NCERT Textbook - On the Face of It Class 12 Notes | EduRev

English Class 12

Class 12 : NCERT Textbook - On the Face of It Class 12 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


56 Vistas
6 6 6 6 6
On The Face Of It
Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill
Before you read
This is a play featuring an old man and a small boy meeting
in the former’s garden. The old man strikes up a friendship
with the boy who is very withdrawn and defiant. What is
the bond that unites the two?
SCENE ONE
Mr Lamb’s garden [There is the occasional sound of birdsong
and of tree leaves rustling. Derry’s footsteps are heard as he
walks slowly and tentatively through the long grass. He
pauses, then walks on again. He comes round a screen of
bushes, so that when Mr Lamb speaks to him he is close at
hand and Derry is startled]
MR LAMB: Mind the apples!
DERRY: What? Who’s that? Who’s
there?
MR LAMB: Lamb’s my name. Mind the
apples. Crab apples those are.
Windfalls in the long grass.
You could trip.
DERRY: I....there....I thought this was
an empty place. I didn’t know
there was anybody here....
Who is Mr Lamb?
How does Derry
get into his
garden?
2019-20
Page 2


56 Vistas
6 6 6 6 6
On The Face Of It
Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill
Before you read
This is a play featuring an old man and a small boy meeting
in the former’s garden. The old man strikes up a friendship
with the boy who is very withdrawn and defiant. What is
the bond that unites the two?
SCENE ONE
Mr Lamb’s garden [There is the occasional sound of birdsong
and of tree leaves rustling. Derry’s footsteps are heard as he
walks slowly and tentatively through the long grass. He
pauses, then walks on again. He comes round a screen of
bushes, so that when Mr Lamb speaks to him he is close at
hand and Derry is startled]
MR LAMB: Mind the apples!
DERRY: What? Who’s that? Who’s
there?
MR LAMB: Lamb’s my name. Mind the
apples. Crab apples those are.
Windfalls in the long grass.
You could trip.
DERRY: I....there....I thought this was
an empty place. I didn’t know
there was anybody here....
Who is Mr Lamb?
How does Derry
get into his
garden?
2019-20
57 On the Face of It
MR LAMB: That’s all right. I’m here. What are you afraid of,
boy? That’s all right.
DERRY: I thought it was empty....an empty house.
MR LAMB: So it is. Since I’m out here in the garden. It is
empty. Until I go back inside. In the meantime,
I’m out here and likely to stop. A day like this.
Beautiful day. Not a day to be indoors.
DERRY: [Panic] I’ve got to go.
MR LAMB: Not on my account. I don’t mind who comes into
the garden. The gate’s always open. Only you
climbed the garden wall.
DERRY: [Angry] You were watching me.
MR LAMB: I saw you. But the gate’s open. All welcome. You’re
welcome. I sit here. I like sitting.
DERRY: I’d not come to steal anything.
MR LAMB: No, no. The young lads steal....scrump the apples.
You’re not so young.
DERRY: I just....wanted to come in. Into the garden.
MR LAMB: So you did. Here we are, then.
DERRY: You don’t know who I am.
MR LAMB: A boy. Thirteen or so.
DERRY: Fourteen. [Pause] But I’ve got to go now.
Good-bye.
MR LAMB: Nothing to be afraid of. Just a garden. Just me.
DERRY: But I’m not....I’m not afraid. [Pause] People are
afraid of me.
MR LAMB: Why should that be?
DERRY: Everyone is. It doesn’t matter who they are, or
what they say, or how they look. How they
pretend. I know. I can see.
MR LAMB: See what?
DERRY: What they think.
MR LAMB: What do they think, then?
DERRY: You think.... ‘Here’s a boy.’ You look at me...and
then you see my face and you think. ‘That’s bad.
That’s a terrible thing. That’s the ugliest thing I
ever saw.’ You think, ‘Poor boy.’ But I’m not. Not
poor. Underneath, you are afraid. Anybody would
be. I am. When I look in the mirror, and see it,
I’m afraid of me.
2019-20
Page 3


56 Vistas
6 6 6 6 6
On The Face Of It
Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill
Before you read
This is a play featuring an old man and a small boy meeting
in the former’s garden. The old man strikes up a friendship
with the boy who is very withdrawn and defiant. What is
the bond that unites the two?
