Higher Order Thinking Skills Subject: English (Vistas) CLASS – XII
February 3, 2012 in class 12th
Lesson 1: The Third Level
Q.1 Why was Charley not able to find the third level again?
- It was a waking dream
- A wish fulfillment
- A flight of fancy
Q.2 What was unusual about the first day cover found by charley in his
- It was a new stamp issued in 1894.
- It bore the picture of President Garfield.
- It was mailed by Sam to Charley’s grandfather.
- [ protected ]
Q.1 Imagination is a ‘temporary refuge from reality’ Explain.
- Believed it was a waking dream, perhaps wish fulfillment.
- Felt that like many man in the modern world Charley too was unhappy.
- Modern world is full of trails and tribulations, worries and insecurities.
- Felt Charley wanted to escape this world.
- People indulge in some sort of hobby to escape the stark harsh realities.
- Even stamp collecting was a kind of temporary escape.
- Charley refuted his contention- said people do not wander about due to stress.
- Besides his grandfather had also collected stamps in the good old peaceful days of eighteen-nineties and did not need to escape as life was quite stress free in those days.
Q-2 Do you find an intersection of time and space in the story ? if yes , give details ?
Ans- charley is transported from the present time to the year 1894
- Reaches the ancient time – the third level.
- sees people dressed in four buttoned coats with small lapels , open flame gas lights, brass spittoons gold pocket- watch , fancy moustaches, sideburns , etc.
- Again comes back to reality/ present world
- Sam disappears, charley suspecs tthat he also has found the third level.
- Finds the first day cover from same addressed to his grandfather dated 18th July 1894.
Q3- Why is the fact that Sam has moved to the third level ironical?
- Sam believed that only two level existed.
- He explained Charley’s experience as ‘ Waking – dream wish fulfillment .
- He believed 3rd leve was a medium to escape foam tension of modern life.
- But later, Sam himself found the 3rd level and got settled there .
- Earlier he believed there was not third level at all but ironically he himself became a resident ofGalesburg. He even urged charley to keep finding it .
Lesson 2: The Tiger King
Q.1 Why did the astrologer offer to become an Insurance agent?
- Astrologers were called at the birth of the king, who prophesied on the request of the baby king about the manner of his death that he would be killed by the hundredth tiger, killed by the king.
- If his prophecy about the death of the king by a tiger proves wrong he offered to become an Insurance agent.
Q.1 “ The operation is successful. The maharaja is dead.” comment on the
irony of the situation.
- The three famous surgeons were called fromMadrasto treat the Maharaja.
- The whole incident is a satire on the life of rich and people in power.
- Everything in their life should be grand be it a disease, purchases or treatment.
- So when the Maharaja got hurt by a wooden splinter, specialist fromMadraswere called
- The surgeons discussed and debated for some time and decided to operate
- At the end of the operation they said the operation was successful but the Maharaja was dead.
- As if the procedure was important to them but life had no meaning for them.
- The job of doctors is to save people and not highlight the technicalities of the treatment.
- But here it was just that, poor Maharaja was relegated to a nonentity whose life was not of much consequences to them.
Lesson 3: Journey to the end of the Earth
Q.1 What is Gondwana?
- Six-fifty million years ago, a super continent existed present dayAntarcticacalled Gondwana.
- Gondwana thrived for 500 million years. As mammals replace the dinosaurs the landmass separated into countries.
Q.2 What isDrake Passage?
- TheDrake Passageis a 100 km. wide strait.
- It is a passage to create a cold current that keptAntarcticavery cold, uninhabited and at the bottom of the world.
Q.3 Which small thing does the writer refer as an important link in the ecological chain?(very short answer).
- Microscopic Phytoplankton
Q.1 Describe the impact ofAntarcticaon the writer.
- It was an amazing, alluring and mind boggling experience.
- Amazed to see the wide stretch of sea under the blue horizon. It was a place which has the history of mankind embedded deep into the layers of the ice.
- The sight of collapsing ice shields, breaking of ice-bergs and melting of ice was an eye opener.
- It made the author and his team aware of the dangers the future times are having in their folds.
- Q.2 What is the future of mankind and the planet as a whole with difference “to Journey to the end of the Earth?”
- Future of mankind appears dismal.
