Read the Extract Given Below and Answer the Question that Follow. Why Were the Soldiers “Helping to Push Against the Spokes of the Wheels”? - English 2 (Literature in English)

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Short Note

An old man with steel rimmed spectacles and very dusty clothes sat by the side of the road. There was a pontoon bridge across the river and carts, trucks, and men, women and children were crossing it. The mule-drawn carts staggered up the steep bank from the bridge with soldiers helping push against the spokes of the wheels. The trucks ground up and away heading out of it all and the peasants plodded along in the ankle deep dust. But the old man sat there without moving. He was too tired to go any farther.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

Why were the soldiers “helping to push against the spokes of the wheels”?

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Solution

The soldiers were “helping to push against the spokes of the wheels” because there was a steep elevation.

Concept: Reading
  Is there an error in this question or solution?
Chapter 2.02: Old Man at the Bridge - Passage 1

RELATED QUESTIONS

Tick the right answer.

When a government bans something, it wants it (stopped/started).


Tick the right answer.

When we take to something, we find it (boring/interesting).


After you have made a choice do you always think about what might have been, or do you accept the reality?


Thinking about the Poem

Do you think that the old lady would have been so ungenerous if she had known who Saint Peter really was? What would she have done then?


Study the words in italics in the sentences below. They are formed by prefixing un – or in – to their antonyms (words opposite in meaning).

• I was a short boy with rather undistinguished looks. (un + distinguished)

• My austere father used to avoid all inessential comforts.(in + essential)

• The area was completely unaffected by the war.(un + affected)

• He should not spread the poison of social inequality and communal intolerance. (in + equality, in+ tolerance)

Now form the opposites of the words below by prefixing un- or in-. The prefix in- can also have the forms il-, ir-, or im- (for example: illiterate –il + literate, impractical –im + practical, irrational – ir+ rational). You may consult a dictionary if you wish.

_____adequate _____acceptable _____regular _____tolerant
____demanding ____active _____true _____permanent
____patriotic ____disputed ____accessible _____coherent
_____logical _____legal _____responsible _____possible

Mahendra calls ghosts or spirits a figment of the imagination. What happens to him on a full-moon night?


Why did the swallow not leave the prince and go to Egypt?


How has Prashant, a teenager, been able to help the people of his village?


What happens when the zip on his carry-on bag gives way?


Based on your reading of the story, answer the following question by choosing the correct option:

 Harold felt that he was deprived of the respect that his classmates would give him as


You can find more information about Robert Frost at the following websites.
http://www.poets.org/poets/poets.cfm?prmID=1961.
Hear the poet (who died almost forty years ago!) reading the poem at
http://www.poets.org/poems/poems.cfm ?prmID= 1645
To view a beautiful New England scene with each poem on this web site: "Illustrated
Poetry of Robert Frost":
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/1487/index.html


Imagine that you are the poet, William Wordsworth. You continue on your walk,
and when you reach home you tell a friend what you saw and felt. Which of the
following best describes your experience? (Work in pairs, then have a class
discussion.

a) "I was walking past some fields when I saw a young girl, a farm worker, harvesting
grain by hand, with a sickle. She was so beautiful that I stood out of sight and
watched her for a long time. I have never seen anyone more gorgeous! In fact,
she reminded me of other beautiful experiences I've had - the song of the
nightingale or the cuckoo, for instance. I'd certainly like to see her again!"
b) "As I was standing on the hill top just now, I heard a very sad and plaintive song. I
looked down, and saw a young woman reaping grain, singing as she did so. She
seemed quite melancholy as she sang. But somehow her song brought great
comfort and joy to me. In fact, I found it a very emotional experience. As I
continued my walk along the hill top, I also heard a nightingale and a cuckoo. But
the young farm worker's song affected me most deeply, even though I couldn't
understand the words."
c) "Just now, as I was walking in the valley, I saw a young farm worker in the field.
She was singing to herself as she worked. I was so affected by her singing, that I
stopped and listened. She had a beautiful voice, which seemed to fill the whole
valley. The song was a sad one, and I couldn't understand the words. But its
plaintive tone and melancholy sound touched me greatly, and its beauty
reminded me of the song of a nightingale and a cuckoo. After some time, I walked
up the hill, carrying the memory of the young woman's hauntingly beautiful song
with me."


On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following question
by ticking the correct choice.

The central idea of the poem 'The Solitary Reaper' is _____.


When we write informal letters (to a friend, or to a member of our family) we use this layout.

33 Bhagat Singh Road
New Delhi
22 February 20--

Dear Dad

              (body of the letter - in paragraphs)

Yours affectionately
Nandini


Look at the passage below and study how the personal pronouns refer to different people.


The Mystery of Bermuda Triangle. 

The potential of nature, of discovered and undiscovered elements in our world, persuades us to probe into some of her mysteries and what they may tell us. Prepare yourself then for a true odyssey of the Earth around us. 

Air France Plane Misalng Near Bermuda Triangle 
June 1, 2009 An Air France plane is missing. The Agence France-Presse reported that an Air France Airbus A330-200 wide-body jet carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew members disappeared from the radar screens on Monday somewhere off Brazil's Atlantic coast. 
Flight AF 447 out of Rio de Janeiro was headed for Paris. According to the Mirror, Air France reported that the plane had radioed in, that they were going through turbulence. They also reported that a message, signalling electrical circuit malfunction, was received before it disappeared. 
A search for the missing plane was conducted by the Brazilian Air Force. The French were also involved in the search. 
Another well known case of 1962 vividly brings home the need for careful behind -the-scenes probing. Once again, it involved an aircraft. 

The date was January 8, 1962. A huge 4 engine KB50 aerial tanker was enroute from the east coast to Lajes in the Azores. The captain, Major Bob Tawney, reported in at the expected time. All was normal, routine. But he, his crew and the big tanker, never made it to the Azores. Apparently, the last word from the flight had been the usual routine report, which had placed them a few hundred miles off the East Coast. 
FLASH! the media broadcasted, fed by a sincere Coast Guard, that a large oil slick was sighted 300 miles off Norfolk, Virginia, in the plane's proposed route. The mystery could be breaking ... 
But that was the only clue ever found. Although never proved, it was from the plane, publicly the suspicions were obvious: the tanker and its qualified crew met a horrid and sudden death by crashing headlong into the sea. 
However, the report, which was finished months later, confirmed no such thing. Tawney had been clearly overheard by a Navy transport hours after his last message. This placed him north of Bermuda, hundreds of miles past the spot of the oil slick. There is no evidence, therefore, that the plane and its crew ever met any known fate. 

