On the Face of it Solutions for Class 12 English Vista Chapter 6 with Answers

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NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Vista


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Q1. Who is Mr Lamb? How does Derry get into his garden?

Answer: Mr Lamb is an old man with a tin leg. His real leg was blown off years ago during the war. He lives all alone in his house. There is a garden near the house. It has ripe crab apples looking orange and golden in colour.
Mr Lamb is sitting in his garden when Derry climbs over the garden wall to get into his garden. Though the gate is open, the boy does not use it.

Q2. Do you think all this will change Derry’s attitude towards Mr Lamb?

Answer: Before coming into contact with Mr Lamb, Derry showed signs of loneliness and disillusionment. He felt alienated due to the behaviour of the people. Initially, he thought Mr Lamb was like other people, so he drew back from him. But he found Mr Lamb to be different from others. Mr Lamb said peculiar things which Derry was unable to comprehend, yet he felt that these things did matter.

Mr Lamb was able to inspire in him self-confidence and the determination to overcome his physical impairment. Derry, who regarded Mr Lamb as a crazy old man, initially was filled with love and admiration for him towards the end of the play. This is quite obvious as he wept over the death of Mr Lamb.


Reading with Insight

Q1. What is it that draws Derry towards Mr Lamb in spite of himself?

Answer: Derry is a young boy of fourteen who has developed inferiority complex due to his burnt face. So he has withdrawn himself and avoids the company of people. He is unable to save himself from the tantalising remarks of the public. He wants loneliness and seclusion.

Considering the garden to be an empty space, Derry climbs over the wall and enters. Mr. Lamb speaks to him and Derry feels apologetic. Derry assures that he has not come to steal. Lamb asks him to stay. Derry tells that people are afraid of him. Even he is afraid of himself on seeing his face in the mirror. Seeing him troubled, Mr. Lamb tells that inspite of his one tin leg, he is happy. In the streets, kids call him ‘Lamey Lamb’ but he never minds. He enjoys sitting in the sun and reading the books. He is always cheerful and tries to comfort him. All come to his garden for apples and pears. They are not afraid of him. These words create confidence in Derry and he is drawn towards him. Mr. Lamb tells that flowers and weeds are one and the same thing for him. Instead of considering himself impaired he has got two legs, ears, eyes, hands, a brain and a tongue. He can do better than the rest. Mr. Lamb teaches Derry the way to go on with the world. All these facts draw Derry towards Mr. Lamb.

Q2. In which section of the play does Mr Lamb display signs of loneliness and disappointment? What are the ways in which Mr Lamb tries to overcome these feelings?

Answer: Although the loneliness of Derry dominates the play, there are evident traces of Mr. Lamb’s loneliness throughout the first scene of the play. The old man says that having heard the bees for a “long time” he knows that they “sing”, not buzz. It not only depicts how his perception was different from others but also illustrates that he was lonely and that he did not have any one to be with.
Another evidence of his loneliness is the fact that whole day he sat in the sun and read books. This proves that books were his only true friends. He says that his “empty house” is full of books, underlining the way in which the void of his empty life was filled in by books.
By the end of this scene, it becomes even clearer that he is lonely and sad when he mutters to himself that no one comes back to him after the first meeting. Likewise, he did not expect Derry to return. He was so sure that Derry would never return that he climbed the ladder to collect all the apples himself, although Derry had offered to help him after informing his mother. Ironically, the old man would have died unnoticed if Derry had not returned to fill the emptiness of his own life.


Q3. The actual pain or inconvenience caused by a physical impairment is often much less than the sense of alienation felt by the person with disabilities. What is the kind of behaviour that the person expects from others?

Answer: It is an accepted fact that the actual pain or inconvenience caused by a physical impairment is often much less than the sense of alienation felt by the affected person. We can see so many cases of physical deformities in our day to day life. They are happy in their own way. But when the people react sharply over their impairment, the result is troublesome to bear. Take the case of a blind man when he hears from someone “What a terrible thing on earth” ! Such filthy remarks heart the life of the disabled man. He feels deep at heart and crushes the cruelty of the people over such remarks. He feels himself dejected, disappointed, distorted and alienated from the mainstream of life. He feels lonely withdrawn with a sense of inferiority complex. Negative feelings towards life creep in. He feels that none will love him.

Same is the case with Derry who has developed a sense of alienation due to his ugly face. He needs love, sympathy, politeness, and soothing words from others. A physically impaired man expects only a normal behaviour from others. They need a little encouragement and can show better results than the general human beings. They need an opportunity to explore and prove their potential instead of discarding them as a useless limb. The encouraging and positive words of Mr. Lamb infuse life in Derry. He becomes ready to face the life.


Q4. Will Derry get back to his old seclusion or will Mr Lamb’s brief association effect a change in the kind of life he will lead in the future?

Answer: Derry will not get back to his old seclusion. He has been associated with Mr Lamb for a short time only, but even this brief association will effect a change in the kind of life he will lead in future. Instead of being conscious of what people comment about the ugliness of his face, he will use his head and heart to achieve what he decides to do in life. It is also possible that with his firm determination and zeal to achieve his aim, he might do better than the rest, even those who do not suffer from any physical impairment.
By his persuasive manner and skilful use of anecdotes, Mr Lamb convinces Derry that a life of seclusion and withdrawal from the world is dull as well as risky. The world has many beautiful objects to see and admire, sounds to hear and ideas to think. One should have an open mind and positive attitude. Hatred is worse than acid.
Derry’s mother tries her best to keep Derry with her. But Derry resolves to go back to Mr Lamb to look at things and listen to him. He no longer cares about his face. What he thinks and feels, and what he wants to see and find out and hear is more important. He does not want to remain at his home. He has got clear perception of things. If he does not go back there, he will never go anywhere in that world again. In short, Derry’s coming back to Mr Lamb is indicative of the change in the kind of fife he is likely to lead in future.


