask him about his burnt face. Others had also done this before. He felt that people merely pretended the physical impairment wasn’t there.

 Q7. Why does Derry not like being with people?

Ans.When people looked at Derry’s face they found it repulsive. They thought it was the ugliest thing they had ever seen. Some were afraid of what they saw. Derry did not like being with people who reminded him of his scars. He spurned people because he felt rejected and unloved.

Q8. ‘We’re not the same’, says Derry. How does Mr Lamb try and convince him that there is no essential difference between them?

Ans. Mr Lamb tells Derry, that despite apparent differences, they are the same. They have life and are growing. Both of them have a physical disability. The differences are superficial and unimportant.

 Q9. What is Mr Lamb’s response to Derry say ing that the tin leg did not trouble him?

Ans. Derry feels that Mr Lamb can cover up his tin leg and people would not even get to know. Mr Lamb replies that if he got affected, people would still make fun of him. One has to stop bothering people and their reaction to one’s disability.

Q10. Why did kids call Mr. ‘Lamb Lamey-Lamb’? How does he feel about it?

 Ans. Mr Lamb had an artificial leg. His limb had been blown off in a bomb explosion. The street children called him Lamey-Lamb. It no longer troubled him as he had come to terms with his disability.

Q11. Why is one green plant called a ‘weed’ and another ‘flower’?

Ans. Mr Lamb says there is no difference between a weed and a flower. They are variations of the same life which is all important. They are both growing and they both represent life — developing or growing with Mr Lamb and Derry. There is inherent oneness in God’s creation.

Q12. Why do people’s consolations fail to console Derry?

Ans. Derry feels that he is too ugly to be consoled. He has been advised to take inspiration from those who have been blinded, born deaf, invalid or mentally retarded. Since Derry has none of these disabilities, he should realise that he was more fortunate than them. He feels sermons cannot make his face change to a handsome one.

Q13. What peculiar things does Derry notice about the old man?

Ans. Deny felt Mr Lamb had no friends and lived a lonely life. He had no curtains. He was not fond of shutting things in. He liked the light and the darkness. He also liked to hear the wind and listen to bees singing.

 Q14. What did Derry feel about the conversation the two women had at the bus stop?

 Ans. Deny once overheard a woman who went by him when he was at a bus stop whisper about him. She told the other woman that his face was a terrible thing. It was a face only a mother could love. Deny felt it was a cruel thing to say and it upset him very much.

Q15. Why does Mr Lamb narrate the story of a man who locked himself in a room because he was afraid?

Ans. Mr Lamb told Derry a story of a man who was afraid of everything in the world. He went into his room and locked the door. A picture fell off the wall on his head and killed him. He narrated this story to make Deny realize that building a wall around him would not help. Derry needed to shed his fears and live life.

Q16. What arguments does Derry give to convince his mother why he wanted to go to the old man’s garden?

Ans. Derry told his mother that Mr Lamb had a tin leg. He lived in a huge house with no curtains. Derry wanted to be in Mr Lamb’s garden and listen to things that matter.

Things nobody else had ever said. Things he wanted to think about. He added it was nothing to do with his face but about what he felt.

Q17. What made Derry decide to go to the old man?

Ans. Derry decided to go to the old man because he had promised him that he would come. Mr Lamb had helped him add a new meaning to his life. It was no longer about his face and looks but about what he thought. He no longer wanted to shun people. Deny knew that if he didn’t go back, he’d never go anywhere in this world again.

 Q18. Comment on the ending of the play ‘On the Face of it’.

Ans. Mr Lamb who lived a full life in spite of a disability and loneliness helps Deny overcome his fears. He falls down exactly as Derry had said he would earlier in the play. Mr Lamb has left the reformed Derry to complete the good work he had started. Even though the ending appears sad there is hope in the form of young Derry.

Q19. Why did Mr Lamb leave his gate always open?

Ans. Mr Lamb was a lonely man. The gate was always open. People would often come in. Kids came for the crabapples and for toffee. Mr Lamb was not afraid of anything and he did not mind strangers entering his house or garden.

Q20. How does Mr Lamb keep himself busy when it is a bit cool?

