Q. 1. What was Derry’s infirmity? How had it made him withdrawn and defiant? [Foreign, Set-III, 2014]
Ans. Value Points:
— had his face burnt by acid
— suffered from a tremendous sense of inferiority complex
— always conscious that his face was bad, terrible and the ugliest thing, people afraid of him, nobody would ever kiss him
— became withdrawn and defiant
– didn’t trust people
Detailed Answer: Derry’s face had been burnt by acid. He suffered from a tremendous sense of inferiority complex. He was always conscious of the fact that his face was burnt and ugly. As a result, people were afraid of him and nobody would ever kiss him. It made him withdrawn and defiant in the sense that he stopped trusting people. He always thought that if people were looking at him, then they were passing derogatory remarks about him.
Q. 2. Derry sneaked into Mr. Lamb’s garden and it became a turning point in his life. Comment. [HOTS] [Delhi Set I, 2016]
Who was Mr. Lamb? How did he make Derry gain confidence and come out of his shell? [Comptt; Delhi Set I/II/III, 2017]
Ans. Value Points
– Mr. Lamb – physically handicapped man with tin leg / lived alone
– Mr. Lamb not repulsed by Derry – accepts him as he is
– does not pity Derry
– does not react to Derry’s rudeness
– does not force him to stay and listen to him
– makes him realise that handicaps are not obstacles
– opens the world to him: tells him to wait, watch and listen/doesn’t expect him to do anything difficult
Detailed Answer: Derry is a fourteen-year-old boy with a face burnt by acid. Mr. Lamb serves as an ideal for Derry. Mr. Lamb has a tin leg. But he never allows his disability to sour the joys of life. Derry, on the other hand, makes himself quite pitiable and miserable. His hyper-sensitivity is like an open wound. He can’t stand people staring at him. Even cruel and uncharitable remarks upset him.
He can’t keep his ears shut. Nor does he possess a large and generous heart like that of Mr. Lamb, whom children called ‘Lamey-Lamb’ but Mr. Lamb does not mind it. He plays with them and gives them jelly and toffees. Derry, on the other hand, has developed a perverted mindset. The worst is that Derry distrusts the world and its people. We find a change in Derry towards the end. Mr. Lamb’s ideas leave their imprint on him. He is free from that complex now. He doesn’t care about his burnt face and it no more seems important to him.
Q. 3. How is Derry’s and Mr. Lamb’s behavior and attitude different towards people because of their physical impairment? [CBSE, SQP 2014-15]
Ans. Value Points: Derry’s behaviour
– avoids seeing and meeting people
– as people afraid/avoid to look at him
– ugly – call him poor boy
- hates to talk to people
– people unsympathetic and cruel. Mr. Lamb’s attitude
– loves to meet and talk to people
– garden house open to all children
– children tease him
– make fun of him
– Mr. Lamb not troubled
– not afraid and shy of his physical impairment.
Detailed Answer: Mr. Lamb and Derry both are physically impaired, Derry has a burnt face whereas Mr. Lamb has an artificial leg, but they both are very different in their behavior and attitude towards life. Derry avoids seeing people because he believes that people are afraid of him, he hates talking to people because he thinks that they are unsympathetic and cruel towards him.
Mr. Lamb loves talking to people. He has a garden which is open to all people. Though children tease him, he gladly shares toffees with them. Mr. Lamb has a very optimistic outlook towards life. He is neither afraid nor shy of his physical impairment.
Q. 4. Derry said ‘‘It ate me up.’’ How did that fact affect his attitude towards life ?[Outside Delhi Set-I, 2013]
Ans. This incident affected Derry not only physically but also emotionally. Everyone’s sympathy and adverse comments made him withdraw into his own shell. He isolated himself from the rest of the world and started hating people and life. People’s sympathetic remarks and advice made him bitter. He had no friends with whom he could share his feelings. Thus, the acid not only ate up his face, but also it ate up his psyche completely.
Q. 5. What is the bond that unites the two-the old Mr. Lamb and Derry, the small boy? How does the old man inspire the small boy? [Delhi Set-I, II & III, 2013]
How did Mr. Lamb’s meeting with Derry become a turning point in Derry’s life? [Comptt., Delhi Set-I, II & III, 2011; Delhi Set-I & II, 2008]
How did Lamb try to give courage to Derry? [Outside Delhi Set-I, 2010]
Ans. Derry is a fourteen-year-old boy with a face burnt by acid. Mr. Lamb serves as an ideal person for Derry. Mr. Lamb has a tin leg. But he never allows his disability to sour the joys of life. Derry on the other hand makes himself quite pitiable and miserable. His hyper-sensitivity is like an open wound. He can’t stand people staring at him. Even cruel and uncharitable remarks upset him.
He can’t keep his ears shut. Nor does he possess a large and generous heart like that of Mr. Lamb. Children call him ‘Lamey-Lamb’ but he does not mind it. He plays with them and gives them jellies and toffees. Derry has developed a perverted thinking. The worst is that Derry distrusts this world and its people. We find a change in Derry in the end. Mr. Lamb’s ideas leave their imprint on him. He is free from that complex now. He doesn’t care about his burnt face and it is no more important to him.