                   The Sea of Lost Ships 

The ships below represent samples of the many vessels that have mysterioualy vanished in the Bermuda Triangle . 

Many US warships are listed missing by the US Navy between 1780 and 1824 , including the general Gates , Hornet , Insurgent , Pickering , wasp , wildcat and Expervier .

The Rosalle was built in 1838 of 222 tons of wood . In 1840 , she was found deserted but in ship shape near the Bahamas .

Ellen Austin's Encounter disappeared in 1881 in the Triangle

Bermuda Triangle Theories 
The Bermuda triangle is a stretch over the Atlantic Ocean, measuring less than a thousand miles on any one side. The name 'Bermuda Triangle' remained a colloquial expression throughout the 1950s. By the early 1960s, it acquired the name 'The Devil's Triangle.' Bordered by Florida, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico, the location became famous on account of the strange disappearance of ships, as well as aircrafts in the area. A number of supernatural explanations have been put forward with regard to the mysterious disappearances. 
However, many probable logical explanations for the missing vessels include hurricanes, earthquakes, as well as magnetic fields, which render navigation devices worthless. However, most people do not like to accept such boring explanations and instead opt for more interesting options like alien abduction, giant squids, or getting sucked into another dimension. 

Supernatural theories 

Death Rays from Atlantis. 
Rays from the magic crystals, left from the time of Atlantis, deep down in the sea are responsible for the strange sinking of ships. However, several underwater expeditions have revealed places under the ocean that look man-made, but no such crystals have been found. In fact no real proof that Atlantis existed, has been ever found. 
Sea monsters. 
The presence of sea monsters was the most widely believed explanation especially in the earlier times, when their existence was believed to be true. 

Presence of a time warp. 

People claim to be lost in the time warp while going through the region. 

Alien abductions. 
The Bermuda Triangle is a collecting station from where aliens take our people, ships, planes and other objects back to their planet to study. 

Scientific Explanations 
Magnetic Compass 
According to the scientists in the US Navy, this area is one of the only two in the world, where a magnetic compass points to true north rather than magnetic north. This probably caused some navigators to go off course, which is very dangerous because many of the islands in 'The Triangle' have large areas of shallow water where vessels can run aground. They can also sink a long way down as some of the ocean's deepest trenches, from 19 ,000 to over 27 ,000 feet below sea level, are found here. 

Unpredictable weather 
Since the island is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, the weather is influenced by several factors and can change instantly. That means that at one moment the weather is stable, and at another it becomes extremely turbulent accompanied by strong currents of wind along with the hurricanes. 
Formation of methane in the sea. 
Methane can lower the density of water, leading to the sinking of ships. Similarly, methane can cut out an aircraft engine leading to crashes. 
Bermuda Triangle Survivors 
These witnesses constitute a long list of pilots, sailors and fishermen. 

1. It is interesting to note that Christopher Columbus was one such witness. He wrote in his memoir on how his compass acted strangely while sailing through the Bermuda Triangle. He along with another shipmate witnessed a glowing globe of light that seemed to hover over the sea. 
2. It is said that when clouds or fog enter the Bermuda Triangle, strange things start happening. Such a phenomenon has been witnessed with the Philadelphia Experiment in which the USS Eldridge vanished and reappeared later miles away, with some of the crew men warped into the hull of the ship. 
3. In 1901, Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain stepped into a mist and claimed to arrive at a time period before the French Revolution. It is said, that the mist and the ominous clouds might be the key to time travel or entering into other dimensions. 
4. Even a great pilot like Charles Lindbergh witnessed unusual events while flying in the reaches of the Bermuda Triangle. It is said that when he was making a nonstop flight from Havana to St. Louis, his magnetic compass started rotating. His Earthinductor-compass needle jumped back and forth erratically. This has now all been revealed in his autobiography. 

5. Another eyewitness account is that of Bruce Gernon, who flew his plane, a BonanzaA36, into the Bermuda Triangle and encountered a non-threatening mile and a half long cloud. As he neared, the cloud seemed to come alive. It became huge and engulfed his plane. However, a tunnel opened up in the cloud and he went through this tunnel. It had cloud trails swirling around his plane. He also reported that while going into this tunnel, he experienced zero gravity and the only thing that kept him in the cockpit was his seatbelt. 
Whatever be the actual reason, there is an involvement of more than one fact.or behind the disappearances of ships and aircrafts in the Bermuda triangle region. 
The Bermuda triangle continues to evoke a lot of interest. Most people like to read about it. In fact., in the last few decades, island of Bermuda has emerged as a major tourist destination as well; mainly, due to its close proximity with the Bermuda Triangle. 


Read the English folktale given below and fill up the blank spaces with suitable words.

There were once three tortoises – a father, a mother (a) ________. a baby (b) ________ one fine morning during Spring, they decided (c) ________ picnic. They picked the place (d) ________ they would go; a nice wood at some distance, (e) ________ they began to put their things together. They got tins of cheese, vegetables, meat and fruit preserves. In about three months, they were ready. They set out carrying their baskets (f) ________ eighteen months, they sat down for a rest. They knew (g) ________ they were already half way to the picnic place.

In three years they reached there. They unpacked (h) ________ spread out the canned food. Then, mother began to search inside the basket. She turned it upside down and shook it (i) ________ something important was missing.

“We’ve forgotten the tin-opener. Baby, you’ll have to go back. We can’t start without a tin-opener. We’ll wait for you”. .

“Do you promise (j) ________ you won’t touch a thing (k) ________ I come back?”
“Yes, we promise faithfully,” Mother and father said together.
Soon after, he was lost among the bushes.