Ans.When it got cooler, Mr Lamb kept himself busy by getting the ladder and a stick to pull down the ripe crabapples. He made jelly out of them.

Q21. What is the bond that unites the two – Mr Lamb, the old man, and Derry, the young boy?

 Ans. Mr Lamb and fourteen-year-old Derry suffer from a physical impairment. The old man has a tin leg because he got one of his legs blown off in the war. Derry has one side of his face disfigured and burnt by acid. It is the feeling of empathy that creates the bond. Mr Lamb draws Deny out and infuses positivity into him giving him the courage to believe in himself as a person.

Q22. How does Derry interpret the fairy story ‘Beauty and the Beast’? What does he feel about himself?

 Ans. The story about the inner beauty being more important than the outer appearance has often been narrated to Deny. The beast in the story changed into a handsome prince. Derry feels his situation will never change. No one kissed him, not even his mother. She only kissed him on the other side of the face.

Q23. Why does Derry’s mother oppose his going back to Mr Lamb?

 Ans. Derry’s mother has heard things about the old man. Though they have been here for only three months, she had been warned. She wants to protect Deny.

 Q24. How does Mr Lamb react when Derry enters his garden? [All India 2017]

Ans. Deny entered Mr Lamb’s garden by climbing over the garden wall. He had thought that it was an empty place. He didn’t know there was anybody there. He just wanted to be in a secluded place. On seeing Mr Lamb Deny was startled. He clarified that he didn’t enter to steal anything. Mr Lamb tried to comfort Derry and allay his fear by saying that anybody could enter the garden. He asked him to pick up ripe apples lying in the long grass.

Q25. What kind of garden does Mr Lamb have? Why does he like it?                                 [All India 2017]

Ans.Mr Lamb’s garden was an empty, unkempt garden where both weeds and flowering plants grew side by side. There was a Crab apple tree which was laden with ripe, red and orange fruits. There was also a beehive. The gate always remained open. Lamb enjoyed talking to anyone who cared to walk in. The garden was a source of solace to his lonely life. He enjoyed the sunshine and living in the lap of nature.

26. How does Mr Lamb keep himself busy when it is a bit cool?

 Ans. When the weather was cool, Mr Lamb would take a ladder and a stick and pull down the crab apples. He would make jelly with the ripened oranges and golden apples to keep him occupied.

27. As told by Mr Lamb, why did a man lock himself up in his room and what happened to him?

Ans. The man locked himself up in his room because he was afraid that a bus might run him over or a man might breathe deadly germs onto him, or a donkey might kick him to death, or lightning might strike him down or he might slip on a banana skin and fall and people would laugh at him. But in spite of locking himself in the room, he died as a picture fell off the wall on his head.

28. If you were to give a different ending to the story ‘On the face of It’ how would you end it?

Ans. I would have given a happy ending to the story. I would not like Mr Lamb to die at the end. Instead, Derry would be received by Mr Lamb and they both would become good friends.

29. How does Deny interpret the fairy tale ‘Beauty and the Beast’? What does he feel about himself?

Ans. Deny says Beauty loved the Beast and so she kissed him and he changed into a handsome prince. But this would not happen to him because no one was going to kiss him. Even his mother kissed him on the other side of the face.

30. Why did Mr Lamb help Derry?

 Ans. Mr Lamb himself was handicapped. He knew the difficulties faced by people like him. But he was very optimistic and wanted to motivate and inspire others. He wanted Deny to look at the things with a different perspective. It was his nature of generosity, love and altruism that compelled bun to help Derry.

31. In what sense is the friendship between Mr Lamb and Derry fruitful?

Ans. The friendship between Derry and Mr Lamb proved very fruitful for Derry. Mr Lamb changed Derry’s attitude to life and gave him the courage to face the challenges of bravely. His way of living a life in its utmost utility proved to be an inspiration for Derry who finally came out from the inferiority complex and started living a normal life.

32. Why does Deny tell Mr Lamb that he is afraid of seeing himself in the mirror?

Ans. Half of the face of Deny was burnt as the acid spilt over his face. This resulted in an ugly scar on his face. He was afraid of seeing his ugly face in the mirror as it reminded him of his ugliness and made him feel scared and depressed. 

