Maharashtra State BoardHSC Arts 12th Board Exam
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Question Bank Solutions for HSC Arts 12th Board Exam - Maharashtra State Board - English

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Answer the following question as per instruction:
Speech Writing :
Imagine that your college has organised an 'elocution competition' and the topic of the competition is 'Save Trees, Trees Save'. Prepare a short speech with the help of the points given below :
Providers of human needs, ecological balance, rain showers, etc.

[0.02] Speaking Skill
Chapter: [0.02] Speaking Skill
Concept: Speaking Skill

Read the following extract and answer the questions given
below:
Prominent among the urges that inspire and drive a person in life, is the mge to be a somebody. It is quite human, especially in the early stages of life, to want to do something to win laurels and admiration of all around. There's a pitfall though - the very process of becoming a somebody may subtly reduce yon to a nobody.
American poet Emily Dickinson, who lived in obscurity, has an interesting poem on this theme. "I'm nobody!" she declares, with apparent pride.
"Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?"
Why should anybody be happy about being nobody?
The poem explains :
"How dreaiy to he somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
The word 'bog' is significant. When you become a somebody, you invite adulation :
this then begins to bog you down. The moment you think you have arrived, you begin to stagnate, or, worse, your downslide begins. An endless list of writers, artists, sportsmen, politicians ..... fit this pattern of personal history.
To sustain your development in absolute terms, to become a true somebody, it is important to remain a temporal nobody. Even if destiny makes you a temporal somebody,
you should be able to see yourself as merely an agent of a superior power; no more. This requires an exercise of will. You have to constantly watch out and talk to yourself morning and evening.

(1) What is the main idea of the extract? (1)

(2) Why is it important for one to remain a temporal nobody? How? (1)

(3) What does Emily Dickinson declare with pride? Why? (2)

(4) What would you like to be in your life - Somebody or nobody? Why? (2)

(5) Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed
(i) This requires an exercise of will.
(Rewrite it using the Simple Future tense.) (1)

(ii) You have to constantly watch out and talk to yourself.
(Rewrite it using another modal auxiliary showing 'compulsion'.) (1)

(iii) You begin to stagnate.
(Rewrite it using the noun form of the word underlined.) (1)

(6) Find out the words from the extract which mean -

(i) danger  (1/2)

(ii) praise   (1/2)

[0.04] Writing Skill
Chapter: [0.04] Writing Skill
Concept: Writing Skill

Read the following extract and answer the questionsgiven below:
By this time, I felt very small
And now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by her bed;
"Wake up, little girl, wake up," I said.
"Are these the flowers you picked I'm me?"
She smiled, "I found' em, out by the tree.
I picked'em because they're pretty like you.
I knew you would Iike'em, especially the blue."
I said, Daughter, I'm sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn't have yelled at you that way"

(1) Why did the mother go to her daughter "s room? (1)

(2) How can the mother be a friend to her daughter' (1)

(3) Name and explain the figure of speech in the following line
" ..... they're pretty like you". (1)

(4) What is the effect of dialogues in the poem? (1)

[0.04] Writing Skill
Chapter: [0.04] Writing Skill
Concept: Writing Skill

Read the following extract and answer the questions given below:
And then they came to its massive trunk
Fifty men with axes chopped and chopped
The great tree revealed its rings of two hundred years
We watched in terror and fascination this slaughter
As a raw mythology revealed to us its age
Soon afterwards we left Baroda for Bombay
Where there are no trees except the one
Which grows and seethes in one's dreams, its aerial roots Looking for ground to strike.

(1) What did the rings of the trunk of the tree reveal about its age? (1)

(2) According to you, how do trees help the mankind? (1)

(3) Give an example of 'Repetition' from the extract. (1)

(4) The poem has picturesque expressions. They make the poem lively. Pick out such expressions from, the extract. (1)