So, they waited and waited. A year went by and they were getting hungry. They had promised (l) ________ they waited. They began to feel really hungry (m) ________ the sixth year was about to end.

Mother tortoise said, “He’d never know the difference.” “No,” said the father tortoise.

Mother tortoise said, “He ought to be back by now. Let’s just have one sandwich (n) ________ we are waiting.”

They picked up the sandwiches, (o) ________ as they were going to eat them, a little voice said, “Aha! I knew you’d cheat! It’s a good thing I didn’t start for that tin opener,” baby Tortoise said.


Here is a newspaper report of a young girl who went back in time to see how her home town looked seventy years ago.

Dehra Times

Purkul, 7 July, 2015

It is reported that Kareena, a twelve year old girl living in Purkul, went back in time using a time machine.

Seventy years ago her home town was an ideal place to live in. Her home town had not been invaded by the marvels of technology. Industries had not been set up then, so the air was not polluted. She could see children playing in the garden. Some children were listening to the stories told by their grandmothers. Happiness and contentment prevailed everywhere.

In the newspaper report above, the focus is on the changes as observed by Kareena.
  1. Kareena’s hometown had not been invaded by the marvels of technology.
  2. Industries had not been set up.
  3. The air was not polluted.
  4. Some children were listening to stories told to them by their grandmothers.

Reporting verbs

Did you know?
Sometimes it is not necessary to report everything that is said word for word. It may be better to use “reporting verbs” which summarise what was communicated. Below are some of the most commonly used verbs of this kind.

accept advice apologise ask assure blame
complain compliment congratulate explain greet hope
introduce invite offer order persuade promise
refuse regret remind say suggest tell
sympathise thank threaten answer warn encourage

 

can you hear me? (speaker)

what did she say? (you) she asked if you could hear her? (friend)                     (ask)
you should go to the doctor now? (speaker) what did he say? (you) he advice you to go to the doctor now? (friend)         (advice)

Read the following and share your feelings with the class. 
INTROSPECT: Realise Your Potential. 

Sixteen year old Shreya, a student of XI, angrily outbursts at her parents and says, "No one likes me". 
She has not been able to develop an interest in any activity, be it painting, swimming, games or studying. She is not sure what types of relationships give her comfort. 
She has never had a good friend. She is not clear about her choice of career. 
Shreya is good-looking, as well as physically healthy. During the interview, she was preoccupied with what others think about her. 
When asked to talk about her positive qualities, she thought for a long time but could not list any. Nor was she able to mention her negative aspects. 

                          Self Awareness
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you succeed.

Knowing our helps us in acknowledging our success as well as appreciating our capacity to do something with or without support from others. 
This givee us a sense of well being and we are able to learn new skills and develop assets , thereby developing our confidence. Confident people attract friends and other stable relationships. 
In due course , we are ready to accept various challenges with the right kind of Investment of energy towarde task completion. 
Knowing our weaknesses helps us In accepting our limitations, and developing a willingness to take help when offered and  enabling us to overcome our deficits. 
This paves way to expansion of skills and qualities, which prove useful ln the long run. It is worthwhile to Introspect and reflect so as to realise our potential . This help to bring about a change in us and we are able to meet challenges . 
lf Shreya had introspected or had been helped by her parents or teachers to reflect on herself, she would have understood her positive and negative qualities , her likes , dislike , strengths , weakness , feelings , emotions , outlooks , choices , values and attitude towards life. 
self awareness paves the way to pregress with respect to relationships , academic success , professional and personal fulfillment .

                       Adapted from "The Quest",
                                    The Hindu


The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight.
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

The last man of this forlorn group
Did nought except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight in death's still hands
Was proof of human sin.
They didn't die from the cold without
They died from the cold within.

Read the lines given above and answer the question that follow.

Explain with reference to context


Bangle sellers are we who bear
Our shining loads to the temple fair...
Who will buy these delicate, bright
Rainbow-tinted circles of light?
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives,
For happy daughters and happy wives.

Read the lines given above and answer the question that follow.

What is referred to Rainbow-tinted circles of light ?


Some are meet for a maiden's wrist,
Silver and blue as the mountain mist,
Some are flushed like the buds that dream
On the tranquil brow of a woodland stream,
Some are aglow with the bloom that cleaves
To the limpid glory of new born leaves

Read the lines given above and answer the question that follow.

Pick out two simile from this stanza.


Some are Purple and gold flecked grey
For she who has journeyed through life midway,
Whose hands have cherished , whose love has blest,
And cradled fair sons on her faithful breast,
And serves her household in fruitful pride,
And worship the gods at her husband's side.

Read the lines given above and answer the question that follow:

What is the ryme scheme of the poem?


"They say it was a shocking sight
After the field was won;
For many thousand bodies here
Lay rotting in the sun;
But things like that, you know, must be 
After a famous victory.
"Great praise the Duke of Marlbro'won,
And our good Prince Eugene."
"Why,'twas a very wicked thing!"
Said little Wilhelmine.

"Nay...nay...my little girl,"quoth he,
"It was a famous victory.
"And everybody praised the Duke
Who this great fight did win."
"But what good came of it at last?"
Quoth little Peterkin.
"Why that I cannot tell,"said he,
"But 'twas a famous victory."

Read the lines given above and answer the question that follow.

Explain with reference to context.


“If you are rested I would go,” I urged. “Get up and try to walk now.”
“Thank you,” he said and got to his feet, swayed from side to side and then sat down backwards in the dust.
“I was taking care of animals,” he said dully, but no longer to me. “I was only taking care of animals.”
There was nothing to do about him. It was Easter Sunday and the Fascists were advancing toward the Ebro. It was a grey overcast day with a low ceiling so their planes were not up. That and the fact that cats know how to look after themselves was all the good luck that the old man would ever have.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

What is the theme of the story?


“If you are rested I would go,” I urged. “Get up and try to walk now.”
“Thank you,” he said and got to his feet, swayed from side to side and then sat down backwards in the dust.
“I was taking care of animals,” he said dully, but no longer to me. “I was only taking care of animals.”
There was nothing to do about him. It was Easter Sunday and the Fascists were advancing toward the Ebro. It was a grey overcast day with a low ceiling so their planes were not up. That and the fact that cats know how to look after themselves was all the good luck that the old man would ever have.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

Why could the Fascists planes not fly?