33. According to Derry, what did people think and say about him?

Ans. Derry’s half of the face was burnt and deformed. According to him, people either ignored him or had pitied him. Some even made fun of him and called him ugly and the devil. They were scared of him and showed their sympathy for him.

34. What did Derry’s mother think of Mr Lamb?

Ans. Derry’s mother did not have a good opinion about Mr Lamb. She said that she had heard many things about Mr Lamb. She didn’t want to Deny to go to meet him. She believed Mr Lamb to be a dangerous person who lived alone in a big home.

35. What qualities of Mr Lamb attracted Deny to him?

 Ans. Positive attitude towards life attracted Deny towards Mr Lamb. He always looked at life in a positive and realistic way. He was always motivating and inspiring. His zeal to live life fully in all circumstances attracted Derry to him.

36. Why does Mr Lamb leave his gate open?

 Ans. Mr Lamb was always on the lookout for the company of good friends. That’s why he kept his gate open. He wanted people to come and meet him at any time. This is symbolic of his openness to accept the world.

37. Which peculiar things does Deny notice about Mr Lamb?

Ans. Mr Lamb appeared to be a particular person to Deny because he was not able to understand many of the things which Mr Lamb said. Mr Lamb told Deny to keep his ears shut and ignore the people for what they say. His positive approach to life in spite of his handicap was a peculiar thing for Derry.

38. “It ate my face up. It ate me up,” says Deny to Mr Lamb. What is this a reference to and how does the play bear out the latter part of the statement?

Ans. Derry’s face is burnt with acid-scarred and disfigured. He is pitied by others. In fact, the acid ate up his face. It also disfigured his personality. This led him to a sense of self-pity and withdrawal. He was not able to face the people and their unkind and insensitive remarks.

39. ‘The world’s got a whole face, and the world’s there to be looked at.’ How does this statement reflect Mr Lamb’s state of mind and how does this help in changing Derry’s outlook to life?

Ans. This statement reflects Mr Lamb’s positive and optimism to life. He believes that one must face life with positivity and accept everything courageously. The world is a beautiful place and we must enjoy its beauty by meeting and interacting with people. This positive attitude of Mr Lamb changed Derry’s state of mind and he was able to overcome his inferiority complex and low self-esteem.

40. Despite all that the old man says, he is yet a lonely old man. How is this brought out in the course of the play? How does Mr Lamb overcome this?

Ans. Mr Lamb is an old man with a tin leg. He is alone and lives in a big house with a big lawn. Though he is very optimistic towards life and accepts everything very positively, his loneliness is evident from the fact that he has left his gate and windows open so that people can come in whenever they want. He overcomes this loneliness by getting himself involved in making toffees, jelly, etc. with the nab apples that grow in his garden. He loves to talk and spend time with the children who come to his lawn.

41. ‘Because if I don’t go back there, I’ll never go back anywhere in the world’ says Derry to his mother. How do these words reflect Derry’s state of mind? How does he come to feel this way?

Ans. These words show that Derry’s state of mind has been changed. Motivated and inspired by Mr Lamb has become confident and bold to accept and face the world in spite of his infirmity. He was no more pessimist and has started taking life as a challenge.

 Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each


 Q1. Compare and contrast the characters of Mr Lamb and Derry.

Ans.Both Mr Lamb and Derry suffer from a physical impairment. Mr Lamb has an artificial leg made of tin and Derry has a severely burnt face — both the experiences have been terribly painful for the respective sufferers.

Apart from this Mr Lamb does not bother about his lameness or that children make fun of him. He takes life as it comes without grumbling. He keeps the gates of his house and windows open. Mr Lamb loves all the creatures of God and states, ‘There’s nothing God made that doesn’t interest me’. Weeds and flowers demonstrate life and growth. If one isolates oneself; one might suffer like the man in Mr Lamb’s story who died when a picture fell off the wall and killed him.

Derry, on the other hand, is a young boy of fourteen who is conscious of his ugly face and is full of bitterness. Deny is withdrawn and complexed. He hates meeting people. He suffers on account of the pain caused by his notions of how much people hate him and are repulsed by him. Deny is forced by MrLamb to see that actions are more important than looks and even weeds have their value. Mr Lamb’s positive attitude changes Derry and inspires him to rush back and face the world.