[0.04] Writing Skill
Chapter: [0.04] Writing Skill
Concept: Writing Skill

Read the following extract and rewrite it from the point of view of the mother: [you may begin with : My son never saw the skeleton in the cupboard ]
Yes, there was a skeleton in the cupboard, and although
I never saw it, I played a small part in the events that followed its discovery. I was fifteen that year, and I was back in my boarding school in Simla after spending the long winter holidays in Dehradun. My mother was still managing the old Green's hotel in Dehra - a hotel that was soon to disappear and become part of Dehra's unrecorded history. It was called Green's not because it purported to the spread of any greenery (its neglected garden was chocked with lantana), but because it had been started by an Englishman, Mr Green, back in 1920, just after the Great War had ended in Europe. Mr Green had died at the outset of the Second World War. He had just sold the hotel and was on his way back to England when the ship on which he was travelling was torpedoed by a German submarine. Mr Green went
down with the ship.
The hotel had already been in decline, and the new owner, a Sikh businessman from Ludhiana, had done his best to keep it going. But post-War and post-Independence, Dehra was going through a lean period. My stepfather's motor workshop was also going through a lean period - a crisis, in fact -- and my mother was glad to take the job of running the small hotel while he took a job in Delhi. She wrote to me about once a month, giving me news of the hotel, some of its more interesting guests, the pictures that were showing in town.

[0.03] Reading Skill
Chapter: [0.03] Reading Skill
Concept: Reading Skill

Read the following extract and convert it into a dialogue between Charles and Oliver in  about 120 words
[You may begin with: Charles: Hi Orlando! I am a famous wrestler ..... ]

   Frederick had a very famous wrestler, called Charles, in his court. He was champion of the country and had fought many brave and strong young men. Now, Orlando was a fine wrestler, too, and decided to try his strength against Charles. Charles came to see Oliver about this, asking him to persuade Orlando to give up his idea.
   'I am a professional wrestler, sir,' Charles explained to Oliver, 'and I must always fight to win, in order to keep my reputation. Anyone who fights me runs the risk of being badly hurt, Please warn your younger brother, and persuade him to change his mind.
   But the wicked Oliver thought this was a good opportunity to get rid of Orlando, so he told Charles all kinds of lies about the young man. lie pretended that Orlando was bad and ungrateful, and deserved any punishment which Charles could give him. I would rather you broke his neck than his finger,' Oliver said, 'and you have my permission to do. what you like with the boy.'
So Charles promised to do his best to kill Orlando. 'If he comes to the fight tomorrow, I'll give him his payment,' Charles said. 'If he can walk away after I have finished with him, never wrestle again.'

[0.03] Reading Skill
Chapter: [0.03] Reading Skill
Concept: Reading Skill

Read the following extract and extend it by adding an imaginary paragraph of your own in about 120 words

Eventually I made my way to England where I was sponsored by a Jewish charity,
put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the Holocaust and trained in electronics.
Then I came to America, where my brother Sam had already moved. I served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and returned to New York City after two years. By August 1957, I'd opened my own electronics repair shop. I was starting to settle in.
One day my friend Sid who I knew from England called me. " I've got a date. She's got a Polish friend. Let's double date."
A blind date? Nah that wasn't for me.
But Sid kept pestering me and a few days later we headed up to the Bronx to pick up his date and her friend Roma.

[0.03] Reading Skill
Chapter: [0.03] Reading Skill
Concept: Reading Skill

Read the following extract and answer the questions given below :
One day, I saw the tree was being cut. I rushed to the site and begged the tree cutters to spare the trunk as it wast the home of many a parrot. But I was laughed at and the tree fell with a great thud. I ran to the top end to see two just hatched chicks thrown out of their nest and smashed to death. I looked into all the nests and saw smashed eggs in two of them and one little chick in the other one. Fortunately, the little one survived the fall. I brought it home. The chick can be identified as a parrot only by the shape and colour of its beak. No feathers had come out. 1 carefully fed it with milk and within two weeks it began to eat bananas; and two months later, it started to fly and I let him fly away. But he would not fly long. He used to liner on the coconut trees in our compound and when I reached home from school, he would fly down and land on my head!
I would show him my finger and he would jump on to it from my head and drink the milk I offered him in a little plate. By putting the sharp end of the upper beak stationaty in the plate, he would drink the milk by moving his tongue and lower beak to and fro. Then he would fly on to my shoulder and eat paddy from mypahn.

