Q. 1. How is the atmosphere inside an elementary slum classroom different from the one outside it? [Comptt., Outside Delhi Set-I, 2013]
Ans. The children sitting inside the elementary classroom are sick and under-nourished. The atmosphere and surroundings are pale and morose. The world outside is filled with beauty and luxuries.
Q. 2. The poet says, ‘And yet, for these Children, these windows, not this map, their world.’ Which world do these children belong to? Which world is inaccessible to them? [HOTS] [Delhi Set-III, 2013]
Ans. There is a map on the wall. There are pictures, which show beautiful hills and valleys. But the world of the poor school children is not shown in the map. These children belong to the world which is not sunny. It is darkened with the fog of poverty and pain, from their slum, only the dull and dreary sky can be seen The beautiful world outside is inaccessible to them.
Q. 3. How is ‘Shakespeare is wicked, the map a bad example’ for the children of the school in a slum? [Outside Delhi Set I, 2016]
Why is Shakespeare wicked for the slum children? [Comptt., Outside Delhi Set I, 2017]
Ans. Value Points: – Talks about the world, far removed from reality; creates ambition and desires; tempts them; children cannot identify themselves with characters from Shakespeare.
Detailed Answer : Shakespeare is called wicked and ‘the map’ is called a bad example as the slum children have no access to the educated world. The wonderful things of the world like the sun, love and all the beautiful things tempt the slum children to steal them because they have never experienced the beautiful world and high values represented by the picture of Shakespeare and the map.
Q. 4. How does the poem, ‘An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’ portray the children? [CBSE, SQP 2015]
Ans. The poem portrays the children in a very pathetic manner. They are undernourished and diseased. The poet compares their unkempt and dull hair to rootless weeds. One of the girls is sitting with her head weighed down probably burdened with the miseries of poverty. A boy had inherited his father’s disease and another was sitting unnoticed with a yearning to play outside.
Q. 5. To whom does the poet in the poem “An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum” make an appeal? What is his appeal? [Comptt., Delhi & Outside Delhi, 2014]
Ans. Value Points : Governor, inspector and visitors; to come to the rescue of the slum children / appeals to take them out of the slum and show them the outside world / save them from their miserable condition.
Detailed Answer : The poet makes an appeal to the governor, inspector and visitors. He appeals to them to come to the rescue of the slum children, to take them out of the slum and show them the outside world and save them from their miserable condition.
Q. 6. What does Stephen Spender want to be done for the children of the school in a slum? [Delhi Set I, 2016]
What does the poet want for the children of the slums? How can their lives be made to change?
Ans. Value Points : Education to be related to their life / break out from confined spaces / show children green fields / use nature as teacher / want the rich and powerful (governor, inspector, visitor) to get involved (solve their problems).
Detailed Answer : Stephen Spender wants that the windows should be broken and the children should be moved to the bright daylight. They should be given education in a conducive atmosphere so that their lives can be changed, with useful and relevant education being imparted to them. The poet wants that the governor, inspector and visitors should get involved to solve their problem and their education should be related to their life.
Q. 7. What change does the poet hope for in the lives of the slum children? [Foreign, 2014]
Ans. Value Points : — To bring about active attention of the concerned higher authorities
— To impart useful and relevant education
— To help them lead a better life
— To expose them to the beautiful world of blue skies / golden sand / green fields / literature
— To remove social injustice and class inequalities.
Detailed Answer : The poet hopes that there is a need to bring the active attention of the higher authorities concerned. Useful and relevant education needs to be imparted to these slum children so that their lives can be changed and they can lead a better life, and social injustice and class inequalities can be removed.
Q. 8. Bring out the theme of Spender’s poem “An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’.
What light does it show on the poet’s own attitude and convictions?
What message does Stephen Spender convey through the poem?[Delhi Set-I, II & III, 2013]
Ans. The theme of Spender’s poem is to highlight the plight of the slum children. Their dark homes and neglected schools are like tombs for them. They are far away from the sunshine of knowledge and a normal civilised life. They need to be removed from their unhealthy surroundings. The poem reflects the rage of the poet against the sub-human conditions of millions of slum children.