SCENE ONE
Mr Lamb’s garden [There is the occasional sound of birdsong
and of tree leaves rustling. Derry’s footsteps are heard as he
walks slowly and tentatively through the long grass. He
pauses, then walks on again. He comes round a screen of
bushes, so that when Mr Lamb speaks to him he is close at
hand and Derry is startled]
MR LAMB: Mind the apples!
DERRY: What? Who’s that? Who’s
there?
MR LAMB: Lamb’s my name. Mind the
apples. Crab apples those are.
Windfalls in the long grass.
You could trip.
DERRY: I....there....I thought this was
an empty place. I didn’t know
there was anybody here....
Who is Mr Lamb?
How does Derry
get into his
garden?
2019-20
57 On the Face of It
MR LAMB: That’s all right. I’m here. What are you afraid of,
boy? That’s all right.
DERRY: I thought it was empty....an empty house.
MR LAMB: So it is. Since I’m out here in the garden. It is
empty. Until I go back inside. In the meantime,
I’m out here and likely to stop. A day like this.
Beautiful day. Not a day to be indoors.
DERRY: [Panic] I’ve got to go.
MR LAMB: Not on my account. I don’t mind who comes into
the garden. The gate’s always open. Only you
climbed the garden wall.
DERRY: [Angry] You were watching me.
MR LAMB: I saw you. But the gate’s open. All welcome. You’re
welcome. I sit here. I like sitting.
DERRY: I’d not come to steal anything.
MR LAMB: No, no. The young lads steal....scrump the apples.
You’re not so young.
DERRY: I just....wanted to come in. Into the garden.
MR LAMB: So you did. Here we are, then.
DERRY: You don’t know who I am.
MR LAMB: A boy. Thirteen or so.
DERRY: Fourteen. [Pause] But I’ve got to go now.
Good-bye.
MR LAMB: Nothing to be afraid of. Just a garden. Just me.
DERRY: But I’m not....I’m not afraid. [Pause] People are
afraid of me.
MR LAMB: Why should that be?
DERRY: Everyone is. It doesn’t matter who they are, or
what they say, or how they look. How they
pretend. I know. I can see.
MR LAMB: See what?
DERRY: What they think.
MR LAMB: What do they think, then?
DERRY: You think.... ‘Here’s a boy.’ You look at me...and
then you see my face and you think. ‘That’s bad.
That’s a terrible thing. That’s the ugliest thing I
ever saw.’ You think, ‘Poor boy.’ But I’m not. Not
poor. Underneath, you are afraid. Anybody would
be. I am. When I look in the mirror, and see it,
I’m afraid of me.
2019-20
58 Vistas
MR LAMB: No, Not the whole of you. Not of you.
DERRY: Yes!
[Pause]
MR LAMB: Later on, when it’s a bit cooler, I’ll get the ladder
and a stick, and pull down those crab apples.
They’re ripe for it. I make jelly. It’s a good time of
year, September. Look at them....orange and
golden. That’s magic fruit. I often say. But it’s
best picked and made into jelly. You could give
me a hand.
DERRY: What have you changed the subject for? People
always do that. Why don’t you ask me? Why do
you do what they all do and pretend it isn’t true
and isn’t there? In case I see you looking and
mind and get upset? I’ll tell....you don’t ask me
because you’re afraid to.
MR LAMB: You want me to ask....say so, then.
DERRY: I don’t like being with people. Any people.
MR LAMB: I should say....to look at it.... I should say, you
got burned in a fire.
DERRY: Not in a fire. I got acid all down that side of my
face and it burned it all away. It ate my face up.
It ate me up. And now it’s like this and it won’t
ever be any different.
2019-20
Page 4


56 Vistas
6 6 6 6 6
On The Face Of It
Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill
Before you read
This is a play featuring an old man and a small boy meeting
in the former’s garden. The old man strikes up a friendship
with the boy who is very withdrawn and defiant. What is
the bond that unites the two?
SCENE ONE
Mr Lamb’s garden [There is the occasional sound of birdsong
and of tree leaves rustling. Derry’s footsteps are heard as he
walks slowly and tentatively through the long grass. He
pauses, then walks on again. He comes round a screen of
bushes, so that when Mr Lamb speaks to him he is close at
hand and Derry is startled]
MR LAMB: Mind the apples!