(1) What is the extract about? (1)

(2) Describe how did the boy save the life of a chick ? (2)

(3) What was the parrot's daily routine at the author's home? (2)

(4) Do you think, we have deprived the birds of their natural habitats? What are its effects? (2)

(5) Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed :
(i) I rushed to the site. (Rewrite the sentence using 'used to'.) (1)

(ii) The tree was being cut. (Rewrite it beginning with 'They .... .' (1)

(iii) I looked into all the nests and saw smashed eggs in two of them. (Rewrite the sentence using the word 'when'.  (1)

(6) Find out the words from the extract which mean -
(i) neatly                      (1/2)
(ii) stay for longer        (1/2)

[0.03] Reading Skill
Chapter: [0.03] Reading Skill
Concept: Reading Skill

Read the following extract and answer the questions given below :
They whisper like drizzle
as they roam the streets
with a lost gaze as though
something they had thrown up
never returned to earth.

They shiver like December nights
in their dreamless sleep
on shop verandahs.

(1) Why do the old women in this extract roam the streets?

(2) What would you like to do for the betterment of the old people? 

(3) Find out an example of 'onomatopoeia' from the first stanza of the extract.

(4) Pick out the expressions from the extract showing the sad situation of the old women.

[0.04] Writing Skill
Chapter: [0.04] Writing Skill
Concept: Writing Skill

Read the following extract and answer the questions given below :
We used to watch the valley play hide and seek .
Shadowed by the mountain's immeasurable peak
Considered the largest thing known to man
Now skyscrapers are the most extravagant and titanic part of the plan
We used to sit next to the stream, the wind caressing our crown
Watching the magnificent untamed beasts roam far, far from town
Now they are just characters of folk tales, memories we pass down
An adjective to describe someone, no more a noun
This could be our reality.

(1) What was the largest thing known to man? (1)

(2) What would be the possible result of ignoring nature? (1)

(3) Give an example of personification from the extract. (1)

( 4) Pick out from the extract some expressions of geographical images. (1)

[0.04] Writing Skill
Chapter: [0.04] Writing Skill
Concept: Writing Skill

Read the following extract and rewrite it from the point of view of Orlando :

[You may begin with : One day Rosalind and Celia met me ..... ]
One day Rosalind and Celia met Orlando. He did not recognize them because of their stained faces and simple clothes. He thought they were a shepherd boy end his sister. He made friends with them and often came to see them in their cottage.
Rosalind, still dressed as Ganymede, one day made fun of Orlando's poetry. 'I'll cure you of your love for this girl Rosalind!' she said. 'I will pretend to be Rosalind and you shall make love to me.
And there followed an amusing scene with Orlando calling Ganymede "Rosalind" and swearing that he would die oflove for her, and Ganymede refusing to believe it. 'Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love! said Rosalind, laughing at the earnest Orlando.
At last the young man said he would have to go. I must attend the Duke at dinner', he explained, 'but I shall be with you again at two O'clock.'
So Rosalind said goodbye to him, and waited impatiently for his return. Two O'clock came, however, but no Orlando, and Rosalind began to feel angry and disappointed. Just then Oliver, Orlando's elder brother, came running through the forest to their cottage. He held a blood-stained handkerchief in his hand, which he gave to Rosalind, saying that Orlando had sent it to her.
'What has happened? What must we understand by this?' cried Rosalind, full of fear for her lover's safety.

[0.04] Writing Skill
Chapter: [0.04] Writing Skill
Concept: Writing Skill

Read the following extract and convert it into a dialogue between Mrs Green and the mother in about 120 words :
[You may begin with: Mrs Green: May I come in .... ]
"May I come in?" asked the pink lady.
"Please come in," said my mother. "Do sit down. Do
you require a room'?"
"Not today, thank you. I'm staying with Padre Dutt.
He insisted on putting me up. But I may want a room for a day or two -.lust for old time's sake."
"You've stayed here before."
"A long time ago. I'm Mrs Green, you know. The missing Mrs Green. The one for whom you put up that handsome tombstone in the cemetery. I was very touched by it. And I'm glad you didn't add 'Beloved Wife of Henry t'reen', because I didn't love him any more than he loved me."
"Then - then you aren't the skeleton?" stammered my mother.
"Do I look like a skeleton?"
"No!" we said together ..
"But we heard you disappeared." I said, "and when we found
that skeleton"
"You put two and two together."
"Well, it was Miss Kellner who convinced us," said my mother. "And you did disappear mysteriously. You were missing for years. And everyone knew Mr Green was a philanderer"
"Couldn't wait to get away from him," said the pink lady. "Couldn't stand him anymore. Ile was a lady-killer, but not a real killer.'
"But your father came looking for you. Didn't you get in touch with him'"'
"My father and I were never very close. Mother died when I was very young, and the only relative I had was a cousin in West Africa. So that's where I went- Sierra Leone!"
"How romantic!" said my mother.

