NCERT TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS SOLVED
Thinking About the Poem (Page 141)
Q1. What does the young man mean by “great honey-coloured/Ramparts at your ear?” Why does he say that young men are “thrown into despair” by them?
Ans. The young lady, Anne Gregory’s hair are blonde or yellow. They are honey-coloured. The hair falling on Anne’s ears look like the rampart-walls surrounding a fort. The young man is thrown into despair as he doesn’t get a suitable response from the lady he loves.
Q2. What colour is the young woman’s hair? What does she say she can change it to? Why would she want to do so?
Ans. The colour of the young woman’s hair is yellow. Her hair can be called ‘blonde’. She says that she can change the colour of her hair according to her choice. She can dye the hair brown, black or of carrot’s colour. She wants to show that outward appearances can easily be changed. A young man should not fall in love with her only after seeing her yellow hair or outwardly appearance.
Q3. Objects have qualities which make them desirable to others. Can you think of some objects (a car, a phone, a dress ) and say what qualities make one object more desirable than another? Imagine you were trying to sell an object: what qualities would you emphasise?
Ans. Yes, objects do have certain qualities which make them desirable to others. A car is an easy way of personal transport. A phone is the easiest way of communication. Similarly, a dress can be used to make your personality more presentable before others. While selling an object, I will emphasize not only its appearance but also its inherent positive characteristics and features.
Q4. What about people? Do we love others because we like their qualities, whether physical or mental? Or is it possible to love someone “for themselves alone”? Are some people ‘more lovable’ than others? Discuss this question in pairs or in groups, considering points like the following:
(i)a parent or caregiver’s love for a newborn baby, for a mentally or physically challenged child, for a clever child or a prodigy
(ii) the public’s love for a film star, a sportsperson, a politician, or a social worker.
(iii) your love for a friend, or brother or sister.
(iv) your love for a pet, and the pet’s love for you.
Ans. Human beings act and react differently to different people in different circumstances. It is true that generally, we love others because we like their qualities. Their physical appearances and their mental qualities may attract us towards them. There is no doubt that some people are ‘more lovable’ than others. That may be due to the fact that individuals differ in temperaments and traits.
It is possible to love others only ‘for themselves alone’. The love between a mother and a child, a father and son, a brother and sister, etc. depends on what they are rather than what they should be.
(i) A parent’s love for a newborn baby depends on his or her blood relationship and emotional ties with the newborn baby. Similarly, a caregiver’s love depends on his or her responsibility for the safe bringing up of the newborn baby. Parents’ love for a mentally or physically challenged child is equally strong and passionate. It doesn’t depend much if the child is clever or a prodigy.
(ii) People’s love for film stars, sportsmen, politicians or social workers depends on their social, cultural and political backgrounds and ideas. Some may like Amitabh while others may love Salman Khan. People love them for their extraordinary feats. When these public figures fall short of their expectations, their liking, craze and love for them naturally go down accordingly.
(iii) My love for a friend depends on the areas of agreement which I share with him or her. But my love for my brother or sister depends on familial ties and bondage.
(iv) My love for a pet depends on how much I am attached to that pet. The pet’s love for me depends on the degree of intimacy I have for that pet.
Q5. You have perhaps concluded that people are not objects to be valued for their qualities or riches rather than for themselves. But elsewhere Yeats asks the question: How can we separate the dancer from the dance? Is it possible to separate ‘the person himself or herself’ from how the person looks, sounds, walks and so on? Think of how you or a friend or member of your family has changed over the years. Has your relationship also changed? In what way?
Ans. Life and people are not to be judged and evaluated in absolute terms. The truth lies somewhere in between the lines.
It would be wrong to say that people are objects. And hence, they can’t be valued for their qualities or riches. But the truth may be the other way around. Some people do value people for their qualities. Their physical, material and mental qualities do influence our love and liking for them. But there are certain relations where we love and like people for themselves. Familial ties bind us to our parents, brothers and sisters. We love them for themselves.
Yeats’ question can’t be ignored. “How can we separate the dancer from the dance? We simply can’t. It is not possible to separate ‘the person himself or herself’ from how the person looks, sounds walks and so on. Naturally, a person can’t be separated from his inherent characteristics and traits. The seem and substance of all these things from what we call his or her ‘personality’. Man’s growth is organic. Over the years, we find a marked change in a friend or in a member of the family. It is quite natural. Our relationship with that friend or the member of the family depends on how much we can adjust to him. It depends on how common interests and areas of agreement we share.