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On Killing a Tree Question and Answers
By– Gieve Patel
Very Short Answer Type Questions
1. In the poem ‘On Killing A Tree’ what is the tree a symbol of?
Ans. In this poem, the tree is a symbol of deep-rooted evil.
2. How does a tree grow up?
Ans. A tree dies when it has depleted the soil of its essential nutrients.
3. Can we kill a tree with a simple jab of the knife?
Ans. No, we can’t kill a tree with a simple jab of the knife.
4. How should we kill a tree?
Ans. We should kill a tree by hacking and chopping it.
5. What should we do to kill a tree permanently?
Ans. To kill a tree permanently we should take out its root from the earth.
6. Where does the strength of a tree lie?
Ans. The strength of a tree lies in its roots.
7. What should be done to the roots or a tree?
Ans. The roots of a tree should be snapped and taken out of the earth.
8. What finally kills the tree?
Ans. Scorching and choking kill the tree finally.
9. What does it mean ‘the strength of the tree is exposed’?
Ans. It means the roots of the tree are taken out of the earth.
10. It is easy to kill a tree?
Ans. No, it is not easy to kill a tree.
On Killing a Tree Short Questions and Answers
Q1.Can a “simple jab of the knife” kill a tree? Why not? (Textual)
Ans:- A jab with a knife cannot kill a tree. It can only injure it. The real life in trees comes from their roots, which provide them nourishment and hold them in place.
Q2.How has the tree grown to its full size? List words suggestive of its life and activity.
Ans:- The tree has grown to its full size gradually. It has grown by slowly consuming the earth. It has risen out of the earth and has fed upon its crust. It has also absorbed light, air and water for years. Leaves have sprouted out of its discoloured bark.
Q3.In the phrase ‘consuming the earth’, who consumes the earth and how?
Ans:- It is the tree that consumes the earth by drawing its nourishment from the soil through its root. The diet required by the tree lies deep inside the earth and the root sucks and absorbs nutrients and nourishes the tree.
Q4. What is meant by ‘years of sunlight, air and water’?
Ans:- With long hours of exposure to sunlight, air, and water, a tree will take years to fully grow. In this time it stores energy from sunlight, air, or water.
Q5.Why has the tree’s ‘hide’ been called leprous?
Ans:-The bark of the tree is uneven in texture and colour. Leprosy also robs the skin of the leper of its colour and evenness. Hence, the poet has drawn a metaphorical comparison between the discoloured bark of a tree and the diseased skin.
Q6. What is the role of hacking and chopping in killing a tree?
Ans:- There are two main types of actions to damage a tree. One type is hacking which will cause the wood to splinter and the other type is chopping which will cause the fibres in the wood to break. In both cases, there is a great amount of pain but if it’s hacked or chopped, bleeding won’t kill the tree.
Q7.What is the meaning of ‘bleeding bark’? What makes it bleed? (Textual)
Ans:-The ‘bleeding bark stands for the sap oozing out of the tree trunk when it is attacked with a knife or an axe. The word ‘bleeding’ is metaphorically used to compare the sap to the blood from a wound of a human being. It signifies the pain of the tree.
Q8.What will rise from ‘close to the ground’? Why?
Ans:-Curled green twigs and miniature boughs will rise from the stump of the tree that is close to the ground. They will rise because the tree rejuvenates and revives itself as long as its root is intact.
Q9.’What will happen if the miniature boughs are left ‘unchecked’?
Ans:-‘Unchecked’ here means left free to grow without any harm or danger. If left ‘unchecked’, the new, green, delicate branches from the stump of a tree will expand and regain their original size.
Q 10. “No, The root is to be pulled out.” Why has the poet started this stanza with “No”? Or The poet says “No” at the beginning of the third stanza. What does he mean by this? (Textual)
Ans:- The poet is saying that in order to kill a tree, you need more than just hacking and chopping–you need to do it ruthlessly, and with much effort.
Q 11. What is the meaning of “anchoring earth” and “earth cave”? (Textual)
Ans:- “Anchoring earth” means the earth which gives a firm grip to the tree and keeps it from falling. Just as a ship anchored in the sea stays in its place securely and steadily, similarly the tree stands secure and stable with the support of the earth. “Earth cave” refers to the depth under the earth where the root of a tree remains sheltered safely for years. It is firmly attached to this point and a cave-like hollow is created when the root is pulled out.
Q12. How is the root of the tree to be pulled out? What is the result of this pulling?
Ans:- Trees can be difficult to plant, because their roots have to sink deep into the earth. Years of the tree’s life could be spent getting its root established and stabilizing the trunk, but there is a chance that the tree will die while it sits in the ground.