- Increase in population has led to a “ population boom.”
- Greatly depleted our resources of nature that destroyed forests and extinction of certain species of wildlife.
- Excessive burning of fossil fuels has created a blanket of carbon dioxide around the earth.
- Antarctic environment has been affected by global warming- this is clear from receding glaciers and collapsing ice shelves.
- These grave indications do not anger will for the future of mankind.
- Prognosis not good and may lead to total annihilation.
Lesson 4: The Enemy
Q.1 Why was not Dr Sadao sent along with the Japanese troops though he was such a good surgeon?
- Sadao- very able doctor and famous scientist- should have ideally been sent with the troops- would have served the Japanese troops.
- Wasn’t sent because he was perfecting a discovery that was likely to render wounds clean
- Also because the General was ailing and might need him for his operation.
Q.2 Why did the messenger’s visit frighten Hana?
- The messenger had come because the General was in pain and needed the services of Mr Sadao
- However Hana had thought that the servants had given them away before the police and he had come with summons to arrest them.
- So she was mortally scared.
Q.1 Dr Sadao’s instinctive affinity transcends national and cultural prejudices and barriers. Discuss.
- As a young boy he obeyed his father and honoured the fact that his education was his father’s chief concern.
- Sadao was skilful Japanese surgeon who lived inJapanduring World War II.
- Together with his wife Hana, and the servants, Sadao had a comfortable life.
- Earlier, he had several years in theUnited statesduring medical school.
- While in theUnited States, Sadao experienced cultural prejudice and bias first hand. Even though he did have a positive experience including that of a teacher and landlady Americans did.
- Is a dutiful son, an excellent husbandand a thorough professional- believes that it is a “cardinal sin” on part of a surgeon not to know the human body completely
- Faces a dilemma whether to help the POW or to assert loyalty to the country and finally gives in to the call of humanity.
- His instinctive affinity transcends cultural and national prejudices and barriers.
Q.2 Sadao and Hana were true patriots and human beings. Justify with reference to the story.
- Both full of patriotism, proud ofJapanand its culture.
- Hated Americans, found them repulsive, full of prejudices against Japanese.
- Both Sadao and Hana considered humanity above patriotism
- As a doctor, he could not leave his patient in distress, could not stop himself from saving the life of the wounded American soldier.
- Both risked their lives and reputation by helping and sheltering the soldier
- Hana was equally compassionate- washed the soldier’s wounds herself when Yumi refused.
- Considered every soldier as a human being in distress.
- Did not hand him over to police initially as the soldier was weak and could die.
- Did not want to keep the American soldier when he fully recovered.
- Sadao told the General about the soldier. He had no objection if the soldier was killed by the assassins- but was ill-at ease and worried that harm may come to him- shows that he is essentially kind.
- Helped the soldier to escape, gave him food, clothes and water on his boat.
- Sadao found relief when thwe soldier did not give any signal through his flash light as he was safe.
- Saved the soldier as true human beings.
- Wanted to get rid of him as true patriots.
Lesson 5:SHOULD WIZARD HIT MOMMY?
In ‘Should Wizard Hit Mommy?” John Updike presents the worldview of a little child. Jo warmly responds to her father’s story-telling. But she can’t excuse Roger Skunk’s mother for making poor little Roger smell bad again. Her hero must smell like roses and must not stink at any cost. So she wants her father to make a little change in the story. She wants him to tell a different story in which the wizard takes a magic wand and hits Roger Skunk’s mommy.
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1.Father has felt empty after two years of story telling to Jo. What idea do you form about his skill in the art of story telling ?
Ans. It would be wrong to say that Jo’s father is a bad story teller. In fact, with all his histrionics, sound effects and gestures, he is quite effective in the art. His only problem is that his stories lack variety and he ends up telling the same old story again and again with slight variation here and there. He feels empty because he has been telling stories for over two years now and has quite naturally run short of ideas.
2.Do you think the father in the story is, more or less, an alter ego of the author, as far as the childhood is concerned?
Ans.John Updike’s childhood was tortured by ‘psoriasis’ and stammering and he had to suffer humiliation and ridicule at the hands of his classmates on account of this. Like him, Jo’s father too recalls certain moments of ‘humiliation of his own childhood. ”Thus the father more or less, was an alter ego of the author.”