DERRY: What? Who’s that? Who’s
there?
MR LAMB: Lamb’s my name. Mind the
apples. Crab apples those are.
Windfalls in the long grass.
You could trip.
DERRY: I....there....I thought this was
an empty place. I didn’t know
there was anybody here....
Who is Mr Lamb?
How does Derry
get into his
garden?
2019-20
57 On the Face of It
MR LAMB: That’s all right. I’m here. What are you afraid of,
boy? That’s all right.
DERRY: I thought it was empty....an empty house.
MR LAMB: So it is. Since I’m out here in the garden. It is
empty. Until I go back inside. In the meantime,
I’m out here and likely to stop. A day like this.
Beautiful day. Not a day to be indoors.
DERRY: [Panic] I’ve got to go.
MR LAMB: Not on my account. I don’t mind who comes into
the garden. The gate’s always open. Only you
climbed the garden wall.
DERRY: [Angry] You were watching me.
MR LAMB: I saw you. But the gate’s open. All welcome. You’re
welcome. I sit here. I like sitting.
DERRY: I’d not come to steal anything.
MR LAMB: No, no. The young lads steal....scrump the apples.
You’re not so young.
DERRY: I just....wanted to come in. Into the garden.
MR LAMB: So you did. Here we are, then.
DERRY: You don’t know who I am.
MR LAMB: A boy. Thirteen or so.
DERRY: Fourteen. [Pause] But I’ve got to go now.
Good-bye.
MR LAMB: Nothing to be afraid of. Just a garden. Just me.
DERRY: But I’m not....I’m not afraid. [Pause] People are
afraid of me.
MR LAMB: Why should that be?
DERRY: Everyone is. It doesn’t matter who they are, or
what they say, or how they look. How they
pretend. I know. I can see.
MR LAMB: See what?
DERRY: What they think.
MR LAMB: What do they think, then?
DERRY: You think.... ‘Here’s a boy.’ You look at me...and
then you see my face and you think. ‘That’s bad.
That’s a terrible thing. That’s the ugliest thing I
ever saw.’ You think, ‘Poor boy.’ But I’m not. Not
poor. Underneath, you are afraid. Anybody would
be. I am. When I look in the mirror, and see it,
I’m afraid of me.
2019-20
58 Vistas
MR LAMB: No, Not the whole of you. Not of you.
DERRY: Yes!
[Pause]
MR LAMB: Later on, when it’s a bit cooler, I’ll get the ladder
and a stick, and pull down those crab apples.
They’re ripe for it. I make jelly. It’s a good time of
year, September. Look at them....orange and
golden. That’s magic fruit. I often say. But it’s
best picked and made into jelly. You could give
me a hand.
DERRY: What have you changed the subject for? People
always do that. Why don’t you ask me? Why do
you do what they all do and pretend it isn’t true
and isn’t there? In case I see you looking and
mind and get upset? I’ll tell....you don’t ask me
because you’re afraid to.
MR LAMB: You want me to ask....say so, then.
DERRY: I don’t like being with people. Any people.
MR LAMB: I should say....to look at it.... I should say, you
got burned in a fire.
DERRY: Not in a fire. I got acid all down that side of my
face and it burned it all away. It ate my face up.
It ate me up. And now it’s like this and it won’t
ever be any different.
2019-20
59 On the Face of It
MR LAMB: No.
DERRY: Aren’t you interested?
MR LAMB: You’re a boy who came into the garden. Plenty
do. I’m interested in anybody. Anything. There’s
nothing God made that doesn’t interest me. Look
over there....over beside the far wall. What can
you see?
DERRY: Rubbish.
MR LAMB: Rubbish ? Look, boy, look....what do you see?
DERRY: Just....grass and stuff. Weeds.
MR LAMB: Some call them weeds. If you like, then....a weed
garden, that. There’s fruit and there are flowers,
and trees and herbs. All sorts. But over
there....weeds. I grow weeds there. Why is one
green, growing plant called a weed and another
‘flower’? Where’s the difference. It’s all life....
growing. Same as you and me.
DERRY: We’re not the same.
MR LAMB: I’m old. You’re young. You’ve got a burned face,
I’ve got a tin leg. Not important. You’re standing
there.... I’m sitting here. Where’s the difference?
