Comprehension Questions Poem 1 - My Mother at Sixty Six, Class 12, English Flamingo | EduRev Notes

English Class 12

Class 12 : Comprehension Questions Poem 1 - My Mother at Sixty Six, Class 12, English Flamingo | EduRev Notes

The document Comprehension Questions Poem 1 - My Mother at Sixty Six, Class 12, English Flamingo | EduRev Notes is a part of the Class 12 Course English Class 12.
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Questions for Comprehension

Q1. Where was the poet driving to? Who was sitting beside her?

Ans. The poet was driving to Cochin. The poet’s mother was sitting beside her.

 

Q2.  What did the poet notice about the mother?

Ans. She noticed that her mother was weak, pale and unconscious like a dead body.

 

Q3. How does the poet describe her mother in the poem?

Ans. The poet describes her mother as an old lady who has become pale, weak and worn out. She often dozes and remains unconscious about herself like a dead body.

 

Q4. Why does the poet look outside? What activities does the poet see outside the car window?

Ans. The poet feels very sad thinking that her mother is nearing death. This painfum thought makes her worried and anxious. So in order to divert her attention from her mother, she looks outside.The poet sees young trees running past them. She also sees little children coming out of their homes in a merry mood. She sees life and vitality in the outside world.

 

Q5. Why are the young trees described as ‘sprinting’?

Ans. The young trees are described as sprinting’ as the movement of the racing car makes the trees appear as if they are running along.


Q6. Why is the mother compared to the late winter’s moon?

Ans. The mother is compared to the late winter’s moon because like the moon of winter season, the poet’s mother also looks pale, dull and grayish.

 

Q7. What childhood fears do you think, the poet is referring to in the poem?

Ans. The poet feels uneasy and unprotected with the thought of losing her mother. She does not expect to see her mother again on her return. So she shows a childish unwillingness to leave her mother.

 

Q8. Why has the poet brought in the image of the merry children ‘spilling out of their homes’?

Ans. The poet, Kamala Das, has used the image of merry children spilling out of their homes to bring a contrast between the old age and childhood. Her mother’s pale, colourless face stands for old and fading age. Merry children symbolise the spring of life, vigour and happiness. They also symbolize spontaneity of life in contrast to the passive and inactive life of her aged mother.

 

Q9. What does Kamala Das do after the security check up? What does she notice?

Ans. After the security check up, the poet stands a few yards away from her mother and gazes at her mother. She notices the declining age and finds her pale and worn out than ever before.

 

Q10. The poet compares her mother to many things. Pick out two similes which reinforce this comparison.

Ans. The two similes are: “Her face ashen like that of a corpse.”

“I looked again at her wan, pale as a late winter’s moon”

 

Q11. What image does the poet use to describe death in the poem?

Ans. The poet uses the image “corpse” to describe death in the poem.

 

Q12. Cite an example of one device of contrast that the poet uses in the poem.

Ans. The device of contrast that the poet uses in the poem is old age of her mother and the young trees and children playing merrily. The poet compares youth, energy, vitality and jubilance of childhood.

 

 Q13. What do the parting words of the poet and her smile signify?

Ans. The poets parting words, ‘see you soon, Amma’ are expressive of the dilemma and confusion in her mind. They not only hide her anxiety and fear about her mother’s rather frail health but reflect also a faint hope that the old woman would survive long enough for the two to meet again.


Q14. Why did the poet say “see you soon Amma”? What does the poet actually mean by „smile and smile and smile….‟? What kind of smile is it?

Ans. The poet said, “See you soon Amma” in order to give her mother moral support and encouragement. She said so to give her mother hope that she would see her again. By “smile and smile and smile…” she means to make herself and her mother hopeful to see each other again. It is actually a painful smile. The poet tries to conceal the swelling emotions by smiling. By using this poetic device of repetition, the poet has made the poetic language rich by depicting many hidden emotions through “smile”.

 

Q15. Discuss mother- daughter relationship as described in the poem.

Ans. Mother- daughter relationship as described in the poem is very sensitive and full of love, care and emotions. Mother has a deep emotional link to her children and does not want them to be away. In particular, when the mother reaches her old age, she becomes more concerned and worried about her children. Daughter also tends to bear a specific kind of emotional link to her mother. She tries to remain close to her mother and feels very bad and worried when separated from her. In this poem, the mother does not want her daughter to leave her; similarly the daughter gives a mysterious and indefinable smile which is to show unwillingness and anxiety of leaving her mother.


Q16. “My Mother at sixty six” is an emotional account of the poet about her old mother. Discuss.

Ans. “My Mother at sixty six” is an emotional account of the poet about her old mother. She feels very sad and depressed on seeing her pale, weak and worn out. She tries her best to divert her thought but remains unsuccessful and this thought haunts her mind every now and then. Till the end of the poem, she feels very sad and disappointed about the declining age of her mother. She is unable to express her fears and emotions to her mother with the thought of disheartening her. She bids goodbye to her mother by just smiling in order to hide her hurt feelings and encourage her mother.

 

Important Extracts

Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow:

…..I looked again at her, wan, pale

as  a late winter’s moon and felt that old

familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,

but all I said was, see you soon, Amma,

All I did was smile and smile and smile …….

 

Questions:

Q1. Who looked wan and pale? Why?

Ans. The poet’s mother looked wan and pale due to her old age.

 

Q2. What is the comparison in the stanza?

Ans. The mother’s wan and pale face has been compared to the late winter’s moon.

 

Q3. What is her childhood’s fear?

Ans. It is the fear of ageing and approaching death of her mother.

 

Q4. Which figure of speech is used in the second line?

Ans. Simile – as a late winter’s moon.

 

Q5. How does she comfort/ console her mother? 

Ans. She smiled and promised to see her mother soon.

 

Q6. What is the significance of the parting words?

Ans. These words signify hope and expectation to see her again.

 

Q7. What kind of pain/ ache does the poetess feel?

Ans. She feels pain on seeing wan and pale face of her mother. It appears she will not live long.

 

Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow:

………..I saw my mother, beside me,

Doze, open mouthed, her face ashen like that

Of a corpse and realised with pain

That she thought away, and looked but soon

Put that thought away, and looked out at young

Trees sprinting, the merry children spilling

Out of their homes, ………………

 

Q1. Where was the poet driving to? Who was sitting beside her?

Ans. The poet was driving from her parent’s home to the Cochin airport. Her mother was sitting beside her.

 

Q2. What did the mother look like?

Ans. Her old mother look sick, drowsy and lifeless like a dead body.

 

Q3. What thought did she put away?

Ans. She put away her fear that she would not live long.

 

Q4. What do the sprinting trees signify?

Ans. The “sprinting tress” signify the vitality of youth.

 

Q5. What are “the merry children spilling out of their homes” symbolic of?

Ans. The “merry children spilling out of their homes” are symbolic of carefree childhood when all time is playtime.

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