Of the seven hundred villages dotting the map of India, in which the majority of India’s five hundred million live, flourish and die, Kritam was probably the tiniest, indicated on the district survey map by a microscopic dot, the map being meant more for the revenue official out to collect tax than for the guidance of the motorist, who in any case could not hope to reach it since it sprawled far from the highway at the end of a rough track furrowed up by the iron-hooped wheels of bullock carts. But its size did not prevent its giving itself the grandiose name Kritam, which meant in Tamil coronet or crown on the brow of the subcontinent. The village consisted of fewer than thirty houses, only one of them built from brick and cement and painted a brilliant yellow and blue all over with

gorgeous carvings of gods and gargoyles on its balustrade, it was known as the Big House. The other houses, distributed in four streets, were generally of bamboo thatch, straw, mud and other unspecified material. Muni’s was the last house in the fourth street, beyond which stretched the fields. In his prosperous days Muni had owned a flock of sheep and goats and sallied forth every morning driving the flock to the highway a couple of miles away.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

Describe Muni’s prosperous days.


Its a cruel thing to leave her so.”

“Then take her to the poorhouse: she’ll have to go there,” answered the blacksmith’s wife, springing away, and leaving Joe behind.

For a little while the man stood with a puzzled air; then he turned back, and went into the hovel again. Maggie with painful effort, had raised herself to an upright position and was sitting on the bed, straining her eyes upon the door out of which all had just departed, A vague terror had come into her thin white face.

“O, Mr. Thompson!” she cried out, catching her suspended breath, “don’t leave me here all alone!”           ,

Though rough in exterior, Joe Thompson, the wheelwright, had a heart, and it was very tender in some places. He liked children, and was pleased to have them come to his shop, where sleds and wagons were made or mended for the village lads without a draft on their hoarded sixpences.

“No, dear,” he answered, in a kind voice, going to the bed, and stooping down over the child, “You she’n’t be left here alone.” Then he wrapped her with the gentleness almost of a woman, in the clean bedclothes which some neighbor had brought; and, lifting her in his strong arms, bore her out into the air and across the field that lay between the hovel and his home.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

Who said, ‘It’s a cruel thing to leave her so.’ Why did he say this?


Its a cruel thing to leave her so.”

“Then take her to the poorhouse: she’ll have to go there,” answered the blacksmith’s wife, springing away, and leaving Joe behind.

For a little while the man stood with a puzzled air; then he turned back, and went into the hovel again. Maggie with painful effort, had raised herself to an upright position and was sitting on the bed, straining her eyes upon the door out of which all had just departed, A vague terror had come into her thin white face.

“O, Mr. Thompson!” she cried out, catching her suspended breath, “don’t leave me here all alone!”           ,

Though rough in exterior, Joe Thompson, the wheelwright, had a heart, and it was very tender in some places. He liked children, and was pleased to have them come to his shop, where sleds and wagons were made or mended for the village lads without a draft on their hoarded sixpences.

“No, dear,” he answered, in a kind voice, going to the bed, and stooping down over the child, “You she’n’t be left here alone.” Then he wrapped her with the gentleness almost of a woman, in the clean bedclothes which some neighbor had brought; and, lifting her in his strong arms, bore her out into the air and across the field that lay between the hovel and his home.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

What assurance did Joe Thompson give Maggie? What did he do?


Lights were shining from every window, and there was a savoury smell of roast goose, for it was New-year’s eve—yes, she remembered that. In a corner, between two houses, one of which projected beyond the other, she sank down and huddled herself together. She had drawn her little feet under her, but she could not keep off the cold; and

she dared not go home, for she had sold no matches, and could not take home even a penny of money. Her father would certainly beat her; besides, it was almost as cold at home as here, for they had only the roof to cover them, through which the wind howled, although the largest holes had been stopped up with straw and rags. Her little hands were almost frozen with the cold. Ah! perhaps a burning match might be some good, if she could draw it from the bundle and strike it against the wall, just to warm her fingers. She drew one out—“scratch!” how it sputtered as it burnt! It gave a warm, bright light, like a little candle, as she held her hand over it. It was really a wonderful light. It seemed to the little girl that she was sitting by a large iron stove, with polished brass feet and a brass ornament. How the fire burned! and seemed so beautifully warm that the child stretched out her feet as if to warm them, when, lo! the flame of the match went out, the stove vanished, and she had only the remains of the half-burnt match in her hand.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

Where did the girl seek some shelter from the cold?


Lights were shining from every window, and there was a savoury smell of roast goose, for it was New-year’s eve—yes, she remembered that. In a corner, between two houses, one of which projected beyond the other, she sank down and huddled herself together. She had drawn her little feet under her, but she could not keep off the cold; and

she dared not go home, for she had sold no matches, and could not take home even a penny of money. Her father would certainly beat her; besides, it was almost as cold at home as here, for they had only the roof to cover them, through which the wind howled, although the largest holes had been stopped up with straw and rags. Her little hands were almost frozen with the cold. Ah! perhaps a burning match might be some good, if she could draw it from the bundle and strike it against the wall, just to warm her fingers. She drew one out—“scratch!” how it sputtered as it burnt! It gave a warm, bright light, like a little candle, as she held her hand over it. It was really a wonderful light. It seemed to the little girl that she was sitting by a large iron stove, with polished brass feet and a brass ornament. How the fire burned! and seemed so beautifully warm that the child stretched out her feet as if to warm them, when, lo! the flame of the match went out, the stove vanished, and she had only the remains of the half-burnt match in her hand.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

How did she try to keep herself warm?


She lighted another match, and then she found herself sitting under a beautiful Christmas-tree. It was larger and more beautifully decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door at the rich merchant’s. Thousands of tapers were burning upon the green branches, and colored pictures, like those she had seen in the show- windows, looked down upon it all. The little one stretched out her hand towards them, and the match went out.

