An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum – NCERT Solutions

Q. Tick the item which best answers the following.

  1. The tall girl with her head weighed down means the girl
    (i) is ill and exhausted (ii) has her head bent with shame (iii) has untidy hair
  2. The paper-seeming boy with rat’s eyes means the boy is
    (i) sly and secretive (ii) thin, hungry and weak (iii) unpleasant looking
  3. The stunted, unlucky heir of twisted bones means the boy
    (i) has an inherited disability (ii) was short and bony
  4. His eyes live in a dream. A squirrel’s game, in the tree room other than this means the boy is
    (i) full of hope in the future (ii) mentally ill (iii) distracted from the lesson
  5. The children’s faces are compared to ‘rootless weeds’this means
    (i) are insecure (ii) are ill-fed (iii) are wasters

Answer

  1. is ill and exhausted
  2. thin, hungry and weak
  3. has an inherited disability
  4. full of hope in the future
  5. are insecure.

Q. What do you think is the colour of ‘sour cream’? Why do you think the poet has used this expression to describe the classroom walls?

Ans. The colour of ‘sour cream’ is off white. The poet has used this expression to suggest the decaying aspect. The deterioration in the colour of the classroom walls symbolises the pathetic condition of the lives of the scholars—the children of this slum-school.

Q. The walls of the classroom are decorated with the pictures of ‘Shakespeare’, ‘buildings with domes’, ‘world maps’ and beautiful valleys. How do these contrast with the world of these children?

Ans. These pictures that decorate the walls hold a stark contrast with the world of these underfed, poverty-stricken, slum children living in cramped dark holes, obstacles hamper their physical and mental development and at best their growth is stunted. The pictures on the wall suggest beauty, well-being, progress and prosperity—a world of sunshine and warmth of love.

Q. What does the poet want for the children of the slums? How can their lives be made to change?

Ans. The poet wants the people in authority to realise their responsibility towards the children of the slums. All sort of social injustice and class inequalities be ended by breaking the obstacles that confine the slum children to their ugly and filthy surroundings. Let them study and learn to express themselves freely. Then they will share the fruit of progress

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