Q. How old do you think Amanda is? How do you know this?
Ans. Amanda is about thirteen years old. She is a school going girl. This is clear because she is asked to do her homework. That she is a teenager is also clear from the fact that she has acne on her face. It is generally during teenage that one suffers from this skin disease. It is during teenage that a boy or girl does not like nagging and Amanda also doesn’t like it.
Q. Who do you thinking is speaking to her?
Ans. It is perhaps her mother who is speaking to her.
Q. Why are stanzas 2, 4, and 6 given in parenthesis?
Ans. These stanzas are given in parenthesis because they reflect Amanda’s state of mind. She imagines herself to be a mermaid (stanza 2), an orphan (stanza 4) and Rapunzel (stanza 6) so that she could enjoy perfect freedom and to escape the nagging of her mother.
Q. Who is the speaker in stanzas 2, 4, and 6? Do you think this speaker is listening to the speaker in stanzas 1, 3, 5, and 7?
Ans. The speaker in these stanzas is Amanda. She is, in fact, talking to herself. These stanzas contain what she imagines herself to be. She is not listening to the speaker in stanzas 1, 3, 5, and 7. This is clear from the line: ‘‘Will you please look at me when I’m speaking to you, Amanda!’’
Q. What could Amanda would if she were a mermaid?
Ans. Amanda would be blissfully drifting in the sea.
Q. Is Amanda an orphan? Why does she say so?
Ans. Amanda is not an orphan. She only imagines herself to be an orphan because she would then be able to roam the streets freely. She will not have to suffer the nagging of her mother.
Q. Do you know the story of Rapunzel? Why does Amanda want to be Rapunzel?
Ans. Rapunzel is the heroine of a German fairy tale. She had beautiful golden hair. She was imprisoned in a tower by an enchantress. She finally got married to a prince. Amanda wants to be Rapunzel because she would be able to lead a peaceful life in a lonely place, away from the nagging of her mother.
Q. What does the girl yearn for? What does this poem tell you about Amanda?
Ans. Amanda yearns for perfect freedom. She doesn’t like being nagged at by her mother. She is always instructed to do or not to do something. She wants to lead her life in her own way.
Q. Read the last stanza. Do you think Amanda is sulking and is moody?
Ans. Amanda wants freedom which everyone of her age yearns for. But her mother thinks that she is sulking and moody. In fact, she is neither sulking nor moody. She only wants to be left alone. She does not like being nagged at by her mother. Even her mother is conscious that she is nagging at Amanda. This is clear from what she herself says, ‘‘Anyone would think that I nagged at you.’’