On Killing a Tree – Important Questions

Important Question and Answers

Q. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

Or pulled out entirely,
Out from the earth-cave,
And the strength of the tree exposed
The source, white and wet,
The most sensitive, hidden
For years inside the earth

  1. What is the theme of the poem from which the above stanza is taken ?
  2. When is the strength of the tree exposed ?
  3. What does ‘The source’ refer to ?
  4. What is a synonym for the word ‘sensitive’ ?


  1. The theme of the poem is to persuade the readers to think that it takes sustained effort to kill a tree. It is not easy to uproot a tree.
  2. The strength of the tree is exposed when the roots are entirely pulled out of the earth’s cave.
  3. ‘The source’ refers to the roots.
  4. delicate

Q. What factors have contributed to the growth of the tree to its present size?

Ans. The factors that have grown the tree to its present size are air, water and sunlight that the tree absorbed from the earth.

Q. What has the poet compared with ‘Leprous hide’?

Ans. The poet has compared the Leprous hide with the bark of the tree which has been discoloured with the passage of time. The poet says that the bark of the tree looks like a person who has leprosy and the skin of the body has been discoloured because of old age.

Q. What do you think, may be the effect of hacking and the chopping on the tree?

Ans. The effect of hacking and chopping of the tree may result in the bleeding from the tree but, the poet says, the pain will be relieved soon and the bleeding bark will heel itself after some time.

Q. The poet wants the tree to be snapped out. Why?

Ans. The poet knows that earlier, the methods of killing the tree were not successful so he wants a different way in which the roots of the tree are pulled out and then he wants to be snapped out the tree to kill it with surety.

Q. How do you think, is the tree killed ultimately?


What finally kills the tree?

Ans. The sun and the air burn a tree when it is exposed of its strength. The roots are exhausted and they choke it. Thus, the tree is finally killed.

Q. What message does the poet want to convey through this poem?

Ans. The poet conveys the idea through the poem the process of killing or cutting a tree. The poem seems to be contrary to our common belief that more and more trees should be planted. But here the poet lays stress on the implementation of the effective cutting of the trees. The message that the poet wants to convey through this poem is that we should always do a complete work at the time of starting it. Some people are in habit of leaving the work half done, while they think that they have done the work perfectly. But in the end they find that it was nothing but an illusion. So the poet wants us to finish the work completely whether the work is of killing of the tree apart it the poet wants us that we should do our optimum efforts and we should put ourselves whole heartily leaving no stone unturned.

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