DERRY: Why have you got a tin leg?
MR LAMB: Real one got blown off, years back. Lamey-Lamb,
some kids say. Haven’t you heard them? You will.
Lamey-Lamb. It fits. Doesn’t trouble me.
DERRY: But you can put on trousers and cover it up and
no one sees, they don’t have to notice and stare.
MR LAMB: Some do. Some don’t. They get tired of it, in the
end. There’s plenty of other things to stare at.
DERRY: Like my face.
MR LAMB: Like crab apples or the weeds or a spider climbing
up a silken ladder, or my tall sun-flowers.
DERRY: Things.
MR LAMB: It’s all relative. Beauty and the beast.
DERRY: What’s that supposed to mean?
MR LAMB: You tell me.
DERRY: You needn’t think they haven’t all told me that
fairy story before. ‘It’s not what you look like, it’s
what you are inside. Handsome is as handsome
2019-20
Page 5


56 Vistas
6 6 6 6 6
On The Face Of It
Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill Susan Hill
Before you read
This is a play featuring an old man and a small boy meeting
in the former’s garden. The old man strikes up a friendship
with the boy who is very withdrawn and defiant. What is
the bond that unites the two?
SCENE ONE
Mr Lamb’s garden [There is the occasional sound of birdsong
and of tree leaves rustling. Derry’s footsteps are heard as he
walks slowly and tentatively through the long grass. He
pauses, then walks on again. He comes round a screen of
bushes, so that when Mr Lamb speaks to him he is close at
hand and Derry is startled]
MR LAMB: Mind the apples!
DERRY: What? Who’s that? Who’s
there?
MR LAMB: Lamb’s my name. Mind the
apples. Crab apples those are.
Windfalls in the long grass.
You could trip.
DERRY: I....there....I thought this was
an empty place. I didn’t know
there was anybody here....
Who is Mr Lamb?
How does Derry
get into his
garden?
2019-20
57 On the Face of It
MR LAMB: That’s all right. I’m here. What are you afraid of,
boy? That’s all right.
DERRY: I thought it was empty....an empty house.
MR LAMB: So it is. Since I’m out here in the garden. It is
empty. Until I go back inside. In the meantime,
I’m out here and likely to stop. A day like this.
Beautiful day. Not a day to be indoors.
DERRY: [Panic] I’ve got to go.
MR LAMB: Not on my account. I don’t mind who comes into
the garden. The gate’s always open. Only you
climbed the garden wall.
DERRY: [Angry] You were watching me.
MR LAMB: I saw you. But the gate’s open. All welcome. You’re
welcome. I sit here. I like sitting.
DERRY: I’d not come to steal anything.
MR LAMB: No, no. The young lads steal....scrump the apples.
You’re not so young.
DERRY: I just....wanted to come in. Into the garden.
MR LAMB: So you did. Here we are, then.
DERRY: You don’t know who I am.
MR LAMB: A boy. Thirteen or so.
DERRY: Fourteen. [Pause] But I’ve got to go now.
Good-bye.
MR LAMB: Nothing to be afraid of. Just a garden. Just me.
DERRY: But I’m not....I’m not afraid. [Pause] People are
afraid of me.
MR LAMB: Why should that be?
DERRY: Everyone is. It doesn’t matter who they are, or
what they say, or how they look. How they
pretend. I know. I can see.
MR LAMB: See what?
DERRY: What they think.
MR LAMB: What do they think, then?
DERRY: You think.... ‘Here’s a boy.’ You look at me...and
then you see my face and you think. ‘That’s bad.
That’s a terrible thing. That’s the ugliest thing I
ever saw.’ You think, ‘Poor boy.’ But I’m not. Not
poor. Underneath, you are afraid. Anybody would
be. I am. When I look in the mirror, and see it,
I’m afraid of me.
2019-20
58 Vistas
MR LAMB: No, Not the whole of you. Not of you.
DERRY: Yes!
[Pause]
MR LAMB: Later on, when it’s a bit cooler, I’ll get the ladder
and a stick, and pull down those crab apples.
They’re ripe for it. I make jelly. It’s a good time of
year, September. Look at them....orange and
golden. That’s magic fruit. I often say. But it’s
best picked and made into jelly. You could give
me a hand.