3.What was Roger Skunk’s problem? How did he get rid of it?
Ans.Roger Skunk was a delightful child. His only problem was that he smelled awful. As a result nobody liked to befriend him and play with him. He got rid of his bad smell with the help of wizard who cast a magic spell to change the smell into that of roses.
4.Why did the woodland creatures avoid Roger Skunk ? How did their behaviour affect Roger ?
Ans.The woodland creatures avoided Roger Skunk because of his awful smell. As soon as they saw him coming they would cry “Uh-oh, here comes Roger Stinky Skunk and they would run away. Roger Skunk would stand there all alone and weep silently.
5. How was Jo affected by Jack’s story telling ?
Ans.Jo would be immensely engrossed in the story. She liked the way her father used to tell story particularly his dramatization of it, through gestures and changing voices. She also liked the predictable way the story would unfold for it allowed her to make guesses, draw conclusions and ask questions. The whole world of the story would come alive before her and she would twitch and turn in excitement as the story progressed.
6. This was a new phase, just this last month. ‘What new phase is referred to here in the story “Should Wizard Hit Mommy”?
Ans.Children’s physical and mental growth is very speedy. Earlier Jo used to accept father’s word about magic etc, but now she has started having apprehensions about such spells. She has become more inquisitive and less credulous.
7.Why does the wizard instruct the Skunk to “Hurry up”?
Ans.The wizard asks Skunk to hurry up because he is used to living alone and does not like company for a long time and secondly he was keen to have his full payment for the task performed. Another reason can be that he could not stand Skunk’s smell for long.
8. How did the woodland creatures react to the Skunk’s new smell? What did Skunk feel about the new change ?
Ans.The woodland creatures found Roger Skunk’s new smell to be ”so good”. They gladly took him in their fold as a friend and played with him many games. Naturally, Roger was happy to have been accepted by others as their friend Moreover, his inferiority complex had disappeared.
09. After the Skunk started smelling of roses Jo “thought the story was all over.” Why did she think so ?
Ans.Viewed from a child’s angle, Skunk’s smelling of roses is a befitting ending for the story, because first, Skunk’s long standing desire has been fulfilled and secondly he is able to do what is dearest to his heart-play with other woodland creatures.
10.Why in you opinion is the smell of roses obnoxious for the Skunk mother “or How did Skunk’s mother react to his new smell ?
Ans.Nature keeps its own balance and has its own way. The Skunk’s smell is obnoxious for other creatures, but certainly not for other Skunks. Skunks are born with this particular smell and any deviation is violation of Nature. So the mother Skunk does not like the rose smell of Roger Skunk.. She believes that what is natural is not disgraceful.
11. The Skunk accepts Mom’s order like a tame lamb and follows her to the wizard without demur, but Jo chooses to differ from her father with regard to changing the rose smell. How would you account for this difference in attitude between the two ?
Ans. Roger Skunk as a character symbolizes Jack’s own personality as a child. He loved and obeyed his mother very much. She in turn taught him courage and self-regard in dealing with his hurt and humiliation on account of his psoriasis and stammering. Thus, Skunk is as unquestioningly obedient as Jack himself was. Jo on the other hand is a happy-go-lucky child of four who has no upset and humiliation to deal with. She is naturally inquisitive and is curious to know more and more. It is not surprising that she is full of questions. The attitudes of both Skunk and Jo are shaped by their life experience.
12. Why did Jo not approve of Skunk’s mother scolding him for his new smell ?
Ans.Jo was very happy to hear that Skunk had got rid of his awful smell and had been accepted by the woodland creatures. She did not like Skunk’s mother scolding him for his new smell because Jo thought it was a pleasant smell and the one that had won Skunk so many friends. Skunk’s mother, she thought, was wrong in scolding him for his new smell.
13. What is the under lying idea behind the wizard’s taking the beating and tamely changing the rose smell?
Ans.By making the wizard take his beating by Skunk’s mother quietly, Jack and through him the author wishes to bring home the idea that mothers are always right and that we should accept what is natural. The wizard also sees the point and tamely changes Skunk’s rose smell into his original Skunk smell.