[0.02] Speaking Skill
Chapter: [0.02] Speaking Skill
Concept: Speaking Skill

Read the following extract and extend it by adding an imaginary paragraph of your own in about 120 words

Then two little boys came out of the garden; one of them had a large sharp knife, like that with which the girl had cut the tulips. They came straight towards the little daisy, which could
not understand what they wanted.
"Here is a fine piece of turf for the lark," said one of the boys, and began to cut out a square round the daisy, so that it remained in the centre of the grass.
"Pluck the flower off said the other boy, and the daisy trembled for fear, for to be pulled off meant death to it; and it wished so much to live, as it was to go with the square of turf into the poor captive lark's cage.
"No let it stay," said the other boy," it looks so pretty."
And so it stayed, and was brought into the lark's cage.

[0.02] Speaking Skill
Chapter: [0.02] Speaking Skill
Concept: Speaking Skill

Read the following extract and answer the questions given below:
That day Reuben fold two sacks, which he took to the rambling wooden factory and sold to the man in charge of packing nails. The boy's hand tightly clutched the small five-cent pieces as he ran two kilometres home.
Near his house stood the ancient barn that housed the family's goats and chickens. Reuben found a rusty baking- soda tin and dropped his coins inside. Then he climbed into the loft of the barn and hid the can beneath a pile of sweet-smelling hay.
It was supper time when Reuben got home. His father sat at the big kitchen table, working on a fishing net. Dora was at the black kitchen range, ready to serve dinner as Reuben took his place at the table.
He looked at his mother and smiled. Sunlight from the window gilded her, shoulder-length blond hair. Five foot three, slim and beautiful, she was the centre of the home, the glue that held it together.
Her chores were never-ending. Sewing clothes for her family on the old Singer treadle machine, cooking meals and baking bread, planting a vegetable garden. milking the goats and scrubbing soiled clothes on a washboru·d. But she was happy. Her family and their wellbeing were her highest priority.
Every day after chores and school, Reuben scoured the town, collecting the burlap nail bags. On the day the two-room schoolhouse closed for the summer, no student was more delighted than Reuben. Now he would have more time to devote to his mission.

(1) What is the main theme of the extract? (1)

(2) Where did Reuben keep his savings? Why? (2)

(3) Describe Reuben's mother and her daily chores. (2)

(4) What would you like to present to your mother on Mother's Day? Why? (2)

(5) Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed :

(i) He looked at his mother and smiled.
(Rewrite it as a Simple Sentence.) (1)

(ii) Her family and their well-being were her highest priority.
(Rewrite it in the Positive Degree.) (1)

(iii) She was the centre of the home. (1)
(Make it a Rhetorical Question)

(6) Find out the words from the extract which mean -

(i) dried grass (1/2)

(ii) routine tasks (1/2)

[0.03] Reading Skill
Chapter: [0.03] Reading Skill
Concept: Reading Skill

Read the following extract and answer the questions given below :
We, heroes and poor devils;
the feeble, the braggarts; the unfinished,
and capable of everything impossible
as long as it's not seen or heard
Don Juans, women and men, who come and go
with the fleeting passage of a runner
or of a shy hotel for travellers.
And we with our small vanities,
our controlled hunger for climbing
and getting as far as everybody else has gotten
because it seems that is the way of the world.

(1) Who are heroes and what are they capable of? (1)

(2) According to you, what difficulties do the middle-class people face? (1)

(3) Name and explain the figure of speech in the following line :
... Women and men, who come and go. (1)

(4) Pick out the line from the extract, which shows the overambitious nature of the middle-class people. (1)

[0.03] Reading Skill
Chapter: [0.03] Reading Skill
Concept: Reading Skill

Read the following extract and answer the questions given below
All the rest of her children, she said, are on the nuclear
blacklist of the dead,
all the rest, unless
the whole world understands - that peace is a woman:
A thousand candles then lit
in her starry eyes, and I saw angels bearing a moonlit message :
Peace is indeed a pregnant woman Peace is a mother.

