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Sunday, October 01, 2017

AHSEC/CBSE - Class 11 English Notes: Father to Son

1. Why is the father unhappy and what is the problem?
Ans. Father is unhappy because he has no communication with his son. They do not understand each other and treat each other like a stranger. Though they lived under the same roof, they have nothing common in them.
2. Why does the father want to build a relation with the son?
Ans. The helpless father wants to build a positive relation with his son because there is literally no communication between them. They do not understand each other and they are stranger to each other. There is nothing common between them.
3. How did the father feels helpless in spite of the fact that the son is built to his design? Or How the father’s helplessness brought in the poem?
Ans. Physically, the son is built up as his father husband him to be. But the father feels helpless because he wanted his son to grow up into man of his choice but the son, growing up choose another of his own. He had his own likes and dislikes which the father could not relate. There is a communication gap between them. They do not understand each other and treat each other like a stranger.

4. What does the father want his son to do?
Ans. The father wants his son to return to his father’s house. He is ready to forgive him for all the wrong he has done. He do not want him to go away but return to him.
5. What does the father mean when he says, ‘Silence surrounds us.’
Ans. By this the father means that now complete silence prevails between the father and the son. They no longer talk to each other and only silence surrounds them.
6. What do the words ‘an empty hand’ signify?
Ans. The words ‘an empty hand’ signify that neither father nor the son has gained anything from their state of estrangement. Both of them are empty handed.
7. ‘…..we must live on the same globe and the same land’. Explain the significance of these line.
Ans. The father wants to convince his estranged son. In spite of their deep differences, they must live on the same globe. They will have to live in the same world. Living together in the same world, it becomes necessary that they should develop mutual understanding. They should build up a relationship between them.
8. ‘Father to son’ doesn’t talk of an exclusive personal experience only but it has a fairly universal appeal. Justify this statement.
Ans. In the poem the poet does talk of an exclusive personal experience. He talks about the deep differences that separate both of them. But the poem does have a universal appeal. The father and the son represent the generation gap that separates every father and every son in every family.

Read the following questions and choose the most appropriate alternative from those that are given below:
  1. I do not understand this child
Though we have lived together now
In the same house for years, I know
Nothing of him, so try to build
Up a relationship from how
He was when small. Yet have I killed
Questions and Answers
1. Who doesn’t understand ‘this child’?
Ans. The poet doesn’t understand his own child.
2. Where have both of them lived for years?
Ans. Both of them have lived under the same roof for years.
3. What does he know about his son?
Ans. He knows nothing about his son. He is completely a stranger to him.
4. What does the father want?
Ans. The father wants to build up a workable relationship with his son.
5. Give the opposite of the word ‘build’.
Ans. Destroy.
  1. The seed I spent or sown it where
The land is his and none of mine?
We speak like strangers, there’s no sign
Of understanding in the air
This child is built to my design
Yet what he loves I cannot share.
Questions and Answers
1. Why does the father feel that the seed was sown in the land that was not his own?
Ans. The son doesn’t share any of the characteristics of his father. So it seems that the seed was sown in the land that belonged to the other.
2. How do they speak to each other?
Ans. They speak to each other like strangers.
3. Do they have any kind of understanding between them?
Ans. No, they don’t have any kind of understanding between them. They think and act differently.
4. Why can’t one share what the other loves?
Ans. The son and the father have different temperaments and outlooks, and they can’t share what the other likes or loves.
5. Find the antonym of: (i) ‘Strangers’ (ii) ‘Loves’.
Ans. (i) Acquaintances (ii) Hates.

  1. Silence surrounds us. I would have
Him prodigal, returning to
His father’s house, the home he knew,
Rather than see him make and move
His world. I would forgive him too,
Shaping from sorrow a new love.
Questions and Answers
1. ‘Silence surrounds us’. Why?
Ans. There is no dialogue (communion) between the two. They don’t even talk to each other.
2. What does the father wish?
Ans. The father wishes that his extravagant son would come back to his father’s house.
3. Does he want his son to ‘make and move his world’?
Ans. No, he doesn’t want that his son may lead an independent life of his own. He wants him to live under the same roof and share a common life.
4. What can shape from sorrow?
Ans. Perhaps a new love can take birth our of sorrow. The father is in a mood to forget and forgive all the previous sorrows and bitterness.
5. Find words from the passage which mean: (i) situated all around (ii) extravagant (iii) coming back.
Ans. (i) surrounds (ii) prodigal (iii) returning.
  1. Father and son, we both must live
On the same globe and the same land,
He speaks: I cannot understand
Myself, why anger grows from grief
We each put out an empty hand,
Longing for something to forgive.
Questions and Answers
1. Where must they live together?
Ans. Both the son and the father must live ‘on the same globe’ or in the same world.
2. Can the father understand his son? If not, why?
Ans. No, the father can’t understand his son. They don’t have any understanding between them.
3. What makes the father angry?
Ans. The grief of the grieved father turns into anger.
4. How do they try to fill up the gap that separates them?
Ans. They try to fill up the gap that separates them by extending their empty hands towards each other.
5. Find words from the passage which mean the following: (i) world (ii) (deep) sorrow (iii) (strong) desiring.

Ans. (i) globe (ii) grief (iii) longing.

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