14. Why does mother Skunk hug and pat her son as he prepares to sleep ?
Ans.The obedience shown by Roger Skunk impresses the mother and she pats and hugs him as he prepares himself for sleep. The idea behind her action is that obedient children will always be loved and patted by mothers. The mother’s gesture is also an expression of her satisfaction at her little one getting back his Skunk smell.
15. What inference do you draw from the narrator’s statement, “eventually they (woodland creatures) got used to the way he (the Skunk) was and did not mind it at all” ?
Ans.The woodland creatures learnt the lesson that what is natural is not disgraceful and should be accepted as an integral part of one’s being. One should not hate or avoid others because of something they cannot help. One should instead be courageous and tolerant enough to accept is. This is how the woodland creatures got used to the way Skunk smelled.
Long answer type questions
16.What is the moral issue that the story raises ?
Ans.Although “Should Wizard Hit Mommy?” reads like a typical bed time story elders tell little children, it does raise a moral question – Should parents always decide what is best for their children and should children always obey their parents unquestioningly ?
Roger Skunk is a very obedient child but he feels very sad and upset because he smells so awful that nobody wants to befriend him and play with him. One day he gets a change to get his bad smell replaced with the smell of roses. He feels excited about the change for everyone likes his new smell and readily agrees to play with him. However Roger’s mother does not like the change. For her, Roger was better off with his original smell. So, she makes the wizard restore Skunk’s original smell. Roger meekly accepts his mother’s decision and other children get used to Roger’s awful smell and don’t complain about in any more.
But the narrow world view of the little girl, Jo likes to spell out the slogan of equality for all. She believes in the axiom “Tit for Tat”. She feels that mothers is wrong in getting her son’s original smell back and wants her to be spanked by the wizard for her mistake. Her father, who has modeled Skunk’s story on his own story, strongly defends the mother Skunk’s decision.
Thus, the author through this story raises a moral question of how much authority parents should exercise in teaching their children what is wrong, what is right, what they should do and what not. Since, there is no single correct answer to the question, he leaves it for the readers to answer it on the basis of their beliefs, cultures and values.
17.Why is an adult’s perspective on life different from that of a child’s ?
Ans.As the child grows into maturity his perspective and vision of life change gradually. A child views things at superficial and sensory level but a grown up’s vision is realistic, reflective, philosophical and even psychological. Viewed from the study of the story “Should Wizard Hit Mommy?” Jo, a child of four, like most children of her age, prefers to live in dreams and fantasies. She is hostile by nature and would like to wreak vengeance on Skunk’s mother and wants the wizard to retaliate.
She is annoyed because the father refuses to accept her suggestion. The father has a mature perspective and sees beyond the surface and explores the philosophical and moralistic aspect of the entire situation. The wizard had unwittingly interfered with nature and had thus done a great deal of harm and deserved to be punished. According to him the punishment meted out to the wizard is well merited and retaliation is out of the question.
Thus the story makes it clear that the perspective of a child and that of an adult is totally different.
Lesson 6:ON THE FACE OF IT
By Susan Hill
Short Answer type Questions:
- 1. Though the play ends with Mr. Lamb’s death there is still an element of
*positive change inDerry’s attitude by Mr. Lamb will be permanent,
his life will get better.
- 2. There was a major difference in the manner Mr. Lamb andDerry dealt with their disabilities. What was that difference?
*Lamb was positive & welcoming;Derry had bitterness which made him negative.
- 3. “It’s got nothing to do with my face and what I look like.” What attitudinal change doDerry’s words to his mother indicate?
*Derry attitude is now positive & he looks forward to a better life, no longer hiding from others.
- 4. “When I look in the mirror…I’m afraid of me.” Why doesDerry say so?
*burn scar on his face, curious looks by people make him conscious, avoids meeting others, sour experiences have made him bitter.
- 5. What is ironical about his mother’s behaviour towardsDerry?
*her over-protective attitude stopsDerry from meeting new people, discourages him, instead of making him brave – makes him timid.
6. What is it that drawsDerry towards Mr. Lamb?
*Lamb makesDerry feel comfortable, doesn’t question him about his disability, instills confidence in him, is a good friend to him.