Extra Questions of On the Face of it

Q1. What makes Derry resolve to go to the old man?

Answer: no longer cares about his face and looks. He is more concerned with what he thinks and feels, what he wants to see and find out and hear. He knows that if he does not go back there, he will never go anywhere in that world again. He wants the world. He no longer shuns it or avoids the people.

Q2. Why does Mr Lamb say, “So you are not lost, are you? Not altogether?”

Answer: Mr Lamb says so in order to make Derry feel that his thinking is not negative when he says that he likes the raindrops on the roof. He says so because Derry always hates people and has lost faith in people. Mr Lamb further comments that some humanness is still left.

Q3. What was Lamb’s advice to Derry about “hating people”?

Answer: When Derry said that he hated some people, Mr Lamb told him hating people did more harm than any bottle of acid. Whereas, acid only burnt his face, hating could bum him from inside.


Q4. What kind of garden does Mr Lamb have? Why does he like it?

Answer: The garden of Mr Lamb was unkempt. There were both plants and weeds present. There were crab apple trees with golden and orange ripe apples ready for plucking. There were beehives too. The gate remained open as everyone was welcomed to give solace to him in his loneliness. He enjoyed the warm sunshine and nature there.

Q5. Why does Derry’s mother oppose his going back to the old man’s garden?

Answer: Derry’s mother tells him that she has heard things about the old man. In fact, she has been warned. Though they have lived there for three months, she knows what is worth knowing and Derry is not to go back there.

Q6. How do people console Derry when they look at his face?

Answer: People used to console Derry by saying that it is not how you look, but it is how you are inside that matters. Handsome is as handsome does. They used to tell him about the fairy tale, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ that how when beauty kissed the beast, he turned into a handsome prince.


Q7. Why did Derry feel he was unlike the beast in the story ‘Beauty and the Beast’?

Answer: Derry admitted that he had often been consoled by people who cited the example of the Beast, who was loved by Beauty in spite of his physical appearance. However, Derry received little consolation from the example of the Beast who was changed to a handsome prince following Beauty’s kiss. Derry regretted that he would have to live with his damaged face forever.

Q8. What does Deny want to know? How, according to the old man, can he know that?

Answer: Derry wants to know what he could do. The old man tells him that he does not know everything. He can’t tell the boy what to do. He has to find it out himself by waiting, watching, listening sitting here or going there. Derry says that he wants something no one else has got or ever will be. Something just his own.

Q9. What peculiar things does Derry notice about the old man, Lamb?

Answer: Unlike the other people, who were horrified on looking at Derry, Mr Lamb did not show any dislike or horror at the way Derry looked. This surprised him. He also found it strange that even though the man himself was handicapped, he lived happily. He had a zest for life and encouraged him in ways no one had. He made him aware of his strengths and the importance of not pitying oneself.

Q10. How did Mr Lamb react to Derry viewing himself differently?

Answer: Mr Lamb explained to him that external appearance was inconsequential. He taught him to disregard accepted notions of beauty. A weed was considered redundant by everyone, but to Mr Lamb, weeds were a thing of beauty. He drew on the example to make Derry understand that beauty had alternate meanings.


Q11. How, according to Mr Lamb, can one overcome of sense of hurt or humiliation caused by remarks at one’s physical disability?

Answer: Mr Lamb does not provide a straight forward solution. He says that in the street kids shout “Lamey-Lamb” at him. Still they come to his garden. They are not afraid of him because he is not afraid of them. He simply ignores their comments. He concentrates on other things which are encouraging and positive.

Q12. Mr Lamb told Derry the story of a man who hid himself in his room. Why did the man do so and with what result?

Answer: The man was afraid of everything. He felt that he would die if he went out and so he hid himself in a room. In the end, a picture fell off the wall on his head and killed him.

Q13. I’m not afraid. People are afraid of me.” Why did Derry say this?

Answer: Derry was made to feel isolated as people shunned him and kept away from him. He felt that since he had a scarred face, “a terrible thing”, people feared him. He admitted to being afraid and repulsed of his own self when he looked at himself in the mirror.

Q14. In what ways does Mr Lamb inspire Derry to overcome his physical disability?

Answer: Mr Lamb tells Derry that he ‘has got two arms, two legs and eyes and ears. He has got a tongue and a brain. He will get on the way he wants, like all the rest. And if he chooses and sets his mind to it, he could get on even better than all the rest.


Q15. Which fears did the man suffer from? What is the common factor in all of them?

Answer: The man feared that a bus might run him over, or a man might breathe deadly germs onto him, or a donkey might kick him to death or lightning might strike him down, or he might love a girl and the girl would leave him, and he might slip on a banana skin and fall and people who saw him would laugh their heads off. Most of these fears are imaginary.

Q16. What did Derry’s mother think of Mr Lamb?

Answer: Derry’s mother did not have a good impression of Mr Lamb. She thought he was not a good man. She did not want Derry to associate with him in any way

Q17. How, according to Derry, do people try to console those suffering from some physical impairment?

Answer: They ask the person to look at all those people who are in pain and brave. They never cry or complain. They don’t feel sorry for themselves. Then the person is asked to think of all
those persons worse off than him. One might have been blinded or bom deaf, or confined to a wheelchair, or be crazy and dribble. Since Derry has none of these disabilities he is far better placed.


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