DERRY: What have you changed the subject for? People
always do that. Why don’t you ask me? Why do
you do what they all do and pretend it isn’t true
and isn’t there? In case I see you looking and
mind and get upset? I’ll tell....you don’t ask me
because you’re afraid to.
MR LAMB: You want me to ask....say so, then.
DERRY: I don’t like being with people. Any people.
MR LAMB: I should say....to look at it.... I should say, you
got burned in a fire.
DERRY: Not in a fire. I got acid all down that side of my
face and it burned it all away. It ate my face up.
It ate me up. And now it’s like this and it won’t
ever be any different.
2019-20
59 On the Face of It
MR LAMB: No.
DERRY: Aren’t you interested?
MR LAMB: You’re a boy who came into the garden. Plenty
do. I’m interested in anybody. Anything. There’s
nothing God made that doesn’t interest me. Look
over there....over beside the far wall. What can
you see?
DERRY: Rubbish.
MR LAMB: Rubbish ? Look, boy, look....what do you see?
DERRY: Just....grass and stuff. Weeds.
MR LAMB: Some call them weeds. If you like, then....a weed
garden, that. There’s fruit and there are flowers,
and trees and herbs. All sorts. But over
there....weeds. I grow weeds there. Why is one
green, growing plant called a weed and another
‘flower’? Where’s the difference. It’s all life....
growing. Same as you and me.
DERRY: We’re not the same.
MR LAMB: I’m old. You’re young. You’ve got a burned face,
I’ve got a tin leg. Not important. You’re standing
there.... I’m sitting here. Where’s the difference?
DERRY: Why have you got a tin leg?
MR LAMB: Real one got blown off, years back. Lamey-Lamb,
some kids say. Haven’t you heard them? You will.
Lamey-Lamb. It fits. Doesn’t trouble me.
DERRY: But you can put on trousers and cover it up and
no one sees, they don’t have to notice and stare.
MR LAMB: Some do. Some don’t. They get tired of it, in the
end. There’s plenty of other things to stare at.
DERRY: Like my face.
MR LAMB: Like crab apples or the weeds or a spider climbing
up a silken ladder, or my tall sun-flowers.
DERRY: Things.
MR LAMB: It’s all relative. Beauty and the beast.
DERRY: What’s that supposed to mean?
MR LAMB: You tell me.
DERRY: You needn’t think they haven’t all told me that
fairy story before. ‘It’s not what you look like, it’s
what you are inside. Handsome is as handsome
2019-20
60 Vistas
does. Beauty loved the monstrous beast for himself
and when she kissed him he changed into a
handsome prince.’ Only he wouldn’t, he’d have
stayed a monstrous beast. I won’t change.
MR LAMB: In that way? No, you won’t.
DERRY: And no one’ll kiss me, ever. Only my mother, and
she kisses me on the other side of my face, and I
don’t like my mother to kiss me, she does it
because she has to. Why should I like that? I
don’t care if nobody ever kisses me.
MR LAMB: Ah, but do you care if you never kiss them.
DERRY: What?
MR LAMB: Girls. Pretty girls. Long hair and large eyes. People
you love.
DERRY: Who’d let me? Not one.
MR LAMB: Who can tell?
DERRY: I won’t ever look different. When I’m as old as
you, I’ll look the same. I’ll still only have half a
face.
MR LAMB: So you will. But the world won’t. The world’s got a
whole face, and the world’s there to be looked at.
DERRY: Do you think this is the world? This old garden?
MR LAMB: When I’m here. Not the only one. But the world,
as much as anywhere.
DERRY: Does your leg hurt you?
MR LAMB: Tin doesn’t hurt, boy!
DERRY: When it came off, did it?
MR LAMB: Certainly.
DERRY: And now? I mean, where the tin stops, at the top?
MR LAMB: Now and then. In wet weather. It doesn’t signify.
DERRY: Oh, that’s something else they all say. ‘Look at
all those people who are in pain and brave and
never cry and never complain and don’t feel sorry
for themselves.’
MR LAMB: I haven’t said it.
DERRY: And think of all those people worse off than you.
Think, you might have been blinded, or born deaf,
or have to live in a wheelchair, or be daft in your
head and dribble.
2019-20
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