(1) What is the situation of the children in absence of peace? (1)

(2) Why should we avoid wars? (1)

(3) Name and explain the figure of speech in the following line:
that peace is a woman. (1)

(4) What message does the poet give through this poem? (1)

[0.03] Reading Skill
Chapter: [0.03] Reading Skill
Concept: Reading Skill

Read the following extract and rewrite it from the point of view of Roma : 
[You may begin with: Herman and I shared the backseat of Sid's car. .... ]
We piled back into Sid's car, Roma and I sharing the backseat. As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been left unsaid between us. She broached the subject, "Where were you during the war?" she asked softly
"The camps," I said, the terrible memories still vivid, the irreparable loss, I had tried to forget. But you can never forget.
She nodded, "My family was hiding on a farm in Germany, not far from Berlin," She told me. "My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers."
I imagined how she must have suffered too, fear, a constant companion. And yet here we were both survivors, in a new world.
"There was a camp next to the farm." Roma continued. "I saw a boy there and I would throw him apples every day."
What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. "What did he look like?" I asked.
"He was tall, skinny and hungry. I must have seen him every day for six months. "
My heart was racing. I couldn't believe it. This couldn't be. "Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was leaving Schlieben?".
Roma looked at me in amazement. "Yes!"
"That was me!"
I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn't believe it! My angel.
"I'm not letting you go," I said to Roma. 
I proposed to her. I didn't want to wait.

[0.04] Writing Skill
Chapter: [0.04] Writing Skill
Concept: Writing Skill

Read the following extract and answer the questions given below:

Now, as I stood on the shore of that desolate Highland loch
I raised my voice in a surge of self-justification : ''By Heavens!
This is my opportunity. Gastric ulcer or no gastric ulcer, I will
write a novel.'' Before I could change 1ny mind I walked straight to the village and bot1ght myself two dozen penny exercise books.
Upstairs in my cold, clean bedroom was a scrubbed deal table and a very hard chair. Next morning, I found myself in this chair, facing a new exercise book open upon the table, slowly' becoming aware that, short of dog-Lati11 prescriptions, I had never composed a significant phrase in all my life. It was a discot1raging thought as I picked 11p my pen and gazed out of the window. Never mind, I would begin. Three hours later Mrs. Angus, the farmer's wife, called me to dinner. The page was still blank.
As I went dow-n to m:y milk and junket-they call this  "curds'' in Tarbert - I felt a dreadful fool. I felt like the wretched poet in Daudet's Jack whose im1nortal masterpiece never progressed beyond its stillborn opening phrase : ''In a remote valley of Pyrenees ..... ". I recollected, rather gri111ly, the sharp advice with which my old schoolmaster had goaded me to action. ''Get it down!'' he had said. ''If it ~tops in your head it will always be nothing.
Get it down.'' And so, after lunch, I went upstairs and began to get it down.

(1) What is the main idea of the extract? (1)
(2) Why did the narrator buy two dozen penny exercise books? (2)
(3) How was the narrator unprepared for writing his novel? (2)
(4) Write in brief about what you will do in your forthcoming vacation. (2)
(5) Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed:
(i) I stood on the shore of that desolate Highland loch.
(Rewrite it using 'used to'.) (1)
(ii) I went down to my milk and junket.
(Rewrite it in the Past Perfect Tense.) (1)
(iii) I walked straight to the village and bought myself
two dozen penny exercise books. (Make it simple). (1)
(6) Find out the words from the extract which mean:
(i) chance  (1/2)
(ii) lake   (1/2)

[0.04] Writing Skill
Chapter: [0.04] Writing Skill
Concept: Writing Skill

Fill in the blank with appropriate article
J.R.D. Tata was an amazing personality. He always helped _______ poor in the country.

[0.06] Grammar
Chapter: [0.06] Grammar
Concept: Grammar

Do as directed :
They stood_______ silence as a mark honour to her._______
(Fill in the blanks with suitable prepositions.)

[0.06] Grammar
Chapter: [0.06] Grammar
Concept: Grammar
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