7. Mr. Lamb has successfully learnt to cope with his loneliness. How?
*keeps busy by gardening, rearing bees, making apple jam etc. Also
keeps windows and doors open, welcomes all company.
8. What advice does Lamb give toDerry?
*to keep learning by watching, listening and thinking, be positive, not to
shut out the world.
9. What had causedDerry to be so startled on seeing Mr. Lamb?
*had expected to be alone in the garden, avoids company, is conscious of
10. WillDerry change again after Mr. Lamb’s death?
*positive attitude will be permanent, will change his manner of living, will be more open to meeting strangers, deeply inspired by Mr. Lamb.
Long Answer type Questions:
- 1. The sense of alienation felt by the persons with disabilities is often greater than the actual pain or inconvenience caused by their physical impairment. Discuss with reference to On the face of it.
*need for acceptance by fellow beings, pain of being ignored …don’t want to be reminded of disabilities again and again, emotional scars deeper than physical ones.
- 2. A positive attitude helps to tackle all difficulties in life. Elaborate with reference to Mr. Lamb in On the face of it.
*positive attitude makes one more understanding, friendly towards life and people, provides confidence, ability to face the hardships of life, realize one’s potential.
- 3. “Acid…ate my face up. It ate me up.” Describe the miseries suffered byDerry after the unfortunate incident he refers to.
*ignored by others or has to face curious looks, glances and questions,
feels awkward and abnormal, sense of isolation, unkind comments, over-
protective attitude of mother, no true friends.
- 4. Various factors can lead to psychological changes in one’s personality. Discuss with reference to Derry’s experiences in On the face of it.
*burn scars and unkind attitude of others make him negative,
encouraging, positive and kind attitude of Mr. Lamb changes his attitude.
- 5. Physically challenged people don’t want sympathy, they just need acceptance. Comment with illustrations from On the face of it.
*need for acceptance by fellow beings, pain of being ignored …don’t want to be reminded of disabilities again and again, emotional scars deeper than physical one, sympathy weakens them, need to be inspired
Lesson 7: EVAN TRIES AN O- LEVEL
By Colin Dexter
- What was the unusual request made by Evans?
Hints : night classes started in O – Level German in September
Dead keen to get some sort of academic qualification
- Do you think Evans was conscious of his appearance ?
Hints : No,Evans had long hair , wore grubby string vest , filthy looking , red and white bobble hat upon his head.
3. What was the usual scene that Stephens observed in the cell ?
Hints : Scene more or less same , Evan’s pen between his lips , sat staring straight in front of him towards the door seeking- it seemed – some sorely needed inspiration from some where
4.Did Stephens observed something different, as he walked besides McLeery to the main gates ?
Hints : McLeery’s Scots accent seem broader than ever and his long black over coat reached almost to his knees, it fostered the illusion that he had suddenly grown slimmer
5. How did the Governor find out Evan’s wear about ?
Hints: By translating the correction slip from German to English
- The ego-tussle between Jackson and Stephens has helped Evans to prepare his plan with ease. Narrate.
Hints : Jackson and Evans were trying to get closer to the Governor and were ever at each other’s throat. This was noticed by Evans who exploited the opportunity to his own advantage. He just thrived on this weakness and created a favorable field for his escape.
- In spite of his hyper vigilant attitude, the Governor unwittingly helped Evans to escape prison. Explain.
Hints :The governor made plenty of tactical mistakes, e.g, from not checking the antecedents of the German tutor to the prison to the soft corner he has for him to the wrong judgment of allowing Evans to escape in the guise of the Invigilator to the final one of not taking enough force to nab him at the hotel. (Find out the other shortcomings)
- Sometimes the lackadaisical attitude of the Police officers often helps hard-core criminals to escape from jail. Discuss in light of Evans…. O-Level.
Hints :From the Governor to Stephens toJackson-all had a soft corner for Evans for his antics and intelligence. They broke a series of mistakes; allowed him to wear cap, did not spring clean his cell, forgot to oversee him in the last five minutes etc. This gave him enough room to plan his escape with ease.
Lesson 8: Memories of Childhood(Zitkala-Sa)
Sub-title –The Cutting of my Long Hair
Short answer type questions-
1.”It is better to have tried&failed than never to have tried at all”.How would you relate this observation to the author of the episode “The cutting of my Long Hair.”?
