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Short & Long Answer Question: Poem 1 - A Photograph | English Class 11 PDF Download

Short Answer Type Questions

Question 1: Which incident has been captured in the snapshot?
Answer: The incident depicts three girls who had gone for a swim in the sea and were standing still for a short time smiling at the camera. This group photo captures their joy, buoyant spirits and freedom of girlhood.
Question 2: What do you learn about the poetess’s mother from the photograph?
Answer: The poetess’s mother was a big girl even at the age of twelve. She had a sweet face and enjoyed swimming as well as wading in sea-water with her cousins. Years later she laughed at the clothes they had put on for the sea holiday.
Question 3: How did the three girls face the camera?
Answer: They removed hair from their face and stood smiling in the shallow water near the beach. Betty and Dolly stood on either side of the poetess’s mother, holding one of her hands.
Question 4: What do you think, made the poetess’s mother laugh?
Answer: The dress and behavior of her cousins Betty and Dolly made the poetess’s mother laugh. It is evident that they had put on some quaint dress, which amused her.
Question 5: The poetess’s mother laughs at her past. How does the poet react to her past?
Answer: The sea holiday was a past experience for the poetess’s mother. A glimpse of the photograph perhaps revived some feelings of shared joy and she laughed. For the poet, her laughter is an incident of the past. It is amusing in an ironic manner. The sense of loss overcomes pleasure.
Question 6: Why, do you think, does the poetess say nothing about her mother’s death?
Answer: The poet has no words to express her reaction to this solemn and painful incident. Death silences everyone. The extensive quietness and prevailing gloom silence her.
Long Answer Type Questions
Question 1: What impression do you form of the poetess and the poetess’s mother after reading the poem A Photograph’?
Answer: The poem presents the poet as a sensitive person who is quite affectionate towards her mother and is deeply attached to her. She loves ‘her ‘sweet’ face and notes the changes in it as she advances in age. She remembers all the incidents connected with her life including her laughter on looking at the photograph. She finds it hard to bear her death. The pangs of separation stun her to speechlessness.
The poetess’s mother appears as a physically well-formed person with a sweet face and beautiful smile. She has a friendly temperament and free mixing nature. She has great affection (or her two girl cousins and goes with them for a sea-holiday where they put on quaint dresses. She poses with them smilingly for a snap. Her laughter on seeing the dresses in the snap shows her fine temperament and good humor. 

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FAQs on Short & Long Answer Question: Poem 1 - A Photograph - English Class 11

1. What is the central theme of the poem "A Photograph"?
Ans. The central theme of the poem "A Photograph" is the impermanence of time and the nostalgic yearning for the past.
2. Who is the speaker in the poem "A Photograph"?
Ans. The speaker in the poem "A Photograph" is the poet herself, Shirley Toulson.
3. What does the photograph in the poem "A Photograph" represent?
Ans. The photograph in the poem "A Photograph" represents the poet's mother, who is now deceased, and her family from the past.
4. What literary devices are used in the poem "A Photograph"?
Ans. The poem "A Photograph" uses several literary devices such as alliteration, imagery, metaphor, and personification.
5. What is the significance of the last line in the poem "A Photograph"?
Ans. The last line of the poem "A Photograph," "the time is stopped," is significant because it represents the power of the photograph to freeze time and capture a moment forever, even as time continues to move forward.
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