Q2. What is the theme of the play ‘On the Face of it’? How has it been worked out?

Ans. ‘On the Face of it’ deals with the theme that appearances are deceptive. Derry’s mother has been warned about Mr Lamb and Deny is seen as a repulsive, ugly boy. Mr Lamb, on the contrary, is a kind and generous man who has a positive and practical outlook. Derry is a vulnerable boy who desires love and acceptance.

 The play also deals with the consequences of physical impairment on a person’s emotions. People need love and not pity. This theme has been brought out through the positive attitude of Mr Lamb who draws Deny out of his shell. He tells Derry that acid only burns the face but isolation and withdrawing from the world consumes the whole being. Mr Lamb illustrates that scars do not change a person. On the face of it, people may appear differently abled but they are all the same. They are God’s creations like the weeds and the flowers. It is life. The theme has been woven into the play through the interaction of the two characters.

3. What benefits did Derry reap from his association with Mr Lamb?

Ans. Derry was a fourteen year’s old boy whose one side of the face was burnt because a bottle of acid fell on him. As a result, he became conscious of his ugly face. He found that people either ridiculed him pity on him. He developed a negative attitude towards life. He became frustrated. But when he met Mr Lamb, he got inspiration from him to live life as it comes. Derry was encouraged by Mr Lamb to Look at the world around him and to find many interesting things around him. He found truth, sense and inspiration in Mr Lamb’s words. He learnt to handle the handicap and loneliness from Mr Lamb. In fact, it was Mr Lamb who brought Derry back to life. Deny learnt the way to live life fully by dealing with his infirmity in an appropriate manner.

4. What was Derry’s infirmity? How had it made him withdrawn and defiant?

Ans. Deny was a fourteen-year-old boy. Half of his face was burnt as acid fell on it. This made him look so ugly that everyone either showed pity or ridiculed him. This kind of attitude of people made him bitter. He detested the world and suffered from a lack of self-respect and rejection.

 Derry’s infirmity made him so much frustrated that he evaded people. He came to Mr Lamb’s garden because he thought it to be empty. When he saw Mr Lamb, he wanted to go away. He was extremely sensitive and even had a grudge against his mother for kissing him only on the other side of his burnt face.

 Thus, due to his infirmity of the burnt face, Deny became defiant and withdrawn. He was frustrated by the rejection of the people and became so much withdrawn that he didn’t want to meet and talk to anyone.

5. Justify the title ‘On the Face of It’.

 Ans. The title of the story ‘On the Face of It’ seems to be very appropriate. The idiom ‘On the Face of It’ means from appearance alone or apparently. In the play, Deny is frustrated and has lost self-esteem due to the others’ attitude towards him. Everyone thought that his burnt face was terrible and he was handicapped. Similar was the case of Mr Lamb. He lost his one leg in a bomb explosion. Apparently – both Mr Lamb and Derry had the deformity. But Mr Lamb enabled Deny to have faith in himself and look at the bright side of things and to learn to live with it. Their physical handicap was an apparent thing for them as well as for the world. But the most significant thing is the strength of one’s soul. Mr Lamb was a mentally strong person who handled his own handicap and loneliness very nicely. He became instrumental in making Deny change his views about himself and his deformity and started taking things positively. The chapter deals with the acceptance of the fact that it is not always the same as it appears, i.e., physical handicap has nothing to do with the mental strength and positive attitude towards life.

6. How do Mr Lamb and Derry differ in their thoughts, traits and attitude to life?


Both Deny and Mr Lamb suffer from handicaps, yet their outlook towards life is totally different. Discuss.                                                                                                                                                             

 Ans. Mr Lamb and Derry both are handicapped. Mr Lamb has lost his one leg in a bomb explosion and Deny has a deformed face due to acid attack. They both differ in their thoughts, traits and attitude to life. Deny is not able to cope with his disfigured face and people’s uncharitable remarks. As a result, he keeps himself withdrawn and alienated from the world and has a very negative attitude towards life. Deny keeps to himself and is extremely sensitive. He can’t stand people staring at him. On the other hand, Mr Lamb is not much affected by his handicap. He enjoys reading books, tending plants and flowers. He has a positive attitude towards life and everything has it comes. He is open-minded and welcomes people. He is not affected when children call him ‘Lamey Lamb’.