Q13.What does the poet mean by The strength of the tree exposed”? (Textual)
Ans:-The expression ‘the strength of the tree exposed’ means the root of the tree is pulled out of the earth and thrown open at the mercy of harsh weather. Root is the source of the tree’s power. Once exposed to the scorching and choking sun and air, it withers away and the tree finally dies.
Q14.What is ‘the most sensitive’ part of the tree? What is it sensitive to and why?
Ans:- The root of the tree is its most sensitive part because it’s vulnerable to outside forces like heat and weather. It’s more protected being buried below the earth.
Q15. How is the exposed root affected by the sun and air?
Ans:-Sun and air start drawing life out of the exposed root. It becomes discoloured, dry and hard. It starts withering and becomes gnarled and twisted. Devoid of all its moisture, it gradually becomes lifeless and the process of killing the tree is completed.
Q16. What finally kills the tree? (Textual)
Ans:-The withering of the pulled out root finally kills the tree. The root of a tree is the source of its strength. Once it is pulled out, it can no longer nurture the tree. The root is sensitive to sunlight and air. Once exposed, it gets dehydrated, brown and twisted. Ultimately it dries up and the tree yields to death.
Q17. What message is conveyed by this poem?
Ans:-The poem conveys the message that human beings have destructive temperament towards nature, but Mother nature has regenerative powers and cannot be destroyed easily. It has the ability to resurrect itself. Also, the tree teaches us that mere physical assaults cannot ruin us. As long as our root, our soul, is intact we can rise again.
Q18. Can a “simple jab of the knife” kill a tree? Why not?
Ans. A simple jab with a knife is not enough to kill a tree. Cutting it down and sawing it will not be enough. The root needs to be removed from the earth, or else it will sprout again.
Q19. What finally kills the tree?
Ans. Pulling out the tree from the mother earth and scorching and choking it in the sun and air kills the tree. It becomes brown, dry and gets hard. Eventually, it dies.
Q20. How has the tree grown to its full size? List the words suggestive of its life and activity.
Ans. The tree has grown to its full size by consuming the earth, feeding upon its crust, absorbing years of light, air and water. Consuming, rising, feeding and absorbing are the words suggestive of its life and activity.
Q21. What are the two important stages for killing a tree?
Ans. There are two stages of killing a tree. First, the tree should be pulled out entirely. Its roots are to be exposed to the sun and the air. Secondly, the roots are to be scorched in the sun. When the roots are scorched, these turn brown, hard and withered. The tree finally dies.
Q22. Write the meanings of ‘anchoring earth’ and ‘earth cave’.
Ans. The phrase ‘anchoring earth’ implies that the roots of the trees hold it securely in place. This makes it impossible to kill the tree with a simple jab of a blade.
Q23. How will the bleeding bark of trees heal?
Ans. When the blow of knives or axes does not kill trees, its bleeding bark will gradually heal its pain all the time and the green leaves will grow from the boughs. Actually, the strength of trees lies in its roots. When they are not uprooted, they will expand and grow into a complete tree.
Q24. How is the problem of deforestation raised in the poem?
Ans. Deforestation can be said the important theme of the poem. In our time’s deforestation has become a major issue. Forests are being cleared off to make doors, windows, furniture and fuel. This act has adversely affected our ecosystem. The poet seems to be an environmentalist and his urge to save trees is felt in the whole poem.
Q25. What is the central idea of this poem?
Ans. The central idea of this poem is that the uprooting of trees is not easy. Actually, his act is quite painful. In the same way, the human soul never dies. The poem beautifully expresses that before killing trees, we have to cause injury to them. The human soul is also difficult to be killed but external vagaries can mutually damage it. Like human souls, trees can also feel pain and suffering.
Long Question Answer of On Killing A Tree
Q1. How does a tree grow up?
The growth of a tree can take years to happen. The bark and branches grow from the surface of the earth as seasons come and go. It takes time for leaves to sprout from the bark and grow all over it. With the help of time, a tree can grow strong enough that it is unharmed by weapons. In fact, hacking and chopping at it are not sufficient to kill it as the wounds will soon heal. The tree’s branches appear again, even after the tree has been cut down. As long as the roots are intact, the tree keeps growing.
Q2. What relationship does the tree have with the earth?
