An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 2 with Answers

We have Provided the NCERT/CBSE Solutions chapter-wise for Class 12 English Poems Chapter 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum with Answers by expert subject teacher for latest syllabus and examination. Students also can take a free NCERT Solutions of An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum. Each question has right answer Solved by Expert Teacher.

NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poems

Page No. 93 & 94

Q1. Tick the item which best answers the following.

(a) The tall girl with her head weighed down means The girl

(i) is ill and exhausted
(ii) has her head bent with shame
(iii) has untidy hair.

(i) is ill and exhausted

(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.

(ii) thin, hungry and weak

(c) The stunted, unlucky heir of twisted bones means The boy

(i) has an inherited disability
(ii) was short and bony.

(i) has an inherited disability

(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 th,e lesson.

(iii) distracted from th,e lesson.

(e) The children’s faces are compared to ‘rootless weeds’
This means they

(i) are insecure
(ii) are ill-fed
(iii) are wasters

(i) are insecure.

Q2. 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?

Answer: The walls of the colour is “sour cream” that suggests of white but it has a sour smell. It exhibits the depression, dejection and disappointment on the faces of slum school children. These walls suggest the decaying aspect and thereby the slum children are too in the pitiable as well as miserable state of affairs. They need the attention of the civilized people.

Q3. 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?

Answer: The pictures that decorate the walls hold a stark contrast with the world of these underfed, poverty-stricken, slum children living in cramped dark holes. Obstacles hamper their physical and mental growth. The pictures on the wall suggest beauty, well-being, progress and prosperity—a world of sunshine and warmth of love. But the world of the slum children is ugly and lack prosperity.

Q4. What does the poet want for the children of the slums? How can their lives be made to change?

Answer: Stephen Spender wants a quality life with equal opportunities for the slum children to learn and earn. Their lives can be changed when they are given equal opportunities, good education, and a respectable life.

EXTRA QUESTIONS OF An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

Q1. Why does Stephen Spender use the images of despair and disease in the first stanza of the poem and with what effect?

Answer: He uses the images of despair and disease to describe the miserable and pathetic fives of the children living in slums. The faces of these children are pale and lifeless. They and their hair are like ‘rootless weeds’. The burden of fife makes them sit with their head ‘weighed down’. The stunted growth is depicted by ‘the paper-seeming bo/ and ‘the stunted unlucky heir of twisted bones’. Their weak bodies recite their fathers’ ‘gnarled disease’.

Q2. “So blot their maps with slums as big as doom,” says Stephen Spender. What does the poet want to convey?

Answer: The poet is requesting to provide a clean atmosphere. The world maps create just an illusion. He is telling that the teachers and rulers must take these children out in the open green fields and golden beaches.

Q3. Mention the characteristics of the slum children.

Answer: The slum children are described as drained of energy; pale and thin. They are undernourished and unkempt like the “rootless weeds”. They are exhausted—mentally, physically and emotionally.

Q4. Which words/phrases in the poem ‘An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’show that the slum children are suffering from acute malnutrition?

Answer: The words or phrases in the poem which show that the slum children are suffering from acute malnutrition are, ‘the hair tom round their pallor’, ‘paper-seeming boy’, ‘stunted, unlucky heir of twisted bones’ and ‘wear skins peeped through by bones.’

Q5. What does Stephen Spender want to be done for the children of the school in a slum?

Answer: Stephen Spender wants their lot to improve. He wants education for the slum children which will broaden their horizons, liberate them truly and empower them to create their own history. He wants them to get rid of their dismal lives.

Q6. How does Stephen Spender picturise the condition of the slum children?

Answer: Stephen Spender uses contrasting images in the poem to picturise the condition of the slum children. For example:
“A narrow street sealed in with a lead sky Far far from rivers, capes and stars of words.”
The first line presents the dark, narrow, cramped holes and lanes closed in by the bluish grey sky. The second fine presents a world of beauty, prosperity, progress, well-being and openness.

Q7. What is the theme of the poem ‘An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’ ? How has it been presented?

Answer: In this poem Stephen Spender deals with the theme of social injustice and class inequalities. He presents the theme by talking of two different and incompatible worlds. The world of the rich and the ‘civilized’ has nothing to do with the world of narrow lanes and cramped holes. The gap between these two worlds highlights social disparities and class inequalities.

Q8. What is the theme of the poem, ‘An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’?

Answer: The poem, ‘An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’ highlights the theme of social injustice and class inequalities in the society. The meaninglessness of having such schools in the slums is brought out. The poet wants meaningful education for the slum children which will liberate their minds and pave a way for them for a better future.

Q9. Contrast the imagery of the slum with donations on the wall.

Answer: The slum is described as dark and dim where the children live on slag heap. They have a foggy future. The course of life for them is a narrow street with a lead sky that encloses on them. This is in contrast to the donations on the wall. Shakespeare’s head symbolizes an enlightened mind and the cloudless bright skies and the Tyrolese valley are contrasted with the foggy environment of the slum. The donations talk both of beauty and progress, while the slum is regressive.

Q10. Why does Stephen Spender say that the pictures and maps in the elementary school classroom are not meaningful?

Answer: The pictures that have been put up on the classroom walls depict the civilised world. The portrait of Shakespeare is useless to the slum children because they will never read his works. The world shown in the map is not their world. Their world is confined to the walls of their classroom and the slum in which they live. Thus they are not meaningful.

Q11. What changes does the poet hope for in the lives of slum children?

Answer: The poet hopes that these children will get rid of their poverty and nourished properly. The doors of the world will be thrown open to them. They will get quality education and quality life.

Q12. Who Ttrd, the ivor/d its world and ho,What does this world contain,?

Answer: The conquerors and dictators change the map of the world according to their whims and will. They change the boundaries of various nations and shape the ‘map’. Their fair map is of a beautiful world full of domes, bells and flowers, rivers, capes and stars.

Q13. Which images of the slums in the third stanza pr sent the picture of social disparity, injustice and class inequalities.

Answer: The slum dwellers slyly turn in their ‘cramped holes’ from birth to death i.e. ‘from fog to endless nights’. Their surroundings are ‘slag heap’. Their children “wear skins peeped through by bones.’ Their spectacles are “like bottle bits on stones.” The image that sums up their harsh existence reads : “All of their time and space are foggy slum.”

Q14. How does the poem, ‘An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’ portray the children?

Answer: The slum children in an elementary school look pathetic. They are undernourished and diseased. Their unkempt and dull hair has been compared to rootless weeds. One of the girls is apparently burdened with the miseries of poverty. Another boy has inherited his father’s diseases and has stunted growth.

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