The Christmas lights rose higher and higher, till they looked to her like the stars in the sky. Then she saw a star fall, leaving behind it a bright streak of fire. “Someone is dying,” thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only one who had ever loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star falls, a soul was going up to God.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

How did the Christmas lights appear when the match went out?


She again rubbed a match on the wall, and the light shone round her; in the brightness stood her old grandmother, clear and shining, yet mild and loving in her appearance. “Grandmother,” cried the little one, “O take me with you; I know you will go away when the match burns out; you will vanish like the warm stove, the roast goose, and the large, glorious Christmas-tree.” And she made haste to light the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother there. And the matches glowed with a light that was brighter than the noon-day, and her grandmother had never appeared so large or so beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and they both flew upwards in brightness and joy far above the earth, where there was neither cold nor hunger nor pain, for they were with God.

In the dawn of morning there lay the poor little one, with pale cheeks and smiling mouth, leaning against the wall; she had been frozen to death on the last evening of the year; and the New-year’s sun rose and shone upon a little corpse! The child still sat, in the stiffness of death, holding the matches in her hand, one bundle of which was burnt. “She tried to warm herself,” said some. No one imagined what beautiful things she had seen, nor into what glory she had entered with her grandmother, on New-year’s day.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

What happened when she lighted another match?


The women came out on the shore, and made for the stepping—?stones. They had plenty to laugh and bicker about, as they approached the river in a noisy crowd. They girded up their skirts, so as to jump from stone to stone, and they clanked their sickles and forks together over their shoulders to have ease of movement. They shouted their quarrels above the gush of the river. Noise frightens crocodiles. The big mugger did not move, and all the women crossed in safety to the other bank. Here they had to climb a steep hillside to get at the grass, but all fell to with a will, and sliced away at it wherever there was foothold to be had. Down below them ran the broad river, pouring powerfully out from its deep narrow pools among the cold cliffs and shadows, spreading into warm shallows, lit by kingfishers. Great turtles lived there, and mahseer weighing more than a hundred pounds. Crocodiles too. Sometimes you could see them lying out on those slabs of clay over there, but there were none to be seen at the moment.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

What all lived in the river below the hill?


Sibia sprang.
From boulder to boulder she came leaping like a rock goat. Sometimes it had seemed difficult to cross these stones, especially the big gap in the middle where the river coursed through like a bulge of glass. But now she came on wings, choosing her footing in midair without even thinking about it, and in one moment she was beside the shrieking woman. In the boiling bloody water, the face of the crocodile, fastened round her leg, was tugging to and fro, and smiling. His eyes rolled on to Sibia. One slap of the tail could kill her. He struck. Up shot the water, twenty feet, and fell like a silver chain. Again! The rock jumped under the blow. But in the daily heroism of the jungle, as common as a thorn tree, Sibia did not hesitate. She aimed at the reptile’s eyes. With all the force of her little body, she drove the hayfork at the eyes, and one prong went in—right in— while its pair scratched past on the horny cheek. The crocodile reared up in convulsion, till half his lizard body was out of the river, the tail and nose nearly meeting over his stony back. Then he crashed back, exploding the water, and in an uproar of bloody foam he disappeared. He would die. Not yet, but presently, though his death would not be known for days; not till his stomach, blown with gas, floated him. Then perhaps he would be found upside down among the logs at the timber boom, with pus in his eye. Sibia got arms round the fainting woman, and somehow dragged her from the water.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

What would happen to the crocodile?


Then there it lay in her wet palm, perfect, even pierced ready for use, with the sunset shuffled about inside it like gold—?dust. All her heart went up in flames of joy. After a bit she twisted it into the top of her skirt against her tummy so she would know if it burst through the poor cloth and fell. Then she picked up her fork and sickle and the heavy grass and set off home. Ai! Ai! What a day! Her barefeet smudged out the wriggle— ?mark of snakes in the dust; there was the thin singing of malaria mosquitoes among the trees now; and this track was much used at night by a morose old makna elephant—the Tuskless One; but Sibia was not thinking of any of them. The stars came out: she did not notice. On the way back she met her mother, out of breath, come to look for her, and scolding. “I did not see till I was home, that you were not there. I thought something must have happened to you.” And Sibia, bursting with her story, cried “Something did). I found a blue bead for my necklace, look!”

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

Why did Sibia feel overjoyed?


Suddenly all the tension seemed to ebb out of my body as the truth of what he said hit me. Confidently, I drew a line a full foot in back of the board and proceeded to jump from there. I qualified with almost a foot to spare.

That night I walked over to Luz Long’s room in the Olympic village to thank him. I knew that if it hadn’t been for him I probably wouldn’t be jumping in the finals the following day. We sat in his quarters and talked for two hours—about track and field, ourselves, the world situation, a dozen other things.

When I finally got up to leave, we both knew that a real friendship had been formed. Luz would go out to the field the next day trying to beat me if he could. But I knew that he wanted me to do my best—even if that meant my winning.

Read the extract given below and answer the question that follow.

How did the rivalry of Owens and Long end?


Given below are four words and phrases. Find the words which have a similar meaning in the passage:
(1) Coming near 
( 2 ) Disappeared suddenly
(3) Awakening from sleep
(4) Moved slowly and gradually


I could hear the squeaking that heralded the evening arrival of the bats. I listened to the noises of the approaching night. Every day my hearing grew sharper. I was learning to filter out whatever I did not need to listen to, and giving no sign that I could hear everything that went on in the house.

I could not sleep. The air was heavy and still, the moon hidden behind thick banks of cloud. Lord Otori was sound asleep. I did not want to leave the house I'd come to love so much, but I seemed to be bringing nothing but trouble to it. Perhaps it would be better for everyone if I just vanished in the night.    [5]

 
Now I heard the hiss of hot water as the bath was prepared, the clatter of dishes from the kitchen, the sliding sigh of the cook's knife, a dog barking two streets away, and the sounds of feet on the wooden bridges on the canals. I knew the sounds of the house, day and night, in the sunshine and under the rain. This evening I realized I was always listening for something more. I was waiting too. For what?        [10]


I began to wonder if I could get out of the house without setting the dogs barking and arousing the guards. I started consciously listening to the dogs. Usually, I heard them bark on and off throughout the night, but I'd learned to distinguish their barks and to ignore them. I set my ears for them but heard nothing. Then I started listening for the guards: the sound of a foot on stone or a whispered conversation. Nothing. Sounds that should have been there been missing from the night's familiar web.        [20]


Now I was wide-awake, straining my ears to hear. There came the slightest of sounds, hardly more than a tremor, between the window and the ground.    


