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C.L.M - Class 10 1st Language English Textbook Solutions



Masefield  was  born  on  1st  June,  1878  in  Ledbury, Herefordshire, England. His mother died when he was only  six  years  old.  He  lived  with  his  aunt  and  father but  later  his  father,  who  was  a  solicitor,  died  due  to  a mental  breakdown.  Masefield  was  not  happy  with  his education at King’s School in Warwick, where he lived as a boarder and left to join the British naval ship HMS  Conway  to  be  trained  at  sea.  He  spent  many years on the ship and spent a lot of time in reading and writing.  During  his  time  on  HMS  Conway,  Masefield developed  a  passion  for  storytelling.  In  1894,  on  his first  voyage,  he  went  to  Chile  and  experienced  sea sickness. He recorded all his experiences about sailing and  extreme weather conditions  in  his  notebooks. The beauty of nature inspired him greatly.  In 1895, Masefield went to New York on board a large sailing  ship  –  a  windjammer.  His  strong  desire  to become  a  writer  and  his  feeling  of  hopelessness  in sailing overtook him and he decided to desert the ship. He  remained  a  vagrant  for  many  years.  

V. Question & Answers  

1.  The  Second  Line  "My  mother's  life  made  me  a man"  
a.  Just  states  a  natural  phenomenon  of  a  mother giving birth to a son  
b.  has  a  hint  that  he  was  born  at  the  cost  of  his mother's life  
- (b) has a hint that he was born at the cost of his mother's life.   

2. The phrase "Her beauty" in line 4 refers to  
a. The physical beauty of his mother  
b.  The  'beauty'  of  his  mother's  physical  and emotional trauma at the birth of the child  
-  (b)  The  'beauty'  of  his  mother's  physical  and emotional trauma at the birth of the child.

3. Why does the poet use the present tense in lines 5 and 6?  
a. to emphasize that his very existence now is made possible by the death of 'some of her'  
b.  to  emphasize  that  every  movement  of  his  in  his mother's womb destroyed a part of her life  
c.  to  show  that  his  very  birth  and  life  are responsible for his mother's partial death  
Ans: -
(a) to emphasize that every movement of his in his mother's womb destroyed a part of her life.
4. What does 'it' inline 10 refer to?  
Ans: - 'It' refers to the life the mother gave to the boy.   

5. "Her beauty" in line 12 refers to  
a. his mother's physical beauty  
b. her son, the poet  
Ans: -
(b) her son, the poet.   

6. "dusty in the mind" in line 12 refers to  
a. the fading memory of his mother in his mind  
b.  the  state  of  his  dead  mother's  mind  which  has forgotten the dear ones left behind  
Ans:  -
  (a)  the  fading  memory  of  his  mother  in  his mind.  

7. "I am so grown" in line 15 means  
a.  that  he  has  grown  so  much  physically  that  she would not be able to recognize him  
b.  that  he  has  grown  so  unworthy  of  all  her sacrifice  that  she  would  not  be  able  to  recognize him  
c. both a and b  
Ans: - (c) both (a) and (b).   

8.  Which  line  in  stanza  3  suggests  that  the  poet  is totally unworthy or ungrateful?  
-  'She  would  not  know  her  little  son,  I  am  so grown.'   

9.  Which  phrase  in  stanza  4  suggests  that  his concern goes beyond his personal experience?  
Ans:  -
  'What  have  I  done  to  keep  in  mind  my  debt to her and womankind?’  
10.  "Providing  a  happier  life  to  one's  mother  will repay  for  all  her  sacrifice."  Is  this  what  the  poet says in lines 21 and 22?  
Ans: - The poet says this and also something more. He means  that  a  person  should  repay  his  mother  not  just by  making  her  life  better,  but  by  making  other women's lives also better.  

11.  Stanza  4  has  some  very  powerful  and  forceful images.  

a) What is compared to a — leech?  
Ans: -
The baby inside the mother's womb...   

b) How is it a leech?  
Ans: -
It sucks on the life of the mother.   

c)  What  is  unusual  about  the  use  of  the  word 'leech'd'?  
Ans:  -
  The  word  'leech'd  is  used  for  a  parasite-like creature  which  feeds  on  the  other  and  destroys  it. Usually,  babies  who  are  entirely  dependent  on  their mothers  are  referred  to  as  leeches.  But  here  the  poet feels his mother has suffered a lot with every baby she carried,  and  hence  he  has  been  like  a  leech  when  he was in her womb.  

d) Why is B in 'Birth' capitalized? (line 24)  
- Birth is a very significant moment in the life of a  baby  or  an  individual  because  it  signifies  the separation  of  the  baby  from  the  mother  and  the  need for the baby to- fend for itself to a certain extent. It has come out of a warm, protective cave into a cold, harsh world.   

e) For whom is birth a hell  
a.  for  the  mother  (for  all  her  pain  and  suffering during the birth of her child)  
b.  for  the  son  (who  feels  that  it  was  because  of  his birth that his mother died, though partially)  
c. for both  
Ans: -
(c) for both.  

12.  Note  that  lines  19  to  26  introduce  a  series  of rhetorical questions. (A rhetorical question is asked for  effect  rather  than  to  obtain  an  answer.  The answer is very much implied in the question itself.) Lines  19-20  are  a  good  example  of  a  rhetorical question.  The  meaning  of  the  two  lines  is,"  I  have done nothing worth remembering to show  my  debt to my mother and womankind."   

a) Identify 2 more examples of rhetorical questions.
Ans:  - 
Lines  21-22:  "What  woman's  happier  life repays / her for those months of wretched days?" Lines 25-26:  "What  have  I  done,  or tried  or  said  /  in  thanks to that dear woman dead?"   

b) Write down the actual meaning of each of them.
Ans: -
Lines 21-22: "I  have  not repaid  my  mother  for those  months  of  wretched  days  by  making  a  woman's life.  happier. Lines 25-26: "I have  not done or tried or said  anything  to  express  my  thanks  to  that  dear  dead woman."  

13. "man's lust" in line 29 refers to
a. man's beastly sexuality  
b. man's lust for power over women  
c. both a and b  
Ans: -
(c) both (a) and (b).   

14.  The  poet  has  used  many  poetical  devices  in  the last  line  in  order  to  draw  the  reader's  attention  to it.  

a)  What  typographical  deviation  is  used  in  the  last line?  
Ans:  -
  It  is  a  single  exclamatory  sentence,  unlike  the rest  that  are  in  stanzas  and  is  written  as  observations and rhetorical questions.   

b) Why, do you think, has he used this deviation?  
Ans: -
He has used that form as an answer to all those questions and feelings he has outlined in the stanzas.  

c) What figure of speech is used in this line?  
Ans:  - 
A  hyperbole.  It's  an  exaggerated  statement highlighting  the  shame  the  poet  is  experiencing. Surely,  a  grave  will  not  open  and  his  mother  will  not come to life to put him to shame.   

d) Why does the poet want the grave to keep shut?
-  If  his  mother  was  to  see  him  now,  or  women were to see mankind now, she/they would be ashamed.   

e) How does the line end?  
Ans:  -
  The  line  ends  with  a  regretful  plea  that  the grave should remain shut.  

15.  The  most  dominant  feeling  of  the  poet  in  this poem is:  
a. a feeling of guilt  
b. a sense of ingratitude  
c. a sense of shame  
Ans: -
(c) a feeling of shame. 
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