Ans:- A tree has a deep relationship with the earth. It owes its very existence to the earth. The seed germinates in the womb of the earth and the baby plant sprouts out over the surface of the earth. The tree draws nutrients for it from the soil. It is the earth that gives it support to stand erect and protects it from falling. Giving a firm grip to its roots, the earth gives it ground to grow and assume a massive size. The earth keeps roots of the tree concealed, protecting it from exposure to the sunlight and the air which can prove to be very injurious for its existence. Thus, the earth helps a tree right from its birth to its survival. Even a chopped tree grows again out of the stump and gains the original, big size because the earth supports it.
Q3. What does the root of the tree look like when it is pulled out of the earth-cave? What happens to it when it is left exposed?
Ans:-The root of the tree is moist anti-white when it is pulled out of its hiding, the earth-cave. It is very tender and delicate as it has remained concealed for years together, away from sunlight and air. The root cannot tolerate the light and heat of the sun and the open air. When it is left exposed, it feels scorched and choked in the sun and the air. Initially, it starts changing its colour and becomes somewhat brown. Then it starts losing its tenderness. It becomes hard and its suppleness declines. Gradually, it withers away and becomes gnarled and twisted. Ultimately, life is completely drained out of it and it leads to the death of the whole tree. This is how exposure robs first the root and then the entire tree of its life.
Q4. What would happen if the tree is hacked and chopped?
If you chop down a tree and leave the stump untouched, new roots will be created from the stump. These roots will provide nourishment to the stump, which in turn will create tender twigs that sprout out of its surface. If material such as twigs is not prevented from growing, they will keep on growing until they are the original size of the tree. The wounds on the tree will heal and it will be as big as it was originally. The tree may be threatened by something, but that won’t stop it from living. It will find ways to overcome the obstacles and regain its glory.
Q5. Suppose you are a tree. Write a diary entry in about 150 words describing how you were hacked and chopped and your root was pulled out and how you are inching towards your end.
(Day and Date) (Time)
Dear Diary Today my heart is crying and I suffer due to the pain inflicted upon me by cruel men. Two days ago, I was enjoying the fresh air and warm sunlight when suddenly I felt a blow of an axe on my trunk. I noticed that a man was hitting me hard, giving one blow after another. My bark was wounded, the sap was oozing and my leaves and branches were falling off lifelessly. I could feel a sharp pain that I found hard to tolerate. When the man got tired, he left me for the night. I was relieved that he had not harmed my root. I was certain that my wound would heal and new branches would grow after some time. But the next day there came five people. The first chopped off big chunks from my trunk and then tied a rope firmly around me. They applied force to pull my root out of the earth. Now my strength gave way and my white, wet and sensitive root was hauled. My root has been left exposed to the sunlight and air. Its white colour is turning brown and it has started hardening and twisting. Slowly, it will wither away and I will die. I wish these ignorant people had realized that I was serving them selflessly with fresh oxygen and dense shade. Sadly, I have to say goodbye to this beautiful world because of the insensitivity of some people. Banyan
Q6. Trees are our lifeline. So they must not be killed. Write your suggestions on how trees can be protected.
Ans. Trees have great importance in our life. They teach us that life is made for others. They bear fruits for others and provide shelter to them. All creatures are equal in their eyes. Besides, trees take several years to become fully grown up. When they are full-grown, they enhance the beauty of nature. But we are recklessly cutting down trees for our selfish needs. We have to check this useless cutting of trees. We have to make strict rules and protect them. The government should also come forward in this regard. The forest should be declared protected areas and people must be encouraged to plant more trees. They should be made aware of how trees are valuable for human beings. On the other hand, we should organise ourselves in some groups or associations and prohibit people from cutting down trees. Moreover, everybody should develop a love for trees.
Q7. Write why people cut trees. Are there other alternatives to trees for them?
Ans. People have several requirements which can be fulfilled by trees. They get wood for fire and furniture from trees. They get various kinds of medicine and fruits. The tribal people are completely dependent on trees, but they never cut them. But the common people cut trees as they have no alternatives. But they should not cut down trees and spoil the beauty of nature. Moreover, they should discover other sources to fulfil their needs. They should be encouraged to use steel sheets in their doors and windows. The tribal people should be given every support to decrease their dependence on trees. They should be made responsible to protect trees in their areas and plant more trees. Besides people should be made aware of the environmental problems which are created after cutting down trees. We have to protect trees at any cost.
Q8. Describe the growth of a tree in detail with reference to the poem.
The poet Gieve Patel describes how a tree grows in the first stanza of his poem “On Killing a Tree”. He finds the growth to be slow and consuming of earth, absorbing light, air, and water from nature to create food. However, a tree will heal its own wounds by hacking and chopping to rise miniature boughs into full size itself again. Thus, a tree grows slowly by absorbing years of sunlight, air and water.