For a moment I thought it was the earth-shaking, as it so often did. Another tiny tremble followed, then another. Someone was climbing up the side of the house        [25]


My first instinct was to yell out, but cunning took over. I rose from the mattress and crept silently to Lord Otori's side. I knelt beside him and whispered in his ear, "Lord Otori, someone is, outside."      [30]


He woke instantly and then reached for the sword and knife that lay beside him. I gestured to the window. The faint tremor came again.


Lord Otori passed the knife to me and stepped to the wall. I moved to the other side of the window. We waited for the assassin to climb in.


Step by step he came up the wall, stealthy and unhurried as if he had all the time in the world. We waited for him with the same patience.    [35]

He paused on the sill to take out the knife he planned to use on us and then stepped inside. Lord Otori took him in a stranglehold. The intruder wriggled backwards. I leaped at him, and the three of us fell into the garden like a flurry of fighting cats.  [40]


The man fell first, across the stream, striking his head on a boulder. Lord Otori landed on his feet. My fall was broken by one of the shrubs. The intruder groaned, tried to rise, but slipped back into the water.


"Get a light," Lord Otori said.


I ran to the house, took a light that still burned in one of the candle stands and carried it back to the garden.    [45]


The assassin had died without regaining consciousness. It turned out he had a poison pellet in his mouth and had crushed it as he tell. He was dressed in black, with no marking on his clothes. I held the light over him. There was nothing to tell us who he was.    [50]

 

(i) Given below are four words and phrases. Find the words which have a similar meaning in the passage:
(1) Coming near 
( 2 ) Disappeared suddenly
(3) Awakening from sleep
(4) Moved slowly and gradually 

(ii) For each of the words given below, write a sentence of at least ten words using the same word unchanged in form, but with a different  meaning from that which it carries in the passage:
(1) Bats ( line 1 )
( 2 ) Sign ( line 4 )
( 3 ) Banks (  line 6 )
( 4 )  Back ( line 43 )


Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Richard Parker was so named because of a clerical error.
A panther was terrorizing the Khulna district of Bangladesh, just outside the Sundarbans. It had recently carried off a little girl. She was the seventh person killed in two months by the animal. And it was growing bolder. The previous victim was a man who had been attacked in broad daylight in his field. The beast dragged him off into the forest, and his corpse was later found hanging from a tree. The villagers kept a watch nearby that night, hoping to surprise the panther and kill it, but it never appeared.
The Forest Department hired a professional hunter. He set up a small, hidden platform in a free near a river where two of the attacks had taken place. A goat was tied to a stake on the river’s bank. The hunter waited several nights. He assumed the panther would be an old, wasted male with worn teeth, incapable of catching anything more difficult than a human. But it was a sleek tiger that stepped into the open one night: a female with a single cub. The goat bleated. Oddly, the cub, who looked to be about three months old, paid little attention to the goat. It raced to the water’s edge, where it drank eagerly. Its mother followed it. Of hunger and thirst, thirst is the greater urge. Only once the tiger had quenched her thirst did she turn to the goat to satisfy her hunger.
The hunter had two rifles with him: one with real bullets, the other with immobilizing darts. This animal was not the man-eater, but so close to human habitation she might pose a threat to the villagers, especially as she was with cub. He picked up the gun with the darts. He fired as the tiger was about to attack the goat. The tiger reared up and snarled and raced away. But immobilizing darts don’t bring on sleep gently—they knock the creature out without warning. A burst of activity on the animal’s part makes it act all the faster. The hunter called his assistants on the radio. They found the tiger about two hundred yards from the river. She was still conscious. Her back legs had given way and her balance on her front legs was shaky. When the men got close, she tried to get away but could not manage it. She turned on them, lifting a paw that was meant to kill. It only made her lose her balance. She collapsed and the Pondicherry Zoo had two new tigers. The cub was found in a bush close by, meowing with fear.
The hunter, whose name was Richard Parker, picked it up with his bare hands and, remembering how it had rushed to drink in the river, named it Thirsty. But the shipping clerk at the Howrah train station was evidently a man both confused and diligent. All the papers received with the cub clearly stated that its name was Richard Parker, that the hunter’s first name was Thirsty add that his family name was None Given. Richard Parker’s name stuck. I don’t know if the hunter was ever called Thirsty None Given!

(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage.
One word answers ob short phrases will be accepted.

  1. corpse (line 6)
  2. quenched (line 16)
  3. reared (line 20)

(b) Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.

  1. Why does the author say that the panther ‘was getting bolder’? 
  2. Why did the Forest Department hire a professional hunter? 
  3. What did the hunter expect to encounter? What did he actually encounter? 
  4. What did the tiger do before turning to attack the goat? Why did it do that? 
  5. Why did the hunter decide to shoot the tiger though he knew it was not the man-eater?
  6. What name did the hunter give to the cub? Why? 

(c)

(i) In not more than 60 words narrrate how the hunter and his assistants captured the tiger and her cub. 
(ii) Give a suitable title to your summary in 3(c). Give a reason to justify your choice. 


Answer the following questions with reference to Jack London's, 'The Call of the Wild'. 

(i) How was Thornton talked into a wager that involved Buck, during a conversation in the Eldorado Saloon? 

(ii) How did Thornton feel after he had committed Buck to the wager? 

(iii) Give a brief description of how Buck managed to win the wager for Thornton. 


The phrases on the left in the following box occur in the text. Match each of them with a phrase on the right.

(i) an endless stretch of sand •fertile place with water and plants in a desert
(ii) waterless and without shelter •not visible because the grass is thick
(iii) an oasis •nothing but sand as far as one can see
(iv) hidden by a cover of grass •no water and no shade

Tilloo pressed the red button and “the damage was done”. What was the damage?


