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The Farmer’s Wife - 1st PUC English Textbook Solutions

 The Farmer’s Wife


The farmer's wife is a poem written by Volga. In this poem the poet has spoken on behalf of a farmer's wife. The farmer's wife is sad  and  sorrowful  because  he  had  committed  suicide.  He  has  died  because  he  had  borrowed  money  for  his  crop  from  money lenders. But he was unable to repay the loan. He had grown cotton crop. But there was no yield from the fields. Cotton pods were eaten by worms. So, he could not repay the loan. He took poison. But he forgot his responsibility as a husband and as a father. Now she has to answer the money lenders. She has to look after the children. She has to feed the children. She has to educate the children. She has to do all this alone and so she is sadly thinking about future.  

Comprehension: I  

1.    Who is 'you' in the poem ‘The farmer's wife'?

 Ans: - The farmer  

2.    Who do "I" in the poet refer to?
Ans: - The farmer's wife.

3.    Who is the 'virtuous man' according to ‘The farmer's wife’?
Ans: - Her husband.  

4.    Why does she call her husband as 'virtuous man'?

Ans: - Because he has managed to escape from the creditors.  

5.    Who is the 'poor sinner' in the poem?

Ans: - The farmer's wife.  

6.    Why does she refer herself a 'poor sinner'?

Ans: - Because she is alive and facing the creditors every day,  

7.    Why has the farmer committed suicide?
Ans: - Due to bad harvest, he could not repay the loan he had taken.  

8.    What does the phrase ' you crossed over' mean?

Ans: - Relief from the troubles.  

9.    How did the farmer die?

Ans: - By consuming poison.  

10.    Name the crop grown by the farmer?
 Ans: - Cotton  

11.    What has the farmer poisoned his wife?

Ans: - Her bitter existence.  

12.    Name one of the troubles given by the farmer to his wife?

Ans: - Abused / kicked / reviled.  

13.    When did he trouble his wife?

Ans: - When he was drunk.  

14.    What did the farmer's wife think when he troubled her?

Ans: - He is but a man.  

15.    What remained even after the farmer's death?

Ans: - Debt.

16.    How many children did the farmer have?

Ans: - Four children.  

17.    Where has the farmer's wife remained?
Ans: - Before his creditors  

18.    What happened to the dignity of the family?
Ans: - Dignity hit the dust.  

19.    What did the farmer imagine about his wife?
Ans: - Her back would bear the burden of 4 children.  

20.    What is meant by 'harvest of my womb?

Ans: - Means her children.

21.    What needs a firm heart according to the farmer's wife?
Ans: - To ask questions like what is this? Why is this?  

22.    What does the farmer's wife decide to teach her children?
Ans: - To clench a fist.  

23.    What does the farmer's wife want to embrace?
Ans: - Life.  

Comprehension: II & III  

1.    What series of contrasts does the speaker draw between herself and her husband?

Ans: - The farmer's wile sarcastically refers to her husband as the virtuous one and herself as the 'sinner.' She refers so because her husband has managed to escape from the creditors, where as she is alive and facing the creditors' every day. She also says that he could never bend his head in front of others or stretch his hand to ask for help. He could not even sell his crops. But his wife was submissive right from her birth used to stretch her hand in front of everyone and also familiar with being sold. She also says that her husband died, unable to bear the burden of his children, but she will not only bear the burden of 4 children, but teaches her children to clench a fist against the odds.  

2.    What memories of her husband trouble her now?

Ans: - The wife refers her husband as virtuous who was managed to escape from the creditors, remembers him as a proud person who wouldn't bend his head in front of anyone. She is also troubled by the abuses & kicks the husband had heaped on her when he was alive. She had forgiven him then, but now, in the light of his suicide & consequent desertion of her, she feels betrayed. She realizes that her life with him has been a continuous story of sadness & deprivation.  

3.    How does the poem bring out the plight of farmer's wife?
Ans: - The poet Volga depicts farmer's suicide for many reasons. His death leaves behind his wife and children. In this poem, the farmer's wife calls herself "a sinner' as she has remained to face the creditors, where as the farmer, who is a 'virtuous' is gone. The farmer dies because he is unable to repay his loan and could not ask any one for help by bending his head or stretching out his hand. He was not able to sell his crop. But, she was born to be humiliated & ask help from everyone; she was also used to being sold. The poison released him from frustration, but has poisoned the wife's life & made it bitter forever. She recalls the days with her husband.The life were not always happy. She had shed tears, faced abuses & violence from him & tolerated all pains. She thought that he had right to do so since he was a man. But his suicide blew the worst of her life. The crop was  gone,  but  the  debt  remained  and  their  dignity  suffered  immensely.  She  asked  him  how  she  could  bear  the  burden  of  4 children. Committing  suicide  is  easy  where as  living  while  facing  the  challenges  is  very  difficult.  She  asserts that  she  will not escape like him, but live & teach her children to face all the odds of life. She also gets ready to struggle for life.      

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