Hints : Revolt Against the practice , thoughts coming in to her related to a culture or ultimate forceful cutting of hair.
2.Interpret Judewin’s personality on the basis of her comment “We have to submit,because they are strong “.
Hints : Judewin’s character – submissive , cowardly .
3.What contrast do you find between the author & her friend,Judewin’s view about hair-shingling ?
Hints : Author opposed, Judewin’s accepted ,that is their character traits.
4.Why does the author feel that she has been deprived of freedom in the hostel?
Hints : Moccasins not allowed in the hostel,different uniform from white students,long hair- cut,loss of freedam
5.From your study of the episode & the intensity with which the author misses her mother,what idea do you form about the role of a mother in a child’s life?
Hints : Mother first friend , guide , facilitator, moulds the entire life of a child.
Long answer type Questions
- Describe Zitkala-Sa’s ordeal in school on her first day.
Hints : explanation of two incidents , first in the dining room and second the hair cutting episode.
- Sparksof rebellion can be witnessed right from one’s childhood. Explain co-relation between the text “ The Cutting Of My Long Hair” and the society at large.
Hints : Her revolt against her cutting of the hair.
- “ The cold weather outside was in rhyme with the cold attitude of the authorities inside the hostel”. Explain
Hint : Cold weather to be linked with the lack of love ,compassion , understanding on the part of the authorities.
- Elicit an example of discrimination which you may have witnessed in the society around you. How did it affect your personality?
Hints : the untouchables not allowed in the temple – felt sympathy towards them.
PART II – WE TOO ARE HUMAN BEINGS… BAMA
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
- It took almost an hour for Bama to reach back home from school. Why?
(HINTS) attracted by various charms –the performing monkey—the shops with sweets and fruits—the bicycle rider who did not get down for more than a week etc.
- Mention two attractions which held Bama’s attention on her way back home.
(HINTS) loud political speeches given by political leaders— oxen going round on the grain floor and beating the grain out of straw.
- How does the writer use the statue of Gandhi to create satire in ‘Memories of Childhood’?
(HINTS) statue of Mahatma Gandhi located in the market—somebody started selling fish sitting very close to the statue Gandhi Ji was Vegetarian .
- When Bama narrated to her brother, the funny sight of the elder man holding the packet of ‘vadais’by the string, he was not amused. Give reason.
(HINTS) knew that it was not funny but a humiliation to their caste.
- What was Annan’s advice to Bama?
(HINTS) to work hard and study diligently and be successful— people would recognize it and would like to be friends.
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
- 1. Humanity is beyond caste, creed and race. Elucidate the thought in the light of the story ‘Memories of Childhood.’
HINTS:- humanity-the supreme religion—discrimination on the basis of caste, creed is inhuman—god made all as equals—all are equal in the eyes of god—should be no discrimination b/n one man and another—limitless torture and atrocities in the name of caste or religion—all humans have same feelings—empathetic attitude should be developed—scientific and logical thinking – the need of hour—references to the text to be included.
- 2. How does ‘Memories of Childhood.’ Bring out the plight of marginalized communities inIndia?
HINTS: – the text –experiences of two small girls from marginalized communities—forced to accept the rules laid by people of so called high caste—both humiliated and tortured for being from low caste—throws light on how they had to sacrifice their self right to self esteem and were subjected to unbearable humiliation—characters symbolize communities—personal experiences universalized – compels the reader to think how humane is the human world.
- 3. How does education play an important role in eradicating caste distinction and securing respectable status for marginalized communities in the society?
HINTS:-education empowers—the greatest tool to fight injustice—education developed the personality to maximum extent and empowers an individual to make his own way to success—successful people respected everywhere—education brings awareness of rights and duties—also the ability to protect one’s rights—education brings respect and dignity.
- 4. It is through education only that one can differentiate between facts and fiction. Elucidate the role played by Annan in the life of Bama.
HINTS:-education is like rudder to a boat—gives direction to life—develops mind and the ability to distinguish between facts and fiction—opens a window to the world—gets us connected to the outside world and enables us to assimilate the best around—imparts us the power to fight back injustice – brings awareness of rights and duties—makes us complete human beings—ensures a life of dignity and respect.ss