(i) What makes Mridu conclude that the beggar has no money to buy chappals?

(ii) What does she suggest to show her concern?


Fill in the blanks in the following paragraph.

Today is Sunday. I’m wondering whether I should stay at home or go out. If I_________ (go) out, I__________ (miss) the lovely Sunday lunch at home. If I_________ (stay) for lunch, I_________ (miss)the Sunday film showing at Archana Theatre. I think I'll go out and see the film, only to avoid getting too fat.


Answer the following question

How did Gopal get inside the palace to see the king after he had bought the fish?


What questions did Golu ask the python?


What was the farmer’s comment on his wife’s fears?


Do you think the man would ever come back to pick up the watch?


When did “the unfriendly face” of the visitor turn truly friendly?


Who were the two last-minute shoppers to Ray’s shop?


What was the problem of the two shoppers? What were they going to try?


What message did the old clocks spread as they chimed ‘Merry Christmas’ together?


Why did Akbar ask Tansen to join his court?


What did the other courtiers feel about Tansen?


Complete the following sentence

It is mysterious because ______


Do you find the poem humorous? Read aloud lines which make you laugh.


Why do you think the child ran away on seeing the snake?


What was Patrick’s chief interest?


Answer the following question:

Why did Taro run in the direction of the stream?


Multiple Choice Question:

Which one of the following is not associated with the real beauty?


How does the child finally decide to observe his teacher’s activities at home?


Why does Radha’s mother tell her that it is not suitable for girls to climb trees? Find points to agree with Radha or her mother. Plan what you will say by making notes like this:

  • Girls should be able to climb trees if they wish
    1. ___________________________
    2. ___________________________
    3. ___________________________
  • Girls should not be allowed to climb trees
    1. ___________________________
    2. ___________________________
    3. ___________________________

Now divide the class into two groups. Present to the rest of the class the opinion of Radha who thinks there is no harm in girls climbing trees and of her mother who thinks girls should not do this.


Who says this to whom and why?
“My wife knows best how to run the house.”


Replace the italicised portion of the sentence below with a suitable phrase from the box. Make necessary changes, wherever required.
The best way to avoid an unnecessary argument is to remain silent.


Here the child wants to become _______.


What does the word ‘bake’ in the above passage mean?


Why does the speaker’s brother lie to him?


Read the lines given below and answer the following question:

Iris: Of her society
Be not afraid. I met her deity
Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son
Dove-drawn with her.

Whom does Iris refer to as ‘her’?


Read the lines given below and answer the following question:

Iris: Of her society
Be not afraid. I met her deity
Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son
Dove-drawn with her.

Why was the person addressed afraid of “her”?


Read the lines given below and answer the following question:

Iris: Of her society
Be not afraid. I met her deity
Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son
Dove-drawn with her.

What is meant by “dove drawn”?


Read the lines given below and answer the following question:

“But my darling, if you love me,” thought Miss Meadows, “I don’t
Mind how much it is. Love me as little as you like.”

Where was Miss Meadows as she thought these thoughts?


Read the lines given below and answer the following question:

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agean…

Who is Sophocles?


Answer the following question.

Who advised Golu to go to the Limpopo River?


Read the passage given below and answer the questions (i), (ii) and (iii) that follow:

(1)

Something happens to cats after we have enjoyed a delicious meal. Call it a feline sugar hit or a rush of good feelings. Abandoning our usually sedentary nature, we transform into crazy beasts who thunder down corridors, spring from one piece of furniture to another, or pounce from behind half-closed doors to attack the shoelaces of unsuspecting passersby. It is as though we are temporarily possessed.

 

 

5

(2)

That, at least, is my excuse, dear reader - and the only explanation I can offer for my entirely unplanned global TV debut.

 

(3)

To be fair, I had no way of knowing that my master was receiving visitors that particular afternoon. Nor that he was being interviewed live, let alone by one of America’s most famous journalists.

10

(4)

All I knew was that, a few minutes after gorging myself on a favourite treat of creamy pudding, I felt that sudden, primal explosion of energy. I made my way back to the suite of rooms that I shared with my master and felt an overpowering compulsion to do something completely mad. I wanted to run like a furious jungle cat, at that particular moment.

 

 

 

15

(5)

Bursting through the door of the room in which my master received visitors, I tore up the carpet as I raced towards the sofa opposite where he was sitting. I ripped its fabric as I scrambled up its side like a savage creature clawing its way up a perilous cliff. Then with a final, frenzied burst, I launched myself off one arm of the sofa, leaping towards the other.

 

 

20

(6)

It was only at this point that I realised the sofa was occupied by the journalist. She was halfway through a sentence, and my abrupt appearance caught my master's guest completely by surprise.

 

(7)

You know, when something truly unexpected happens, time can seem to slow down. Well, that’s how it was. As I flew past the woman's face, her expression turned from one of calm engagement to that of total surprise.

25

(8)

I As she pushed back in her seat to avoid me, the shock on her face could not have been more evident.

 

(9)

But, dear reader, she was not more shaken than me. I had not been expecting anyone on the sofa, let alone a TV celebrity, nor one who was mid-interview. As I headed towards the opposite end of the sofa, for the first time I observed the lighting, the cameras and the crew watching the action from the shadows. By the time I landed on the other arm of the sofa, all the energy that had propelled me was gone.

30

 

 

35

(10)

I was, no longer, a furious jungle cat.

 

(11)

The journalist looked at me. I looked at her. Both of us were taking in what had just happened. I was also conscious of the cameras still rolling as well as many pairs of eyes watching me at that moment. My moment of global glory.

