Childhood – Important Questions

In ‘Childhood’ poem, the poet, Markus Natten wonders when and where he lost his childhood. In his quest to find the moment when he grew up, Markus highlights the innocence and faith he lost even as he gained rational individuality.

Important Question and Answers

Q. What happened when Markus Natten completed eleven years of age?

Ans. At eleven years the poet Markus Natten understood the difference between fact and fiction. He understood that the things such as hell and heaven are only figments of human imagination.

Q. Does the poet think that at eleven years of age he had become an adult?

Ans. Yes, the poet seems to think that it was his first step towards adulthood. This is so because then he had become a rational human being.

Q. Why does the poet feel that Heaven and Hell are not real places?

Ans. As the speaker grew mature, he acquired reasoning power. He realized that Hell and Heaven could not be found in Geography books or Atlas. Since they could not be located anywhere in the world map, he concluded that they did not exist. He would believe only what he could see and find.

Q. What does the child think about the adult in the poem ‘Childhood’?

Ans. The poet of the ‘Childhood’ Markus Natten found the adults hypocrite. He says that these adults talked and preached of love but in their actions they did not practice it. Thus they were hypocrites.

Q. What did the child feel when he discovered that he could use his mind according to his own chinking?

Ans. The child discovered that he had grown up and was the master of his own mind. So, he could take his own decisions.

Q. Does the poet think that his mind belonged to him all the time?

Ans. No, the poet thought that in childhood and till now, his mind did not belong to him. It was occupied by thoughts infused by other in his mind. It was the final step towards adulthood when he realized that he was the master of his own mind and need not be guided by any other thought.

Q. Which do you think is the most important step toward adulthood? Why?

Ans. Having an independent mind free from any outside influence is the most important step towards adulthood. That is why, the poet mentions it as the third and the final step. Other steps like being rational or learning hypocrisy show an outside influence while this step shows an internal awakening which is the chief quality of human and separates them from other animals.

Q. How did the realization of being the master of his own mind help him?

Ans. The realization of being the master of his own mind and could use it in anyway he liked, filled him with self confidence. He could now think independently and need not repeat parrot like thoughts of others.

Q. Where has his childhood gone according to the poet?

Ans. The poet cannot exactly remember where his childhood has gone. However, he thinks, that some glimpse of it can be seen in an infant’s innocent face.

Q. The first stanza of the poem Childhood begins with the question “when did my childhood go” But the last stanza begins with “where did my childhood go?” Do you think that change is significant?

Ans. Yes, the change from ‘when’ to ‘where’ is certainly significant. It shows that in the third stanza the poet has got his answer to the question ‘when.’ Now, in the final stanza he wants to know where the childhood has gone.

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