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An Elementary School Classroom In A Slum NCERT Textbook With Solutions Book PDF Free Download
Chapter 2: An Elementary School Classroom In A Slum
Stephen Spender (1909-1995) was an English poet and essayist. He left University College, Oxford without taking a degree and went to Berlin in 1930. Spender took a keen interest in politics and declared himself to be a socialist and pacifist.
Books by Spender include Poems of Dedication, The Edge of Being, The Creative Element, The Struggle of the Modern and an autobiography, World Within World.
In, An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum, he has concentrated on themes of social injustice and class inequalities.
Far far from gusty waves these children’s faces. Like rootless weeds, the hair was torn round their pallor: The tall girl with her weighed-down head.
The paper seemed boy, with rat’s eyes. The stunted, unlucky heir Of twisted bones, reciting a father’s gnarled disease, His lesson, from his desk. At the back of the dim class One unnoted, sweet and young.
His eyes live in a dream, Of squirrel’s game, in a tree room, other than this. On sour cream walls, donations. Shakespeare’s head, Cloudless at dawn, civilized dome riding all cities.
Belled, flowery, Tyrolese valley. Open-handed map Awarding the world its world. And yet, for these Children, these windows, not this map, their world, Where all their future’s painted with a fog
A narrow street sealed in with a lead sky Far far from rivers, capes, and stars of words. Surely, Shakespeare is wicked, the map a bad example, With ships and sun and love tempting them to steal For lives that slyly turn in their cramped holes From fog to endless night?
On their slag heap, these children Wear skins peeped through by bones and spectacles of steel With mended glass, like bottle bits on stones.
All of their time and space are foggy slums. So blot their maps with slums as big as doom. Unless, a governor, inspector, or visitor, This map becomes their window and these windows.
That shut upon their lives like catacombs, Break O break open till they break the town And show the children to green fields, and make their world Run azure on gold sands, and let their tongues
Run naked into books the white and green leaves open History theirs whose language is the sun.
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NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Poetry 2 An Elementary School Classroom In A Slum
1. Tick the item which best answers the following.
(a) The tall girl with her head weighed down means
(i) is ill and exhausted
(ii) has her head bent with shame
(iii) has untidy hair
(b) The paper-seeming boy with rat’s eyes means
The boy is
(i) sly and secretive
(ii) thin, hungry and weak
(iii) unpleasant looking
(c) The stunted, unlucky heir of twisted bones means
(i) has an inherited disability
(ii) was short and bony
(d) 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
(e) The children’s faces are compared to ‘rootless weeds’
This means they
(i) are insecure
(ii) are ill-fed
(iii) are wasters
(a) (i) is ill and exhausted
(b) (ii) thin, hungry and weak
(c) (i) has an inherited disability
(d) (i) full of hope in the future
(e) (i) are insecure
2. 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?
The colour of ‘sour cream’ is white. This expression used by the poet explains the aspect of decaying. The colour deterioration of the walls of the classroom indicates the pathetic situation of the scholars’ life – the students of the slum school.
3. 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?
The pictures which decorate the walls of the classroom hold a sharp contrast with the world of these poverty-stricken, underfed, slum children who live in cramped dark holes. These obstacles hamper their mental and physical growth. The pictures present on the classroom walls indicate well-being, beauty, prosperity and progress – warmth of love and a world of sunshine. But the world in which these slum children live is ugly and without prosperity.
4. What does the poet want for the children of the slums? How can their lives be made to change?
The poet wants the people having authority to understand their responsibility towards the children who live in the slum. All kinds of class inequalities and social injustice should be put to an end by the elimination of obstacles which confine the slum children to their filthy and ugly surroundings. Let them freely learn and express themselves. They will then share the success of prosperity and progress and their lives will change forever.
NCERT Class 12 English Textbook Chapter 2 An Elementary School Classroom In A Slum With Answer PDF Free Download