 

 

Adapted from: The Dalai Lama's Cat Omnibus
By David Michie

 

(i)

  1. Given below are three words and phrases. Find the words which have a similar meaning in the passage: [3]
    1. inactive
    2. eating in a greedy manner
    3. dangerous
  2. For each of the words given below, write a sentence of at least ten words using the same word unchanged in form, but with a different meaning from that which it carries in the passage: [3]
    1. thunder (line 3)
    2. spring (line 3)
    3. past (line 26)

(ii) Answer the following questions in your own words as briefly as possible:

  1. What is the usual nature of the narrator's kind? How is it differently presented in the passage? [2]
  2. What did the 'favourite treat of creamy pudding' do to the narrator? [2]
  3. Describe the actions of the narrator after bursting into the visitors' room. [2]
  4. How did the journalist react when the narrator 'flew past' her face? [2]

(iii) Summarise how the narrator became a global celebrity (paragraphs 4 to 11). You are required to write the summary in the form of a connected passage in about 100 words. Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalised. [6]


What does Cares say to bless the young couple?


In Act V, Scene I of the play The Tempest, Alonso says, "Irreparable is the loss." What is the irreparable loss being referred to here?


What does Prospero intend to do with his book before his interaction with Alonso in Act V of the play, The Tempest?


Where did B. Wordsworth live in the short story, B. Wordsworth?


In the poem, Birches, how are the crystal shells shed?


In the poem, We are the Music Makers, what are the 'sea-breakers'?


Complete the following sentence by providing a reason:

In Act III, Scene II of the play The Tempest, Stephano and Trinculo are angry with Caliban as they struggle out of the filthy pool because ______.


Complete the following sentence by providing a reason:

At the end of Act III, Scene III of the play The Tempest, Gonzalo urges the other Lords to follow the "three men of sin" because ______.


Complete the following sentence by providing a reason:

Towards the end of the story B. Wordsworth, the poet told the boy to never visit him because ______.


Complete the following sentence by providing a reason:
In the short story, To Build a Fire, the fire built by the man under the tree was extinguished because ______.


Read the following extract from Norah Burke's short story, "The Blue Bead" and answer the question that follow:

On the way back, she met her mother, out of breath, come to look for her, and scolding.

"I did not see till I was home that you were not there. I thought something must have happened to you."

And Sibia, bursting with her story, cried, “Something did!"

What had delayed Sibia and separated her from the other village women on her way home that day?
What was Sibia doing when she heard the Gujar woman's cry for help?


Read the passage given below and answer the questions (i), (ii) and (iii) that follow: 

The Police Superintendent is walking across the market square followed by a constable. Suddenly he hears a loua shout, "So you bite, you damned brute? Lads, don't let the dog go! Biting is prohibited nowadays!" There is the sound of 'yelping and the Superintendent sees a dog running out of a timber-yard. A man runs after it and tries to seize the dog by its hind legs'. Sleepy countenances protrude from the shops and soon a crowd gathers.

"It looks like a row, your honour", says the constable. The Superintendent turns to his left and strides towards the crowd. He sees the aforementioned man standing close by the gate of the timber-yard, holding his right hand in the air and displaying a bleeding finger to the crowd. He was the town's goldsmith. The culprit who has caused the sensation, a white puppy with a sharp muzzle and a yellow patch on its back, is sitting on the ground. "What's it all about?", the Superintendent inquires, pushing his way through the crowd, "Who was it that shouted?"

The goldsmith answers, "I was walking along here not interfering with anyone when this low brute, for no rhyme or reason, bit my finger. I am a working man. Mine is fine work. I must have damages, for I shan't be able to use this finger for a week."

"I won't let this pass! Find out whose dog it is and draw up a report!", the Superintendent commands the constable.

"I fancy it's General Zhigalov's dog", says someone in the crowd. Suddenly indignant, the Superintendent turns to the goldsmith and asks, "There's one thing I can't make out. How it could have bitten you? Surely it couldn't reach your finger. It's a little dog, and you are a great hulking fellow! You must have scratched your finger with a nail, and then the idea struck you to get damages for it. I know your sort!"

"No, that's not the General's dog", says the constable, with profound conviction, "the General has valuable dogs, and goodness knows what this is! No coat, no shape, a low creature." The Superintendent says, "You have been injured, goldsmith and we can't let the matter drop. You must be compensated for the damage."

"It is the General's, that's certain!", says a voice in the crowd. "Oh! Constable, take the dog to the General's and inquire there. Say I found it and sent it. And tell them not to let it out into the street. A dog is a delicate animal. And you, you goldsmith, put your hand down. It's your own fault." On seeing the General's cook approaching, the Superintendent asks him, "Is it one of yours?" "We have never had one like this", says the cook. "There's no need to waste time asking", decides the Superintendent, "it's a stray dog. Chase it away!"

"It's not our dog", the cook goes on, "it belongs to the General's brother who arrived the other day."
"Is his Excellency's brother here? Delighted to hear if', says the Superintendent, and his whole face beams with an ecstatic smile, "it's not a bad pup. A lively creature, indeed. Come, why are you shivering, you nice little pup?"

The cook calls the dog and walks away from the timber-yard.

The crowd laughs at the goldsmith.

 

    1. Given below are three words and phrases. Find the words which have a similar meaning in the passage:
      1. faces
      2. walks purposefully
      3. precious
    2. For each of the words given below, choose the sentence that uses the same word unchanged in form, but with a different meaning from that which it carries in the passage:
      1. row
        1. We sat in a row at the back of the room.
        2. The vegetables were planted in neat rows.
        3. A row has broken out amongst the vendors.
        4. The fisherman rowed us back to the shore.
      2. left
        1. I instructed the driver to take a left turn at the intersection.
        2. The bank is situated to the left of the library.
        3. They left the house at six o'clock in the morning to reach the airport on time.
        4. He's giving away money left, right and centre.
      3. fancy
        1. He fancies himself as a serious actor.
        2. I was foot-loose and fancy-free in those days.
        3. He had some fanciful notion about crossing the Atlantic in a barrel. 
        4. He sells poor goods, but charges fancy prices.
  1. Answer the following questions in your own words as briefly as possible:
    1. How does power play an important role in the Superintendent's decisions?
    2. Why does the goldsmith ask for damages?
    3. Who does the dog belong to? How do we know it?
  2. Trace the Superintendent's reactions from the time the initial voice in the crowd is heard till the cook takes the dog away. You are required to write the summary in the form of a connected passage in about 100 words. Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalised.

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