Thus, both Derry and Mr Lamb are in contrast to each other and finally, Mr Lamb was able to inspire Derry and get his attitude towards life changed.

7. What kind of atmosphere is created by Mr Lamb to look welcoming and invite people to him?

Ans. Mr Lamb has a very positive attitude towards life. He kept the door of his home open to welcome people into his house. He always spoke in a positive manner. Many children used to come to his garden to steal apples. He never used to rebuke them but wanted to talk and spend time with them as he always used to overcast the mischiefs of others that is why he never got annoyed or disturbed on the comments of children who called him ‘Lamey Lamb’. He accepted life as it came to him. He never put curtains on his windows and used to make toffees and jelly for others. As a lovely man, Mr Lamb always wanted to have a company. He never disclosed his loneliness to anybody and always spoke encouraging words. It was due to the welcoming attitude of Mr Lamb that Deny promised to return to his garden.

8. How does Mr Lamb’s brief association with Derry affect the latter?


How did Mr Lamb’s meeting with Derry become a turning point in his life?                                  

Ans. Deny was a fourteen years old boy whose face was burnt due to acid that fell at one side of his face. He was dejected. People pitied him. He felt pain due to the horror, disgust and pity displayed for him by the people. As a result, he had become alienated. He had withdrawn himself from the people and had developed a pessimistic attitude towards life.

 When he met Mr Lamb and spent some time in his company, his entire perspective is changed. Mr Lamb was a person full of life. He told Deny not to be bothered about what people about him and embrace life fully. He advised him to keep his ears shut to what was unpleasant to hear but he should not shut himself in. He inspired Derry by keeping himself busy in spite of his tin leg and being open and cheerful.

Mr Lamb’s advice proved to be a great motivator for Deny and he came out from his shell of alienation. Thus it proves to be a turning point in his life.

9. What is the bond that united the two—the old man, Mr Lamb and Deny, the small boy?

Ans. Deny was a small boy who had a burnt face due to acid. He is very withdrawn and defiant. He runs away from the world as he hates others staring at him. He thinks people are afraid of his infirmity. Similarly, Mr Lamb to is a handicapped person. He had lost his one leg in a bomb explosion during war years ago. He lives alone in this world.

The two of them have infirmity and are rejected by the people. Both have a vacuum in their hearts for not having company. Mr Lamb is a man full of positive energy. When Derry met him to found him drawn towards him. Mr Lamb secured to be the only one who gave him a new line of thought about his physical infirmity.

Thus they both shared a bond that unites the two of them.

Value Based Questions and Answers of (On the Face of it)

Value-based Questions

1. Both Derry and Lamb are physically impaired and lonely. It is the responsibility of society to understand and support people with infirmities. So that they do not suffer from a sense of alienation. As a responsible citizen, write in 100-150 words what you would do to bring about a change in the lives of such people.

Ans. Both Deny and Lamb are physically impaired and lonely. It is only due to the insensitive attitude of the society that they feel so alienated and lonely. Derry, a boy of fourteen years, always either gets pity or uncharitable remarks from others and Mr Lamb also seeks to get some company. In fact, we as educated members of society, need to come forward to make these people realise that they are also needed and significant for us. We have to change our attitude towards such people and realise that just one deformity cannot diminish the other virtues of a person. Actually, these people are very sensitive and feel dejected. We have to give them love and comfort and show our faith in them by providing them with equal opportunities and responsibilities.

2. ‘Inclusive education’ is a step to bring the people with deformities into the mainstream so as to build up their confidence and morale. Write a paragraph on ‘The Importance of Inclusive Education’.

Ans. The Importance of Inclusive Education Inclusive education is a step to bring the people with deformity into the mainstream. It is a step to imbibe confidence in those who have deformities. In fact, one handicap cannot curtail the other qualities of a person. It is the time when the people around the world should understand the fact that people with deformities are not aliens. They are one among us and we need to accept them.

Inclusive education enhances the self-esteem of such people and provides an environment where they can grow into a complete human being and feel confident and independent. This is possible only when these people are accepted and not pitied. Inclusive education is an effective way to materialise this idea.


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